Common Core Teacher Indoctrination

Guest post by Randall Lund, PhD

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There is so much focus on the Common Core standards and the testing enforcement through SAGE testing that people may not realize that Common Core is also linked to standards for preservice teaching training and standards for the evaluation of inservice teachers.

In other words, the Common Core Crowd is now able to force colleges to teach both their standards and their methods. If colleges do not adopt the Common-Core-aligned teacher education standards and prove through an onerous data collection system that their program is compliant, their accreditation can be withdrawn. If accreditation is withdrawn from a college, their graduates may not be licensed by the states.

It used to be the case that colleges could choose which accrediting agency they wanted to work with. These agencies differed in their approaches and requirements. It should be no surprise that at the same Common Core was being developed, the two accrediting agencies merged into one national agency, the Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (CAEP). Their web page is  http://caepnet.org

CAEP rolled out their teacher training standards in August, 2013. See them at  http://caepnet.org/caep-accreditation-standards/  These standards include the following requirement:

“1.4  Providers ensure that completers demonstrate skills and commitment that afford all P-12 students access to rigorous college- and career-ready standards (e.g., Next Generation Science Standards, National Career Readiness Certificate, Common Core State Standards) . . . ” (page 4)

Not only are teachers to be informed about the standards; they are to be trained to teach to those standards:

“These experiences integrate applications of theory from pedagogical courses or modules in P-12 or community settings and are aligned with the school-based curriculum (e.g., Next Generation Science Standards, college- and career-ready standards, Common Core State Standards).” (page 8)

Another link in the Common Core chain are the standards for inservice teachers known as InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards. These standards are used to evaluate both preservice teachers and the inservice teachers in the schools. Teachers who fail to comply can be denied licensure or (if already teaching) terminated. The CAEP, InTASC, and Common Core standards are all aligned:

“The Commission’s development of this standard and its components was influenced especially by the InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards, the Common Core State Standards Initiative  . . .”   (page 6)

Now more about the InTASC standards. They can be found at http://www.ccsso.org/Resources/Programs/Interstate_Teacher_Assessment_Consortium_(InTASC).html

They are promulgated by the same people who developed Common Core: The Consortium of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). These are the people who own the copyright on the Utah reprinting of Common Core under the title Utah Core. The InTASC standards for teacher evaluation are also explicitly linked with Common Core:

“Specifically, this document has been reviewed to ensure compatibility with the recently-released Common Core State Standards for students in mathematics and English language arts . . .” (page 6)

An especially pernicious aspect of the CAEP and InTASC commitment to Common Core is that every standard for teachers includes the aspect of critical dispositions, in addition to performance skills and knowledge. In other words, preservice and inservice teachers not only have to act as required by Common Core, they are expected to show that they believe in Common Core as demonstrated by observable attitudes and values. A typical disposition requirement states:

“The teacher realizes that content knowledge is not a fixed body of facts but is complex, culturally situated, and ever evolving.” (InTASC, page 24)

Other typical disposition words are value, realize, is committed, understands. In other words, teacher educators, if so inclined, now have permission to require that teaching candidates prove that their indoctrination to Common Core has been successful:

“The [college teaching education] provider ensures that . . . candidates develop the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions necessary . . . ” (CAEP, p. 6)

In summary, the Common Core Crowd now has in place all the mechanisms needed to transformation education: the standards for students, the tests of student learning, and, as I have explained here, the standards for training new teachers and evaluating current teachers. It is true that Common Core is the lynchpin of the whole apparatus, but it will not be enough to get Common Core out of schools if schools keep hiring teachers committed to the Common Core approach and ideology.

You can read more about schools and their influence on the future of the country at countryschool.wordpress.com

Randall Lund

PhD, Curriculum and Instruction

randall.lund@byu.edu

2 Responses to Common Core Teacher Indoctrination

  • Paula Hill says:

    For me the argument is not so much the standards or any of the other details of CC, it is the fact that it is frightening and totally wrong for this much control to be centralized. It flies in the face of everything I believe.

  • Loni Schneider says:

    So, what can be done to fight this? So the 2 main companies merged with one Common Core intent. Can we not develop an alternative accreditation program which refuses to align with Common Core? This is an educational monopoly. Educational programs should have a choice. That’s free-market. What can we do?

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In particular, AP Calculus is in conflict with the Common Core, Packer said, and it lies outside the sequence of the Common Core because of the fear that it may unnecessarily rush students into advanced math classes for which they are not prepared. — Trevor Packer, Senior VP College Board, http://www.aasa.org/content.aspx?id=27296

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