Common Core | News

Learning First Alliance Suggests CCSS Assessment Delay

The Learning First Alliance (LFA) has called on policymakers to allow more time for the formal implementation of Common Core State Standards (CCSS), particularly the high-stakes consequences tied to CCSS testing. LFA's statement said, "Rushing to make high-stakes decisions such as student advancement or graduation, teacher evaluation, school performance designation or state funding awards based on assessments of the standards before they have been fully and properly implemented is unwise."

The statement cautioned against using aligned assessments in high-stakes accountability decisions, warning that, "Such actions have the potential to undermine the standards themselves — and thus our opportunity to improve education for all students. We must take the necessary time to ensure we succeed in this endeavor."

The Learning First Alliance is a partnership of education organizations representing more than 10 million members dedicated to improving student learning in America's public schools. Its member organizations include American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, AASA: The School Superintendents Association, American Federation of Teachers, American School Counselor Association, International Society for Technology in Education, Learning Forward, National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Education Association, National PTA, National School Boards Association, National School Public Relations Association, Parents for Public Schools and Phi Delta Kappa International.

LFA Executive Director Cheryl Scott Williams said, “We call on policy makers in those states where implementation is clearly struggling to heed the voices of the more than 10 million closest to these standards and allow the time necessary to do this right.” 

On the other hand, Williams added, “We must take the time to look to those states where implementation is going well, learn from their experiences and ensure all children have access to the college- and career-ready learning they need and deserve.”

To help facilitate the identification and sharing of best practices for CCSS implementation, LFA announced that it has built a new website that will feature implementation success stories. The site will serve as a guide to help policy makers and educators construct a timeline and execution plan for implementing the standards. Williams noted that states like California, Delaware, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky and Massachusetts are promising models of successful CCSS implementation.

LFA's statement concluded that holding off on formal implementation does not mean changing the focus on accountability in education. “We recommend that states and districts continue to hold educators and schools to a high standard as determined by the components of their accountability systems that are not solely based on standardized tests, including other evidence of student learning, peer evaluations, school climate data and more,” the statement said.

About the Author

Christopher Piehler is the former editor-in-chief of THE Journal.