In reading many headlines, it would be easy to draw the conclusion that the Common Core road trip is suffering from overdose and exhaustion. It would be easy to believe the higher standards gas tank is empty, the common assessments party is ending, and it is time for states to go their own way. It would be easy, but it wouldn't be true.
Fordham President (and NCTQ board member) Checker Finn states, "The sky is not falling." The notion that so many states would ever agree to common assessments (not to mention common cut scores) was overly optimistic to say the least and the assessment consortia are now "right sizing"--finding a sustainable pace and size for initial implementation. While the range of concerns is wide and (mostly) real--yes, the tests will cost more for some; yes, implementation poses challenges; no, this is not a UN conspiracy--it appears many state education officials are ready to stay the course.
The Common Core will undoubtedly continue to have growing pains along the way; after all adopting standards is just one of many steps that include developing curricula, identifying aligned materials and training teachers, in addition to new assessments. It is unrealistic to think that all states have the same level of will and capacity to weather the storm of early implementation. Key to bringing those states with less will and capacity along will be providing strong examples to follow...and that is exactly what "right sizing" helps to do.