Because of the importance of this matter to all educators, parents, and students I have prepared a list of 10 questions that I have concerning the implementation of the CCSS and the PARCC testing (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for Colleges and Careers) which will begin soon in Louisiana. I plan to send a copy of these questions to some of the Committee members in hopes that they may in turn ask them of White. I encourage any of my readers who have a State Representative who serves on the House Education Committee to also encourage him/her to ask any questions you may have about the implementation of Common Core.
When you review these questions, please consider also my post below dated October 29 expressing my concerns about our public schools are being set up for failure.
- Do you believe that the CCSS have been adequately field tested before being adopted for all Louisiana students? Can you give us examples of scientific field testing of CCSS?
- Do you believe that the CCSS are appropriate for all students? Do you specifically believe that the ELL standards are appropriate for our very young students? What about our students with cognitive disabilities? What about our vocational and career students that are seeking practical job skills rather than college degrees?
- Should Louisiana deny students high school diplomas if they do not score proficient on the high school PARCC testing for the Common Core? What if such students can demonstrate other salable skills other than those tested by Common Core; could that be substituted for Common Core standards as sufficient for graduation?
- New York state tested Common Core this year and over 70% of New York State students were rated as non-proficient. Do you think that was a fair assessment of New York Students? Do you think students who were denied graduation by this standard were treated fairly? Will Louisiana have generally the same criteria for proficient as was used for New York State or will you propose a different standard?
- You have said that Louisiana students are just as smart as students in other states. How do you expect Louisiana public school students to score on PARCC compared to students in other states? Please describe how Louisiana students are now scoring on NAEP tests compared to other states? Do you expect our students to do better on PARCC than on NAEP?
- Proponents have said that it is a good thing to have CCSS because it will allow us to compare our student achievement to other states. Don't we already have a comparison to other states using the NAEP tests?
- Whom will the LDOE hold responsible if Louisiana does not rank any better on PARCC than we rank on NAEP? What do you expect will happen to the letter grades assigned to our schools if Louisiana does not do any better compared to other states than we are now doing on NAEP? Is it possible that the letter grades now given to our schools are purely arbitrary and could arbitrarily be lowered if it is perceived that our students are not doing as well as other states?
- Do you believe that the high rate of poverty of Louisiana students should be considered a legitimate cause for the low relative performance of our students on NAEP and possibly on CCSS? Could the fact that Louisiana has the highest percentage of our wealthiest students attending private/parochial schools compared to other states be considered a legitimate cause for the low relative performance of our students?
- What is your best estimate of the cost of implementing statewide testing for CCSS?
- What is your best estimate of the cost of hardware and infrastructure to our local school systems for implementing CCSS? How much of this cost will be funded by the state?d