You must watch this video. In it, Ethan Young, a senior at Farragut High School, in Knox County, Tennessee, concisely, cogently, and persuasively explains why the high stakes accountability focus of Common Core is the WRONG path for educational improvement in the United States. I agree with Ethan and applaud his courage as well as insight. This video was recorded at the Knox County School Board Regular Meeting on November 6, 2013, and currently has over 2 million views on YouTube.

Via Marcia Philbrick‘s retweet of Anthony Cody‘s Ed Week Teacher article “Tennessee Student Ethan Young: “We Need Change, But Not Common Core.”

There are some good ideas in Common Core State Standards, but the continued focus on high stakes accountability is “more of the same” from the team which brought use the train wrecks of Race to the Top (RTTT) and No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Ethan is exactly right: We need educational change, but not the change endorsed by the supporters of our educational status quo. We need to change tracks.

Crossing Paths by .Bala, on Flickr
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As an aside: I’m betting Ethan has been on his debate team in high school! Well spoken, Ethan.

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  • Kastala Brown

    Dear Mr. Fryer,

    I am Kastala Brown, and I am in a class called EDM310 (Educational Media) where we learn about the new ways technology can be used in the classrooms. I am in the process of getting my degree in elementary education.

    I learned from this blog post that programs like Common Core are more concern about high stakes accountability and reaching a certain score in schools. I personally do not think extreme testing is necessary. I also believe programs like Common Core do illustrate a mistrust of teachers. I like Ethan, feel that teachers might be leaving their students with an empty skill set if they are
    only focus on getting their class to meet a certain standard or make a certain score.

    I want to be able to teach to inspire, to equip, and to help my students be the best that they can be. I want my students to be creative with learning. I want to make learning fun for them.

    This blog post was very informative to me. I am sure that programs like this will be around when I become a teacher, so I can get an early start on figuring out ways that I can teach standards in a way that appeals to my students.

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