Posted: 03 Dec 2015 10:57 AM PST
But over at the Fordham blog, Robert Pondiscio has put a bit of focus where focus ought to be– the new bill’s effect on content.
Pondiscio is a reform fan who has always been willing to see what we see in the classroom– that an emphasis on high stakes reading tests is destructive
to the teaching of reading. I’ve made the same argument. The current theories about reading embedded in both the Common Core and in Big Standardized Tests is that reading is a set of free-floating skills unrelated to content, prior knowledge, or the engagement of the reader. The BS Tests have focused on short excerpts specifically chosen to be boring and weirdly obscure so as to guarantee that students will have no prior knowledge and will not find the excerpts interesting. All this because some reformsters believe that reading is a set of skills that has nothing to do with content, which is kind of like trying to imagine waves that exist independent of any matter through which they move. As Pondiscio puts it: