No Quick Fix in Education

Common Core will take time to implement, but it’s critical to assessing student learning.

by Laura Bay, National PTA President, US News and World Report

To the Editor:

The recent article, “As Test Results Trickle In, States Still Ditching Common Core,” (Sept. 21, 2015) discussed states backing out of the standards and aligned assessments.

States have faced challenges as they have implemented Common Core and new assessments. This is a new system with some growing pains, but we should not back away from raising the bar for all children. Let’s give students and teachers time to get on track.

The implementation of more rigorous standards and high-quality tests – consistent and comparable across states – is critical to accurately assess student learning, and ensure all students graduate with the skills they need to thrive in college and the workforce, regardless of where they live. It also is essential that families and educators have honest information about how students are progressing.

Accurate metrics help guide instruction to better meet the needs of students and provide opportunities for early intervention when they fall behind. The new assessments provide a real measure of a child’s achievement and meaningful data to help teachers and parents fill gaps in learning and make sure students are prepared to move on to the next step.

This first year of testing is setting the baseline – it will give parents and teachers an understanding of where students are meeting expectations and where they need to improve. Tests scores will go up as students continue to learn under the higher standards.

To support children’s success, it is critical for families to be involved. National PTA has partnered with Learning Heroes to provide information and tools to help their child succeed.

There is no quick fix in education, and if we want students to achieve more, we need to expect more. Meaningful improvement takes time, and when the bar is set high, it will ensure students reach their full potential in school and life.

Laura Bay
National PTA President
Alexandria, Va.

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