The Gates Foundation, which poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the development of the Common Core standards and is generally a strong proponent of high-stakes standardized testing, now says we should hold off on using the results of tests aligned with the new standards when making critical decisions. Specifically, the foundation has called for a two-year moratorium on using test results to make high-stakes decisions with respect to teacher evaluation or student promotion.
This is a welcome development and an important acknowledgement that it will take time to develop Common Core-aligned assessments that actually provide teachers and District officials with valuable data about student learning. Until then, we should be very wary of using the results of the annual state tests to evaluate programs, students, teachers, or principals.
In other words, when the Gates Foundation says to go slow on using the results of Common Core-aligned tests for high-stakes decisions, that means: go very slow.