"The standards, which were written by a panel of experts convened by governors and state superintendents, focus on critical thinking and analysis rather than memorization and formulas."
This is good. Reflecting on the notion that anyone was at anytime focusing on memorization and formulas when teaching our kids is scary. But why was the focus on memorization and formulas? Because that's what the tests valued. That's what the tests measured. So what else would the teachers be compelled to focus on?
The thing is, you can't test critical thinking. You can't test analysis. At least not by a standardized test. Because thinking critically and analyzing are not standard.
What will end up happening is teachers will begin to learn what the new standardized tests measure. Will these new tests be better than the current iteration? Probably. But they won't measure what they are intended to measure. So teachers will adapt. They'll teach their students to recognize what the tests are asking for. They'll develop testing strategies for a different kind of test, but still a standardized test that is scored by artificial intelligence. And that kind of test will never truly measure what our kids can and should learn.
This is a shame, because the intention of the Common Core is legit. Of course we should focus on critical thinking and analysis rather than memorization and formulas. But quit worrying about how to measure it and how we compare to other countries that are worrying about how to measure it. I think Goodhart's Law is appropriate:
"When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure."