Common Core Standards, Good or Bad Apple for Our Children?

What is Common Core Standards? According to one side, the Common Core Standards are National Standards meant to replace the individual state standards now in place, some of which are said by educators to be essentially useless to guide instruction because they are too vague, poorly written and/or incomplete. Many educators and parents oppose these new national standards (Common Core), fearing that this will lead to a national curriculum and national assessment test that would take away local control of education as well affect how teachers operate in the classroom while stunting the desire and advancement of students who are above average. Another concern about the new standards is that they are only for math and English so schools will concentrate on these areas and not all areas needed to be a well rounded person. The emphasis on those subjects in No Child Left Behind's assessment scheme led to a dangerous narrowing of curriculum in public schools; the Arts disappeared in many systems, science, history, and physical education took a back seat and in some school systems disappeared just like the Arts. In short the opponents of Common Core believe it will dumb down the student and set a standard by a test which schools will then teach to instead of individual abilities to receive federal money.

For promoters of national standards, it is important to remember that standards alone may be useful, and even necessary, in education, as cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham wrote here recently. Many of them believe it would be better to set a National Standard so all can be evaluated to the same level across the board in the selected subjects and that it needs to be this way to ensure teachers and schools have student graduating and leaving at the same level of ability.

When I went back on line to research more, I came across “The Eight Reasons Common Core Standards are Bad”, they are listed below:

One: Standards shouldn’t be attached to school subjects, but to the qualities of mind it’s hoped the study of school subjects promotes. Subjects are mere tools, just as scalpels, acetylene torches, and transits are tools. Surgeons, welders, surveyors and teachers should be held accountable for the quality of what they produce, not how they produce it.

Two: The world changes. The future is indiscernible. Clinging to a static strategy in a dynamic world may be comfortable, even comforting, but it’s a Titanic-deck-chair exercise.

Three: The Common Core Standards assume that what kids need to know is covered by one or another of the traditional core subjects. In fact, the unexplored intellectual terrain lying between and beyond those familiar fields of study is vast, expands by the hour, and will go in directions no one can predict.

Four: So much orchestrated attention is being showered on the Common Core Standards, the main reason for poor student performance is being ignored—a level of childhood poverty the consequences of which no amount of schooling can effectively counter.

Five: The Common Core kills innovation. When it’s the only game in town, it’s the only game in town.

Six: The Common Core Standards are a set-up for national standardized tests, tests that can’t evaluate complex thought, can’t avoid cultural bias, can’t measure non-verbal learning, and can’t predict anything of consequence (and waste boatloads of money).

Seven: The word “standards” gets an approving nod from the public (and from most educators) because it means “performance that meets a standard.” However, the word also means “like everybody else,” and standardizing minds is what the Standards try to do. Common Core Standards fans sell the first meaning; the Standards deliver the second meaning. Standardized minds are about as far out of sync with deep-seated American values as it’s possible to get.

Eight: The Common Core Standards’ stated aim — “success in college and careers”— is at best pedestrian, at worst an affront. The young should be exploring the potentials of humanness.

What is my take on this? I have never been a grade school or high school teacher so I talked to several friends of mine who are educators from grade school, high school, collage, home school, and even one who deals with private schools to see their view of Common Core and throw everything against the wall and see what good and bad would stick. One thing all of the high school and down educators said was that when “No Child Left Behind” came about that it made it harder to teach students what they required for when they went into the world. Every one of them told me that many of the school systems wanted the teachers to start teaching a variant of the required test so the school could receive more federal funding and in doing so they were not allowed to teach what was needed to make the students a well rounded person. From what I have read and the people I have quizzed” Common Core Standard” is “No Child Left Behind” on steroids. I can see how some might think it is good to standardize everything for all to give each the same exact opportunity for learning but the truth of the matter is we are not all alike.

I can show you the problem with this as shown by a Political Science Teacher to his class when they were talking about Socialism. When they were talking about Socialism he explained the flaws to them but most the class thought it would be a better way so he told them the grading standard is now standard as it would be is a Socialist Society. Of the 12 student by their scores on the first test 4 made As, 3 made Bs, 3 made Cs, and 2 failed; all in the class received a 2.75. The 5 students who scored below a B were happy; the 4 As were irritated and mad. On the next test 2 made As, 4 made Bs, 3 made Cs, and 3 failed; all in the class received a 2.7. We will skip to the fifth test where 1 made As, 2 made Bs, 3 made Cs, and 6 failed; all in the class received a 1.8 or a C. The normal A students were upset saying it wasn’t fair and the professor replied, “this is what happens in socialism, you are not rewarded for your hard work so most everyone will just do the bare minimum to get by”. He gave all of them As but it had taught them a lesson. So now you are asking “what does this have to do with Common Core?” It is the same principle, if you set one standard and no one can excel above it, they will quit trying.

All this crap needs to be removed from the schools including all the politically correct crap and agendas and we need to get back to well rounded individuals. If you want to figure out a way to measure the student, use the scores they receive from the ACT or SAT. If it was up to me you should give every parent a voucher for the $10,000 the government gives per student and let the parent pick the school for their kids like our politicians do. If there is a good public school there then the parent turns it in there; if there is a good private school they do the same. If this was done, the parents who are poor and are forced to send their kids to a worthless or dangerous inner city schools or stuck in the sticks school would now have a choice. Most parents want the best for their kids but because of mistakes they have made in the past and the politicians who prey on their lack of knowledge, their kids are stuck to their same fate. Common Core in theory sounds good but in the long run it will only dumb down our children. This is one of the reasons we have dropped so far on the educational ranking in the world; we need to reverse it.

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