In reading about the new education craze “Common Core Standards” I have learned their heart may be in the right place, however they never address the real problems. According to the core standards web site, http://www.corestandards.org, these standards define the knowledge and skills students should have within their K-12 education careers so that they will graduate high school fully prepared for college and careers. The standards are:
• Aligned with college and work expectations;
• Clear, understandable and consistent;
• Include rigorous content and application of knowledge through high-order skills;
• Build upon strengths and lessons of current state standards;
• Informed by other top performing countries, so that all students are prepared to succeed in our global economy and society; and
• Evidence – and research-based.
I have a real problem with the fifth standard; succeeding in a global economy does not require the advice of other countries. I do not have a problem with possibly observing some of their techniques that have proven successful; however I do have a problem with consulting with nations that we truly do not have, nor should have, anything in common with. We do not need the advice of the Communists, the Socialists or especially those whose human rights ethics are less than a snake.
We are America and should have no intentions of becoming merely another fragment of a global society; we have been and should remain the moral presence in the world. No matter what President Obama says, we are the most powerful nation in the world and unlike what Obama thinks, that is a good thing. We obtained that power with our high moral standards and we acquired those moral standards from the Bible. Unlike what many of our liberal leaders may attempt to express, America’s sovereignty is our prominence; so yes, learn from others, however do not associate with them as our equals.
The remaining standards are simply not much different than what is currently taking place in regards to education, however in their web site they have, in great detail, specified exactly what needs to be learned and when; both in Mathematics and English Language Arts. They even were detailed in how subjects were to be taught; even stressing Phonics in reading; did not say Phonics only which would have been much preferred; baby steps I guess.
I do like the idea of being more specific and more detailed. The more specific and detailed you make it for teachers the less opportunity there is for them to ordain their beliefs in their lessons; and if they do it, it allows for easier enforcement and reprimands for those teachers who chose to deviate from those details. Although I was disturbed by what Florida Commissioner of Education Dr. Eric J. Smith said, “These standards establish what students need to learn, but do not dictate how teachers should teach.”
We need to be more specific with teachers for the reasons I have stated above. That statement by Dr. Smith is way too general and could lead to teachers expressing their views and beliefs. This specific problem is why there are so many individuals, specifically Conservatives, who have such a disdain for teachers. We need to keep teaching simple; teachers disseminate information and students receive it.
With that said, all of the work and details they put into this and if implemented tomorrow, we will continue to be right where currently reside; grades will still be down, drop-out rates will be the same and graduation rates will be as they are today. Why? It does not address the real problem since they have forgotten prime factor; it will always be up to the students to learn.
In these common core standards there is nothing in regards to students that do not perform; are they to be held back? If so, how many times can they be held back? What about the undisciplined students; what is to happen to them when they disrupt the other students? There is absolutely nothing written about the time wasted on sex education, multiculturalism, environmentalism or the countless other subjects our schools waste true education on; are we going to eliminate those subjects and merely focus on the core subjects.
As well written and well intentioned as this may be, it seems to simply be another attempt at having the appearance of doing something good, while in reality doing nothing at all. Until we fix the real problem of expecting children to be respectful and disciplined all of these ideas are nothing more than an attempt to appease the public.