I have thought long and hard about the Common Core standards. I have decided that I cannot support them. In this post, I will explain why. I have long advocated for voluntary national standards, be...
|Scooped by Caroline Weber|
I was surprised by how much I learned from this blog post. Most of the reading I've done so far on this topic has been in favor of Commor Core, so I was looking specifically for arguments against the curriculum, and this was a well articulated piece.
The first argument she makes against supporting Common Core is not knowing how they are expected to work in our school systems. She makes the comparison of how the FDA would never implement a drug without doing test runs first, yet 46 states have implemented the curriculum standards without knowing first what the results will be like. This is certainly a valid argument, but at the same time I think there will always be uncertainty involved when implementing new programs, so there's not really anything we can do about this.
I don't know if I misunderstood previous readings, but I know for certain that the in video I scooped on this page with the teacher from Colorado talking about why she liked the Common Core, she said she liked the freedom the standards gave her. It gave room for creativity and innovation in the classroom. Yet this blogger argues the exact opposite. She says the standards were developed by the government, not by the states. One example of the strictness set by the standards is the arbitrary division of fiction vs. non-fiction reading material to be covered. I don't like this aspect of the Common Core, because like this author says, critical thinking skills can be learned through reading any type of text, so the standards should not be so specific in this aspect.
Something else I learned in this post was that the government made it so that states that chose not to implement the Common Core would not receive Race to the Top money. I didn't know this before, and this makes me really angry. Education is a state power, not a national power, and bribery is not something I'm okay with. While I understand that we should have a nationally united education system, withholding money from states that refuse to implement a set of standards that have not yet been tested is not the way to go about it.
The final argument the blogger makes is about higher standards for tests scores, which is causing grades to drop nationally. I don't necessarily think this would be something to worry about if part of the Core was not to review teachers based on their students' grades. If we're going to hold our students to higher standards, naturally there will be an adjustment period. Grades are grades, and if students are learning more, we shouldn't be worrying about numbers. However, part of the Core defines teacher success based on these numbers, so it is understandable to be opposed to the Core for this reason.
I thought this was a very informative post, and it definitely made me more skeptical of the Common Core. I will continue to follow this topic to see how students respond to the new standards.