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The more I learn about Common Core, the more I am reminded that the federal government fails at managing… anything. These uniform national curriculum standards are bad for students, teachers, parents, taxpayers, and really, society as a whole. The federal takeover of education needs to be immediately reversed for the sake of our future prosperity.
“This will go down in your permanent record!” You may remember this line from mean school principals in television sitcoms. Well, the permanent record is now real. One of the scariest aspects of Common Core is the data system that would track people from the beginning of their schooling through their entry into the work force. The government database would not just include relevant education information like test scores and academic progress. The database is allowed to collect information on students’ religious affiliation, blood type, overall health status, sexual orientation (!), and more.
Common Core will also allow the tracking of students’ “appreciation for diversity” and “cultural awareness and competence.” A big problem here is that little kids often repeat and say the craziest things that they don’t even understand. It’s just part of learning what is acceptable to say and what isn’t. Let’s say six year old Susie doesn’t know any better and repeats something deemed not “politically correct” by her teacher. That inappropriate youthful comment can be placed in her file and will follow her for the rest of her years.
How can you imagine your employer having access to your elementary school records?
Another problem with Common Core is how math is taught to students. No longer will it be that important to get the right answer in math. Let’s say Susie writes down 2 + 2 = 5 on her math quiz. As long as she can explain how she arrived at that wrong answer, she can pass with a smiley face sticker on her quiz.
Is this how to prepare kids for the real world?
Yes, it’s important that students use critical thinking skills in math. But wrong answers don’t fly in the real world.
As someone who attended public school K-12, I experienced some similar policies designed to coddle students, rather than educate us. Around 2005, my public high school implemented a “no one gets under 50% on tests” policy. While some of the students in my class cheered upon hearing this news, it did us no favors in the long run.
A student could literally doodle the Simpsons characters all over his English quiz and the teacher would be required to mark half of his “answers” correct. As long as they “tried” to take the test, no student would receive a test score under 50%.
Public schools are attempting to shelter kids from the feeling of failure. Young people need to be allowed to succeed and fail. It’s how we learn from our mistakes and become well-adjusted adults.
The question that everyone should be asking: Do we wish to live in a society that incentivizes young people to strive for excellence or mediocrity?
I want young people to aim for excellence and that’s why I oppose Common Core.