Common Core Standards–What’s in the Words?

Lots of talk about the Common Core Standards coming out of Washington, D.C.The folks in the Department of Education have decided that they know what is best for every child in America. The federal government will decide what our kids need to know. Only those interested in controlling what our young people learn would make such a foolish decision. Parents, local schools, communities, local school boards, and even state education bodies, those close to the learners, will lose control.

For starters, it is not the sameness of citizens in America that has made this country great; it is the great diversity. It is the ingenuity of individuals who dared to be different. It is the courage of those who gathered on the hills around St. Louis to start their trek to the West. It is the  strengths of the individual cultures of the many that have made us “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

I have been in education at all levels and in a variety of responsibilities for over 70 years, and still serve on a local school board. I can guarantee you that one set of standards for this diverse nation is crazy. It certainly is not in the interest of improving the quality of learning for all of our kids, although the premise is sold as such. That idea has not even worked at the state level. State legislatures have, for many years, tried to legislate standards for all to improve education in their states. Most carry fancy names, cost millions or billions of dollars, give grants to implement, spend a lot for advertising the greatness of the idea, and fizzle after the sparkle of the newness.

It soon becomes apparent that not all kids can pass algebra in the eighth grade, or not all kids can pass a high school exit exam, or that test scores don’t go up with the latest innovation or edict. Much, much, teacher and administrator time is spent on “rolling out the program,” which means implementing a new law, only to find he shelf life is pretty short. They are doomed to fail; learners are diverse. They always have been and always will be, unless you take away the  heart and mind soul that makes them an individual. Only then can you control them sufficiently to eat the pabulum of sameness.

Each one of us is an original. Each is given a heart, a mind, and a soul. These gifts are individual. And each individual has a “yellow brick road” to travel. Why do we think they all need the same knowledge, attitudes, and skills to travel these precious roads?

Could it be to eat the swill of control? Could it be that our individual roads keep us free? Could it be that our children must be taught to give up individuality for the group? Could it be that a federal program gives access to enter every classroom in America at any time with any message without the parents or local school board even being aware? Could it be that it is a part of a final assault on local control of the education of our youth?

Yes, we need an educated society to maintain our republic. But the education must be such that our kids understand what maintaining a republic requires. We must inform ourselves. Are the Common Core Standards “Knights in Shining Armor” to rescue our educational system, or are they “wolves in sheep’s clothing” to literally pull the wool over our eyes?

 

 

 

 

Core Standards–What’s in the Words

 

Lots of talk about the Common Core Standards coming out ofWashington,D.C.The folks in the Department of Education have decided that they know what is best for every child inAmerica. The federal government will decide what our kids need to know. Only those interested in controlling what our young people learn would make such a foolish decision. Parents, local schools, communities, local school boards, and even state education bodies, those close to the learners, will lose control.

““ For starters, it is not the sameness of citizens inAmericathat has made this country great; it is the great diversity. It is the ingenuity of individuals who dared to be different. It is the courage of those who gathered on the hills aroundSt. Louisto start their trek to the West. It is the  strengths of the individual cultures of the many that have made us “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

I have been in education at all levels and in a variety of responsibilities for over 70 years, and I still serve on a local school board, and I can guarantee you that one set of standards for the nation is crazy. It certainly is not in the interest of improving the quality of learning for all of our kids, although the premise is sold as such. That idea has not even worked at the state level. State legislatures have, for many years, tried to legislate standards for all to improve education in their states. Most carry fancy names, cost millions or billions of dollars, give grants to implement, spend a lot for advertising the greatness of the idea, and fizzle after the sparkle of the newness.

It soon becomes apparent that not all kids can pass algebra in the eighth grade, or not all kids can pass a high school exit exam, or that test scores don’t go up with the latest innovation or edict. Much, much, teacher and administrator time is spent on “rolling out the program,” which means implementing a new law, only to find he shelf life is pretty short. They are doomed to fail; learners are diverse; always have been and always will be, unless you take away the  heart and mind soul that makes them an individual. Only then can you control them sufficiently to eat the pabulum of sameness.

Each one of us is an original. Each is given a heart, a mind, and a soul. These gifts are individual. And each individual has a “yellow brick road” to travel. Why do we think they all need the same knowledge, attitudes, and skills to travel these precious roads?

Could it be to eat the swill of control? Could it be that our individual roads keep us free? Could it be that our children must be taught to give up individuality for the group? Could it be that a federal program gives access to enter every classroom inAmericaat any time with any message without the parents or local school board even being aware? Could it be that it is a part of a final assault on local control of the education of our youth?

Yes, we need an educated society to maintain our republic. But the education must be such that our kids understand what maintaining a republic requires. We must inform ourselves. Are the Common Core Standards “Knights in Shining Armor” to rescue our educational system, or are they “wolves in sheep’s clothing” to literally pull the wool over our eyes?

 

 

 

 

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