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Common Core Is Only Part Of The Problem With Education Reform

The problem with common core and our education model is that we are actually taking kids backwards. And not for the reasons often cited by conservatives.

Do I think Common Core will turn students into lefist robots? Will common core dumb-down America’s youth?

The truth is, Common Core is just part of the problem harming the ability of our young people to get a quality education. It’s all in our approach to education, and the fact that our curriculum and the format of our schools are outdated – based on a model created by industrialists who wanted factory workers.

The data shows that improving education is not really about increasing education funding, because we spend more than any other country in the world on education. It’s not about increasing teacher training or hiring better teachers, because studies show students retain the same level of information regardless how well the teacher engages students.

No, to really understand what we are up against we need to look at the students and find out why they are disengaged and bored. If we did that, we would realize that its because we have a curriculum that has no application to their modern lives. To make matters worse, our solutions are more standardized systems and tests, longer class hours and school days. We want to produce a generation of leaders, artists, inventors and technologists who will carry the nation into a new golden age. And to accomplish this, we are going to lock all these wonderful minds in almost windowless, cinder-block rooms all day long and make them read Beowulf? Does that make sense?

The schools we have today do not help students become divergent thinkers, comprehend data and analytics, learn logic and technology, or even write and communicate well. Over 80% of high school teachers think their students are ready for college work. Only 25% of college professors agree. And business leaders find graduates are not prepared to work or be productive contributors. We are hurting kids, especially minorities, by giving them the wrong education and then forcing them to borrow obscene amounts of money to get the basics.

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2 Responses

  1. Rick

    As far as I can see, outside of mentioning the term “Common Core” you don’t address its specifics in line with your criticisms. From what I have read (as a retired English teacher with 32 years in the classroom), Common Core are guidelines not strict dictation of subject matter; more of a list of what formats need to be accented. I get a sense you have a whole new (but as yet unstated) approach. Let me read something substantive.

  2. You are correct. I did not get into a deep analysis of “common core” but I will address it at some point. What I was focused on was the fact that Common Core is another type of standardization with a genesis in the same outdated solutions most education reform measures take nowadays. This type of standardization works well when you are trying to turn out the same widgets in factories all over the country. But that’s not working for our young people. My general point with this post is that Common Core is really going in the wrong direction. What I will expand upon in subsequent posts is the need for more personalized learning, apprenticeships, and a movement away from a generalist secondary education. Technology and media also deliver the means for 24/7 learning. To better educate and address the chronic disengagement most high school students feel from their learning, the structure of our schools and the curriculum need to change. Thanks for your comment, Rick. I look forward to more dialogue.