Monday, August 19, 2013

Common Core is not Common Sense…

The newest push for creating education “standards” for the American public school system have taken shape and they are packaged in a program called the “Common Core Curriculum”. This new set of standards is supposed to focus on the learning needed to be a success in the world. But when an administrator in the Illinois public school system argues that it is more important to explain how a student gets an answer of 11 from a 4x3 multiplication problem, instead of getting the right answer, this is a program that lacks all common sense.

Anything created by Washington DC bureaucrats (and state politicians associated with DC) to teach our children should be thrown out just because it comes from Washington DC elites. It is also a product of the “do-gooder” types like Bill Gates (who does good through charities) and others that have forgotten what education is and is not. It is not a one size fits all proposition.

Centralized command and control of education dumbs down everyone. Education should be a local process that teaches to the strengths and skills of the individual student. Should every kid know how to read, write, and calculate numbers? Yes, but how they get there is best left to local educators and parents to determine.

Many educated men and women throughout our history were self-taught including President Lincoln. Education is the self-pursuit of knowledge. Our kids need to be taught a passion to learn and what will make them the most productive throughout their lives. By bringing together parents, educators, and the business community, local communities could determine what works best for their kids. Setting guidelines for students at certain levels is fine but to make a kid wait to take calculus until 10th grade when a kid is ready in the 6th grade is ludicrous. The study of the US Constitution and American history must replace all of this global push but that’s a post for another day.

Home school programs have the right formula in many ways. Most curriculums are self-paced. Kids are encouraged to keep moving forward and learning more at their pace. When you base education on a kid’s age it is limiting to so many kids. Kids are smarter than most people give them credit for.   

Common Core makes no sense. We have a 50% drop out rate in many urban public school systems. In many more affluent communities we have kids in first grade that can already read, write, add, multiply and subtract but when the get to school their education is slowed down to align what they learn with their age. How do you create a one size fits all program when there are millions of sizes of educational preparedness?

The answer is you can’t. The answer is not Common Core, it is common sense…

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