The Common Core Standards could have generated some improvements in the education of Tennessee students because they attempt to address complex learning. Unfortunately, their impact is going to be negative because of false assumptions about test based accountability systems. Let’s examine these false assumptions.
First, if students were passive identical objects on an assembly line, then applying the standards to them should yield a predetermined outcome: a high test score. An assembly line begins with raw materials that have been pre-selected because they are virtually identical. Kids, as we know are far from alike. Second, knowledge continuously changes. We really don’t know what a kindergartner will need to know as an adult. Experts suggest that about half of the jobs that will be available don’t yet exist and that most young people today will learn to fill several different roles during their careers. A third assumption is that we can assess future knowledge. Of course, the standardized test for this has not yet been developed.
There is one more increasingly important problem. Successful schooling, unlike any other field, requires an understanding that the means of teaching and learning are increasingly the ends. Preparing our young for the future requires enabling each of them to develop their unique talents and learning abilities. Sadly, accountability mandates force teachers and students to focus on areas of weakness, which is usually accompanied by low motivation.
As adults, young people will need to be expert learners and self-teachers. They will need to become responsible for themselves rather than merely accountable for a test score. They must know their individual strengths and motivations. Such teaching, always accomplished by responsible teachers and achieved by responsible learners, lies outside the bounds of anything a test developer might create.
Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis
East Tennessee State University
Administrators cored education last century by doing away with useless subjects, areas and activities, beginning with Greek and Latin and the grammar school.
They continued trimming to include modern languages, penmanship, citizenship, sportsmanship, comportment, deportment, cursive writing, art, music, physical education, acting, debate and so on.
The current concerns of school administrators are with English and math. Well enough, but why de-emphasize biology, history, physics, current events and (continue the list with your personal pet peeves).
Where will they stop? Education is useful when it advantages the most people.
Phyllis Schlafly says Common Core is a global United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization program. The goal of USESCO is a single world culture and world unification.
In 2004, UNESCO signed a “cooperation agreement” with Microsoft Corp. to develop a “master curriculum” for teacher training in information technologies. The agreement states the syllabus will “form the basis for deriving training content to be delivered to teachers,” and “UNESCO will explore how to facilitate content development.” Bill Gates initialed every page.
Read the agreement at www.eagleforum.org/links. The UNESCO director said the organization’s goal is fostering content development and worldwide curricula reflecting UNESCO values. What’s the values and worldview of UNESCO?
President Reagan withdrew America from UNESCO because it was corrupt, anti-American, pro-socialism and a vehicle for far-left propaganda. All presidents since Reagan have supported the United Nations. Common Core will improve liberal education. No, I didn’t mean liberal arts education.
Schlafly says the readings assigned in the Common Core English standards are 50 percent “informational” texts instead of American literature and classics. This results in Common Core English standards that are very liberal politically. Suggested readings include articles about how wonderful government health care is and global warming propaganda.
Some fiction readings suggested are worthless and even pornographic. Readings favorably describe Fidel Castro and leaders in Cuba without any indication they are Communists, tyrants and murderers.
Another concern is the national data repositories aren’t gathering only general data on student grades and behavior. According to parentalrights.org, data being stored includes identifying info such as name, address and Social Security number, school grades, attendance and info on hobbies, interests and attitudes toward school.