Friday, August 30, 2013

Common Core uncommonly good idea

The world’s oldest profession isn’t what you think it is.
Think about it; the world oldest profession is teaching.
Teaching began when one cave dweller grunted and showed another where to find a tasty fruit. Teaching predates language, fire, money and certainly that other “oldest” profession.
It is through teaching that culture and knowledge grows and is passed on so each generation builds on what was learned by the previous ones.
You would think that over the tens of thousands of years education has been going on -- quite successfully, I might add -- there would be some basic agreement about best practices in how to accomplish it.
But no, at least not in America.
Every few years, a new concept takes hold, more or less saying we’ve been doing things all wrong and must adopt this new way of teaching.
Remember new math?
Remember phonics?
Remember No Child Left Behind?
The latest “new idea” to hit our schools is the Common Core curriculum. It would be tempting to pigeonhole it with these previous trends of varying value.
But Common Core is more than a fad, it’s a program that guarantees a child raised in California, Connecticut or Oneida, New York  receives a comparable education in any of them. Students will have the opportunity to make themselves college-ready or job-ready anywhere.  
When students move to another state, which often happens when parents change jobs, they will find they’re learning similar things at their grade level.
Another key aspect of Common Core is that it takes as a given our students need to learn more. The world is growing more complex and workers need to be able to use today’s technology and the skills to learn tomorrow’s.
Some may fear the federal government becoming more involved in local education, and it’s a legitimate fear. With the federal government, the state Education Department and the local school board having a hand in setting policies, we must always be sure nothing keeps talented teachers from using their skills to reach individual students.
This is more about focusing on understanding over memorization and specifying which years algebra, geometry and cursive writing are taught in the same way the government already specifies that there are 12 grades and kindergarten. 

It will be a lot of work to bring our schools, curriculum in line with the challenging national Common Core standards, but our children are worth it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...
We are set up to let our kids fail. Said this stuff gets happens. The paper refuses to let people know what the truth is.

October 1, 2013 at 4:09 AM 

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