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Apr 11

Fighting the Wrong Fight: Why Common Core is not the Problem

Certain groups in my state and other groups out there are fighting the fight to end Common Core.  For those that have not been paying much attention to the changes in education, Common Core is a new set of standards trying to establish a common curriculum across the states.  Theoretically if a student from Georgia packed up and moved to New Mexico they would not miss a beat because the curriculum of both states should be somewhat similar.  Now the downside is that the local level is basically giving up its right to set the curriculum of its students.

Now personally I am all for tougher standards if it will help produce a stronger more productive workforce, but what makes no sense to me is the amount of outrage at Common Core but not at the standardized tests.  I know a lot of the outrage is coming from those do not want nationalized education and what to keep it at the state and local level, I hate to break it to you but education is already nationalized.  When No Child Left Behind was passed in 2001, and state-mandated standardized testing as a means of assessing school performance became common place, schools stopped teaching all of the state standards and concentrated on what standards where going to be on the test.

I personally know of schools and districts that have literally gone to teaching the tested subject over and over again to make sure their students pass.  For example, world history is still a class but instead of learning about world history students learn about U.S. history because that is a tested subject.  Another way states have already given up control of their educational agenda is by aligning with the big testing corporations like Pearson which is in over a dozen states.  They make the tests, a lot of teachers are forced to teach to the test, so who is setting the agenda certainly not the local school board.

Every American has freedom of speech and if you want to use that right to protest and go after Common Core then by all means go for it.  I however think those people are fighting the wrong fight.  If they really want to fight back against federal overreach and return schools to the local level then parents and concerned citizens have to go after the standardized tests.  If testing stays the end all be all of the educational system we have in America today then the powers that be can call it Common Core or a dozen other names it will always have the same end game.

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