Imagine taking the time to actually “read” the Common Core Standards before promoting them as the solution to all our educational ills. Sara Harkins, in the Wyoming’ Star Tribune did exactly this and determined that the Common Core Standards do not live up to its hype. Below is her “spot on” evaluation that is clear and specific. Please take the time to read through her assessment as her points can easily be used to tell your neighbor “why” the Common Core needs to be passed through a paper shredder. Now if we can only get Governor McCrory and the Chamber of Commerce to read them.
“These standards expect a high-level way of thinking from young children, while lowering the bar for secondary education. The standards writers state that they are designed to get children into community colleges and non-selective state schools, but not high-level colleges or STEM programs.
The English standards encourage writing before reading, and informational texts before culture developing classics, both despite extensive research to the contrary. Young children are to read beyond their level, but seniors are encouraged to read at the low middle-school level. The standards insist on the same reading and analysis methodology whether for Shel Silverstein, Homer, or a dissertation in particle physics. Fiction is mostly eliminated as un-educational. Writing is reduced to technical writing, without an emphasis on factual continuity.
Mathematics standards encourage abstract thinking in kindergarteners at the cost of practice and methodology, despite evidence that the brain is not sufficiently developed for much abstract thought before age 10. However, advanced addition and subtraction are not taught until fourth grade, and long division delayed until sixth, two years later than current curriculum. Prime factorization and conversion between decimals, percentages, and fractions have been removed. The recommended track for seniors peaks at Algebra II, though research says that students who enter college with no more math than Algebra II have a less than 40 percent chance of receiving any four-year degree.
The highly debated science section, while objectionable, is comparatively benign. Of greater concern is the claim that these “minimum” standards will allow students to transfer between states without falling behind. This encourages states to make them de facto maximum standards as well, irreparably impairing our children’s chance at success and putting us well behind the international community.”