Adapting to Common Core

Ryan Michel, Contributing Writer

On April 19 it was announced that a large number of representatives in the Republican Party are now speaking out against the Common Core education standards, calling it “the next Obamacare.” The new education standards, which were created as part of a bipartisan effort to raise school standards and student achievement, are now being backed by many notable Republicans in preparation for the 2016 Presidential election. While the way that the program was implemented may have been controversial, politicians are using this issue as a way to help push their agendas and earn the Republican nomination. Supporters of the standards such as Governors Jeb Bush and Chris Christie speak favorably of the new standards, but other states are vehemently against them and have banned Common Core altogether. Governor Mike Pence of Indiana, after originally adopting the standards, has now signed a piece of legislation that outlaws the Common Core in the state. Although it is clear that all politicians have their own agendas, this tends to be an issue in which different groups are divided, and the fact of the matter is that this is an issue that must be helped.

Given the fact that the US is statistically lagging behind other countries in terms of academic achievement, education reform is an important issue that must be dealt with in our society. While the goals of the Common Core standards are ambitious and commendable, there are a number of problems with the way it has been introduced, which has now caused the major debate over whether or not this was actually the right course of action to take. The major issue with Common Core’s rollout was the implementation of its standards. States’ rights is an important part of our society, but this may have been the biggest problem with the way in which the standards were introduced.  When given the funding, some states like New York took the money and implemented the program immediately. One could argue that this would allow for a head start in adapting students to the new standards, others now realize that it may have been wise to introduce the program more gradually over time. 

With higher standards being immediately thrust upon students, they must now work to catch up and learn the material that the Common Core mandates based on their grade level. In states like California however, the program started at the kindergarten level, so the new students were immediately exposed to the harder material and the older students did not fall behind. All of the controversy surrounding the testing in various states across the country in which parents are not allowing their children to take the test is a direct result of the way in which the program was introduced. I know that I have heard my parents say the phrase, “I didn’t learn that when I was in school” a thousand times.Parents must now recognize the changing times and adapt to the curriculum that their children are required to learn.

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