Common Core State Standards

Topics: Education, Federal government of the United States, U.S. state Pages: 8 (1647 words) Published: April 21, 2014
Peyton Robb
English 2000 – Red
Professor Drummond
25 April 2014
A Tool for Improving America’s Education System
Is a girl in your neighborhood being taught the same things as a boy in another neighborhood? Is a graduating senior in Baton Rouge as prepared to get a job as a graduating senior in Minneapolis? The answer to these questions is “no,” and rightfully so. All children are unique. A student with autism or dyslexia should not be taught the same way as students who have no learning disabilities. Indiana, which adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), is now eliminating those standards because, the state asserts, Common Core “takes control of educational content and standards away from parents, taxpayers, local school districts, and states” (Volsky). The Indiana legislators want to write new standards, which are governed locally, not at the federal level. NEED A TRANSITION??

Forty-five American states, the District of Columbia, four territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity have adopted the CCSS (Common Core State Standards Initiative). These standards were designed by a group of teachers, school chiefs, administrators, and other experts. The CCSS are suggested targets in English Language Arts and Mathematics that set the skills a student should possess in order to proceed to the next level of education. There is no clear divide on the standards between Republicans and Democrats; both have expressed their concerns. But, the controversy reached its peak when the Obama administration slowly started to support the CCSS (Bidwell). Proponents of the CCSS argue that the standards ensure that all students will have the same set of skills, the standards will make sure all students are college ready, and that the standards are a new state-led effort instead of a federal effort. I believe that all states should abolish the CCSS because children with disabilities should not be expected to learn the same way as advanced students, the CCSS takes away from the tradition and individuality of independent/parochial schools, and the problem in education is not standards but poverty.

The CCSS have not made success easy for students with learning disabilities. According to the CCSS, students with disabilities “must be challenged to excel within the general curriculum” (Herbert 10). In addition to students with disabilities, students without disabilities learn different things in different ways, mature at different rates, and have different talents and goals. There is no reason for states to have standards that require students to learn the same things at the same time, and learn them the same way (McClusky). The CCSS “moves all kids largely in lock-step, processing them like soulless widgets” (McClusky). In a recent discussion, Drexel University and University of Pennsylvania special education student teachers expressed their frustrations in trying to teach special-ed students within the confines of the CCSS (Beals 2). The CCSS are supposed to boost national achievement levels, but by restricting these students to subject matter beyond their cognitive abilities, the standards are ultimately lowering student achievements.

The CCSS also take away from the tradition and individuality of independent/parochial schools. Parochial schools are private schools that are affiliated with some religious organization and whose curriculum includes religion along with all major subjects. As a graduate of Catholic schools, I believe it is important that the traditions and religion classes be kept alive in these schools. The standards were approved without consideration of how they would affect Catholic schools (Strauss 4). The Catholic education is geared at preparing students for a life of spirit, truth, and faith in God, all of which are never mentioned in the CCSS. Adopting the standards into Catholic schools will essentially diminish them of their tradition to help children not only obtain an education but to...

Cited: Bidwell, Allie. "The History Of Common Core State Standards." U.S. News Digital Weekly 6.9 (2014): 7. Academic Search Complete. Web. 27 Mar. 2014.
Common Core State Standards Initiative., 2012. Web. 3 Feb. 2014.
Herbert, Marion. "Common Core 's Implications For Special Ed Students." District Administration 47.2 (2011): 10.Academic Search Complete. Web. 27 Mar. 2014.
Krashen, Stephen. "THE COMMON CORE. (Cover Story)." Knowledge Quest 42.3 (2014): 36-45. Academic Search Complete. Web. 15 Feb. 2014.
McCluskey, Neal. "No Child Is Standard." Reading Today 31.2 (2013): 30. Academic Search Complete. Web. 27 Mar. 2014.
Strauss, Valerie. “Catholic scholars blast Common Core in letter to U.S. bishops.” Washingtonpost.com. The Washington Post, 2 Nov. 2013. Web. 16 Feb. 2014.
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