I’m probably about to lose a few readers by posting this . . . but here it goes.
If you’re an average adult reading this post, then you may be looking for more information about education reform. If you’re a parent or guardian, you may be seeking information about how to best prepare your student for the PARC or SBAC tests. If you are a teacher who chose to read this post, then you’re likely looking for ways to argue with me.
Before you start reaching for your torches and pitchforks, hear me out.
There are so many reasons for and against the new Common Core State Standards. Pros include improved student performance, better teacher support and accountability, and the promise of equity among school districts across the country. Cons include educational control shifting from local to central agencies, an increased focus on standardized testing, and the possibility of a “one-size-fits-all” approach to curriculum and instruction.
I agree with many of the for and against arguments I’ve heard. Both sides have good points. But I can’t help but notice too many of the arguments are short-sighted and have veiled their true intentions. Many teachers are just trying to guard their old lessons and content. Arne Duncan may have a point about parents afraid to see their “honors” students struggle. Policymakers and bureaucrats have a shiny new system to uphold. Test companies have a ridiculous amount of money to make. And politicians need to say they’re doing something about education and the economy.
Here’s my take: no one locked in this debate truly has students’ best interests in mind.