Monday, March 24, 2014

Common Core - Bad For America

Some rich businessmen, like Bill Gates and others, some Republicans and most teacher union controlled Secular Socialists are attempting to impose Common Core on the American Public School Educational System.   Even though we have spent trillions of dollars on public schools in the last thirty years, only to see poor test score results compared to other industrialized countries, now these influential people, most of whom have never worked in education are trying to impose a one size fits all curriculum as the new solution supposed to create educational excellence.   Forgettaboutit!

How can the same curriculum work for inner city school districts, where most kids are below grade level in reading and math as for school districts in some suburbs where kids may be way above grade level.  As a former educator who taught junior, senior and adult schools in Los Angeles for six years, I can say this is wishful thinking at best and folly at worst.  Yes, all kids should be taught reading, writing and arithmetic along with history and science; but the curriculum, books and pace could be very different.   In addition, the real change we need to make in public education is a recognition that not all kids are university bound.

Instead, we should adopt the system used by other countries that identify kids through testing, by the end of junior high school, to determine if they should be university bound, or if they would be better off learning marketable trade.   Years ago and perhaps even today, this approach was considered racist because in many cases inner city kids, that are often not at grade level would be placed in vocational education.   The thinking was that all kids should be able to go to a university.   Really?  How is a kid reading at 5th grade level in the 12th grade supposed to finish a BA degree.   This is the reason that many colleges and universities have to offer remedial education to help these kids that are often way behind grade level.   It is ridiculous. 

It would be far better for a kid, below grade level, to graduate with a marketable skill.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a plumber or electrician that often earn more than teachers.  And, if a kid is below grade level because of being a late bloomer, we have the Community College system as a safety net, which are open to all that does not exist in many other countries.   Common Core is not the answer.  Throwing more money at public education is not the answer.   We need to reinvent our public schools to make sure that all kids are either university bound, or trained to do a marketable job that pays more than minimum wage.  It is time for common sense, not Common Core.          

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