Sep 09

Embrace The Common Core

Debate 1 Large

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

In K-12 education, there is nothing more controversial than the Common Core State Standards, national academic standards in English and math. Adopted by more than 40 states, they were developed, in part, to address concerns that American students were falling behind their foreign counterparts and graduating high school without the necessary skills for college and the workforce. But is this the reform we’ve been looking for? Has the federal government overreached and saddled our schools with standards that have been flawed from the start? Or will the Common Core raise the bar and improve the quality of our children’s education?

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    • Moderator Image

      MODERATOR

      John Donvan

      Author & Correspondent for ABC News

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Where Do You Stand?

For The Motion

The Common Core is a set of clear and consistent standards, based on extensive research, that encourage critical thinking skills. They are designed to give teachers flexibility in how they teach to individual students’ needs.

Higher and more rigorous standards will better prepare American students for college and the workplace, and help to close the achievement gap between students from different socioeconomic backgrounds. (Center for American Progress)

The Common Core has a great deal of support, from educators, the public, business leaders, and the over 40 states that have freely adopted its standards.

While the inaugural curricula face issues, these are growing pains in implementation, rather than flaws inherent to the instructional philosophy.

Against THe Motion

The Common Core was created with little input from teachers or the public, and there is no governing body tasked with oversight now that they are in effect. (New York Times)

These tougher, more stringent standards will do the opposite of their intent: instead of creating fairer, more equitable K-12 schools, they are widening the gap between the haves and have-nots.

School districts and teachers should have the autonomy to create their own standards and curricula at the local level, rather than being held to national criteria and impossible standardized tests.

The narrow focus of the Common Core standards places high value on certain skill sets while overlooking others, such as creativity, imagination, and vocational training.

Research

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