Niagara Gazette

Columns

December 2, 2013

CONFER: Common Core: Welcome to more of the same

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette —

Unfortunately, the latest attempt to right the ship will sink it further, because the Common Core State Standards (simply known as “Common Core”) are a continuation of the status quo. American students and educators will be besieged by more standardized tests and, in essence, more standardized classrooms and more standardized students. Common Core will be the catalyst for mediocrity.

Common Core is supposed to redefine education through providing “… a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn” while providing measurable results that are “… robust and relevant to the real world.”

Simply and more realistically put, it’s a series of standards for English and math instruction that will alter the landscape of education dramatically, dumbing down curriculum in order to accommodate and satisfy the relentless testing and tracking associated with the administration of Common Core.

For example, classic literature will be replaced with manuals and articles, while creative thinking will be unacceptable in English classes, and the number of math topics covered per grade level will be reduced dramatically so students can learn the subjects more slowly ... thus decreasing their knowledge base.

Such foolishness was implemented blindly because Common Core is widely – and wrongly — promoted as a response by the states, working together, to address our educational needs. It can be sold that way to the people in power, as well as the citizenry, because an organization calling itself the National Governors Association (NGA) was one of the main progenitors of Common Core and most responsible for its integration in 45 states.

Despite its moniker, governors are not directly involved with the NGA, nor were they involved with or even consulted about the development Common Core standards. That's something that can be attributed to yet another mysterious outfit calling itself Achieve, Inc. (which will be addressed in next week’s column). The NGA is not a fraternal organization. It is instead a trade group that serves as a public policy liaison between state and federal governments.

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