The Parkview Pantera

Common Core standards expect too much out of students

Anika Akbar, Opinions Editor

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From Maine to the coast of California, students follow the exact same curriculum through what is known as the Common Core. In order to develop critical thinking, standards are created to set goals for students concerning the amount of knowledge they attain in English/Language Arts and Mathematics by the end of the school year. However, if a student is required to be able to think critically, then why do state standards insist on one way of learning?The standards allow for teachers to choose whichever method best enables them to teach the curriculum. However, with the increasing emphasis on testing from the No Child Left Behind Act, as well as state-required standardized testing, teachers are actually getting less time to instruct the material in more varied and comprehensive ways to students.

Consequently, students are rushed to grasp the standards before the end of the year in order to move up, which only serves to reinforce an ineffective way of learning for all students. “People have different ideas on how [the common core] should be functioning,” explains Administrator Howard McCalla, “we’re not going to achieve [college readiness] until we come together.”

The common core standard is fairly recent, as it was first implemented in 2010 under the sponsorship of the National Governors Association (NGA) and Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). However, the school system from which it was built has been the same for hundreds of years. Students are still learning the same information in the same classroom setting with the same methods of teaching. The only thing that has changed is how much is expected out of students with all the testing they must go through due to how recent the common core standards are.

No child should have to stay up into the dead of night to learn the material just to pass tests that determine whether or not they can move up or are ready for college. After all, isn’t that the whole point of “No Child Left Behind?” Holding students back for not passing a course that would have no benefit to their lives beyond high school totally contradicts “college readiness.” “Ultimately, the graduation rate is the deciding factor now, especially here in Georgia,” McCalla states, “We’re using the graduation rate as an indicator of success for education.”

Since the standards only began six years ago, there has yet to be a class that has adhered to the common core from kindergarten to the end of high school for the Board of Education to decide whether or not it works. Although, it is clear the Common Core is causing sleep deprivation and issues in mental health, as well as a waste of millions of dollars going towards textbooks and testing for the standards. Nonetheless, there is still time to realize that even though the common core may not work, students will be left with lasting negative impacts. “I think it’s important that we remember that our students are completely different. We’re asking students all across America to fit into a particular square, and all our kids are either round or triangular—they’re all different.” accelerated precalculus teacher Krista Flowers comments.

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Common Core standards expect too much out of students