Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Common Core Agenda: Failure By Design

Contemporary Insurgent

By Michael Bohr, CI

The Common Core Agenda of raising standards in the quest to attain workers with "21st Century Skills" and to be "College and Career Ready" is fundamentally flawed in a myriad of ways.
Assuming that those entities, (such as the business organizations, corporations, academia and political leaders who make the claim that our children do not have the knowledge and skills needed to enter today's world of college and career) are correct and that our children are not ready, but the system they have installed to remedy this shortfall is creating severe psychological damage to children, while failing to reach the purported goals of "College and Career Readiness", then we must take a different course of action.

The primary problems related to the common core system are thus:

1)The level to which the bar has been raised for children to achieve success is out of reach
2)the tools and lessons provided to reach the bar are both inadequate and convoluted
The demands insisted upon for children to be college and career ready require what is the equivalent of 2-4 years of ADDITIONAL traditional education (as 100+ years of research has deemed age and developmentally appropriate) be crammed into the current preK-12 system.

This is essentially the same as asking a 2yo to run like a 4 yo and a newborn to walk like a 2 yo!
It doesn't work and it harms the child psychologically and physiologically.
If it is true that the 21st century requires our children to be educated more, then we, and they, need more time. Also, it must be factored in that not all 21st jobs will have this demand, as many "blue collar" and service industry jobs will remain the same as they are today well into the 21st century and beyond and so not all children will need this additional academic training.
Our Education system did not start out as preK-12. It starts out as K-3/4 and as technology and society advanced and more

Knowledge and skills were required, more grades were added. Hence, the names we know today: Elementary School, Intermediate School, High School and then the degrees of
College and Universities Assoc degree, BA, Masters, PhD, etc,...
That common sense, time tested approach to increasing the skills and knowledge of the people within an advancing society has been utterly abandoned with the introduction of the Common Core and its draconian approach to forcing children to behave, react and learn like adults and there needs to be a return to the child centric, not corporate centric, approach to educating the children of this nation.

If college has become so difficult that a traditional education does not equip our children to handle it, then it is a problem at the collegiate level that needs to be addressed, not at the preK-12 level.
If the job market has become so complex that the traditional preK-12 education is inadequate, then it is still at the collegiate level, where they are both demanding too much too soon and subsequently failing to educate properly, that the problem lies!

In a nutshell, what we have here are ADULTS from the political, corporate and collegiate worlds failing to accept responsibility for their shortcomings and then blaming and punishing children, parents and preK-12 educators for it and demanding we pay for the training that their workers need.
This needs to end because if we continue on the path laid out by the Common Core Agenda, they still will not get the workers they need and our children will be damaged goods destined for a life time of failure and poverty... And our country will implode!
-Michael Bohr, Contemporary Insurgent