Disclaimer: To my educator friends: I ADORE you. You do what I believe is the hardest job out there (second only to parenting), and many of you are forced to teach a mandated curriculum, in a mandated way, for thankless pay. This is not written against you, but in support of you.
What you are about to read is a departure for me. It even has an air of “rant” (so considered yourself warned), but I’m concerned.
About what, you ask?
Education in America, that’s what. My oldest grandgirl is being taught Common Core studies in Florida. If you don’t know what that is, let me give you a math example:
And another one:
Now, you might think that seems harder than how you learned and, because it seems harder, we must be raising smarter children. But I disagree. We are making more steps that lead you to the same answer as the straight-forward, thinking-conceptually way. We are teaching our kids to work harder, not smarter.
The purpose in all this? According to Common Core Standards, “The standards were drafted by experts and teachers from across the country and are designed to ensure students are prepared for today’s entry-level careers, freshman-level college courses, and workforce training programs.” And according to this video, they want little Johnny in Wyoming to learn the same thing as little Janice in Rhode Island, so they can have the same opportunities at the same universities for the same success in life. Common Core Standards goes on to say that “the new standards also provide a way for teachers to measure student progress throughout the school year and ensure that students are on the pathway to success in their academic careers.”
Measure student progress. It seems to me that, in today’s world, it always comes down to the standardized test.
Whatever happened to teaching a subject, testing the child on the subject, tallying the scores at the end of the year, and if it is a failing grade, having to deal with the consequences of that? Whatever happened to understanding that every child is NOT the same? Does not LEARN the same way? Will NOT have the same opportunities, or anything else, offered to them in this life, because that’s NOT HOW THE WORLD WORKS? And lastly, our teachers are already pressured to teach to achieve test scores, and now they have to teach in a completely different way than what THEY learned in order to level the playing field to what seems will be the lowest common denominator…and be paid squat to do it??
What are we doing??
There are 47 states who have adopted, and are teaching, Common Core studies (Texas is one of the 7 holdout states). What does the future hold for a generation of kids who have to take five break-down steps to do what should take one conceptual thought? What will happen when every child expects the same treatment and the same opportunity but doesn’t get either? These are our children and grandchildren we’re talking about here.
It seems like 21st century Americans should be using an ever-increasing percentage of our brain power, but that’s not what we’re doing, in my opinion, when we’re letting this kind of thing continue. It’s a proverbial dumbing down of mass-proportion.
Way, WAY down.
Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions, give it all you’ve got, be resolute, and love without stopping. 1 Corinthians 16:13 MSG
As a homeschool mom in a state that adopted this ridiculousness,my normally confident students have burst into tears and fits of frustration. (Me too) It’s creating kids who detest math. So, I taught division that way for three days and then resorted to old-fashioned momma-knows-best common sense.
100 cents is a dollar except when?…the moon is full and the wolves are howling about counting by 3’s just to see how many quarters remain after Sally breaks down her dollhouse into hay bales and hairbrushes.