Working the core.

Is there anything that the federal government won’t try to take control over?  They have already taken over the healthcare system, and are trying to outlaw all firearms.  Now comes their attempt to take over education:

Common Core

Common Core would

provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.  (You can find this information here).

A consistent, clear understanding of what to learn?  You mean, like, math and stuff?

But wait, there’s more:

Common Standards

Building on the excellent foundation of standards states have laid, the Common Core State Standards are the first step in providing our young people with a high-quality education. It should be clear to every student, parent, and teacher what the standards of success are in every school.

So, the states have done a great job laying the foundation, but that’s not enough for the feds.  We need to provide a ‘high-quality’ education for them too.  Well, what exactly is a ‘high-quality’ education?  Apparently, it means increasing the amount of Mathematics and English we teach.

Mathematics

For over a decade, research studies of mathematics education in high-performing countries have pointed to the conclusion that the mathematics curriculum in the United States must become substantially more focused and coherent in order to improve mathematics achievement in this country. To deliver on the promise of common standards, the standards must address the problem of a curriculum that is “a mile wide and an inch deep.” These Standards are a substantial answer to that challenge.

Ah yes, other countries outperform the U.S. on standardized exams.  Therefore, we must force American students to study the same way as foreign students.  Here’s my take on this, based on my personal experiences with foreign graduate students: yes, they can do high level mathematics.  And they are good at rote memorization.  But that’s it.  They can’t ‘think outside the box’, and many of them don’t have a creative bone in their bodies.

They also cheat to get into American universities, and they also cheat when they get here. They copy papers right out of academic journals that are in the library, and they also have exam files that they use to ‘prepare’ for exams.  And let’s not forget that the cultures that other students grow up in puts a lot of emphasis on academic achievement (i.e., getting high marks on all assignments and tests).

English Language Arts

Ok, just looking at this title made me facepalm.  I understand the emphasis on English.  It’s good to know the basic language that people you will be communicating with use.  I went from a facepalm to a ROTFLMAO when I read this:

The Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects (“the Standards”) are the culmination of an extended, broad-based effort to fulfill the charge issued by the states to create the next generation of K–12 standards in order to help ensure that all students are college and career ready in literacy no later than the end of high school.

You mean, like these schools in NY city do?  Ok, that link is a little harsh.  Here’s a rebuttal, sort of:

According to the New York Post, which reported the same story earlier on Thursday, “79.3 percent of city public-school grads who went to CUNY’s six two-year colleges arrived without having mastered the basics” of reading, writing, and math, and had to take non-credit remedial classes to catch up. That’s not good, but to say 80 percent of high school graduates can’t read is stretching things.

Why, the author is great at math.  He/she points out that 79.3 ≠ 80!!!  See kids, math isn’t that hard after all!!!

Of course, mastering the basics means more than being able to read The Cat in the Hat.  After all, any 5 10 15 18 year old should be able to do that.  Hell, I was reading before I was sent to kindergarten.  There’s a big difference between being able to read, and being able to read and comprehend at an adult level.

My Point

What’s the point?  The point is that many high schools are failing in their basic duty to teach students reading, writing, and arithmetic.  Not to mention the failure to teach them any useful information like basic personal hygiene, civics, or personal finance.  These new ‘Common Core Standards’ do nothing to address the real problem: a bloated education bureaucracy that is more concerned with stuffing its pockets with taxpayer money than it is with teaching kids to read.

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Categories: Government Shenanigans, Stupid People

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