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Why Common Core Is a Failure

By: Krystle Crossman

Full implementation of the Common Core standards are underway and those who had vehemently supported the standards before are becoming more and more quiet as the year progresses. The Common Core is a set of standards that looks to equalize the education of the basic math and reading skills that every student should have. It sets a standard for what they should have learned by the end of each grade so that schools are consistent with one another in an effort to help students succeed. The implementation has not gone smoothly however and this is causing a few issues. Cordell Abenson who is a Congressional Program Director for the Home School Legal Defense Association has done some digging and lays out the reasons why the HSLDA is not a supporter of the Common Core.

A group called Achieve conducted a study that compared US students with students from Singapore to see if there were any discrepancies among the different countries when using the Common Core. The study had claimed that the findings of the two countries were comparable, however the US students were a full year behind in their math skills when implementing the Common Core as compared to the Singapore students that were using their own syllabi. A study was done on other countries and what they focus on with math skills. They found that countries such as Singapore, Finland, and Japan devoted 75% of their time to what is called “Perform Procedures” which is figuring out how to use graphs, take measurements, and making tables for data. The Common Core only spends 38% of its time on these important skills.

The supporters for the Common Core claim that it is “internationally benchmarked” but with the discrepancies that have been seen it is hard to find that to be true. The Home School Legal Defense Association is not a supporter of the Common Core and says that instead of making a set of standards that supposedly fits every student the education system should be relying on input from those that are in close contact with the students such as teachers and parents.

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2 thoughts on “Why Common Core Is a Failure

  1. F Walker

    This comes as no surprise. Nothing in this screwed up USA education system is working effectively. Teach your children at home if you have the time and energy available.

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  2. DJ

    Let me start by saying that I am not an advocate for the Core standards, but have long been an advocate of homeschools, when there is good education going on — particularly for Black students. I don’t believe that there is one model of schooling for the millions of children who attend school in our nation; this is my starting point for my following comments. This article makes no sense to me. First, if you are going to inform the African American homeschool community about Common Core, you might want to begin by saying what it is, the history and goals behind it’s implementation in the US, and discuss what is taking place in American/domestically with respect to Common Core implementation. This is an important matter and you have made an important claim — Common Core is a failure and does not work, so it should not be implemented in Black home schools. Really? Based upon what? All I see is a questionable presentation of data that supports a faulty conclusion, that would potentially have negative implications for Black homeschools. This leads me to wonder what is the agenda behind this piece. I would have expected the writer to talk to homeschool and other educators, policy makers, parents and even members of the Obama administration when working on this piece to provide a fuller and more accurate picture. States like New York have been working with the Core for at least five years and are having tremendously successful results, now that most staff is trained and experienced in instruction connected to the Core. Other states, like Louisiana are just beginning so they have start up issues. So, how can the writer say that it failed when many states are only now at the beginning of implementing the standards? As an educational consultant, I have had the opportunity to experience various education settings around the country — good and not so good. Rather than talking about Singapore and whether or not the Core is internationally benchmarked (which it has been to a large degree), I would like to know and think that others would also like to know from this article: How are Core standards useful to homeschoolers? What are the positives and negatives? They provide national learning standards that all can be guided by so that no one, including home schools, will be teaching academic subjects without any clue or connection to what others are learning around the country and the world, particularly those who are getting college ready. This is the main purpose for the standards, yet the writer did not address this at all. Core standards can help homeschoolers to be more competitive with non-home schoolers as they provide a common measure and education standards for students to strive toward, and many resources are available for schools to implement and to monitor student growth under this system. It also forces teachers to have to be better teachers as they must be effective if students are to meet standards. Educators can still use their own methods to get students to or above standard. Homeschools do not have to sacrifice their programs to use the standards, and can benefit from the focus on good teaching that has come about as a result of the standards. The Core will also be helpful to homeschools when they are trying to negotiate college acceptance of homeschool graduates and the support of funders. The Core is aligned with the ACT and Core course college admission requirements. How can homeschools not benefit from that? Many students will leave homeschools upon graduation to pursue some form of post-secondary education. Other questions that I would have expected this article to answer: What is the status or state of implementation of Common Core among home schoolers? How can homeschools best utilize the Core for establishing schooling policies? How can they best implement the core in their teaching? What are the challenges that homeschools are facing or will face while implementing the core, and where can homeschool teachers go for training if desired? What are the implications of the standards and related instruction for the homeschool population? How will the Core affect the work that homeschool educators do? What is the policy landscape with respect to the Core and home schools nationally? This should be a much more informative and substantive piece if the writer did the ground work required, and especially if she is advising parents or homeschool educators to disregard the Core. This article appears to me to be purposely mis – advising Black folk on a major piece of US education legislation. The education writer here needs to step up her game or leave it alone as she stands to do more harm than good.

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