E2010 Wired

The power of our words can inspire change in a single person, then two, then the world.

Common Core Standards Are Coming

This morning, Julia Steiny wrote an article about the No Child Left Behind Act and ” common core standards,” stating:

Brace yourselves, parents, because the Common Core Standards are coming at your child with surprising speed. And in a couple of years will also come a whole new slew of tests to make sure your kid has reached the new core standards.

All states already have statewide academic standards. And they have statewide assessments to test those standards. Is getting new ones our most pressing problem? If not, how did it come to pass that education’s accountability systems are being retooled, again? It’s a huge undertaking.

We saw what happened with the No Child Left Behind Act. States were allowed to set their own standards and resulted was a wide array of inconsistency across the board; especially when students were given standardized, national tests.

No doubt we need to have standards in place, we also need consistency. American youth continue to fall far behind their contemporaries in Finland and Singapore. As Steiny points out in her article, what is worrisome is that the NLCB bombed and once again we are revisiting the common core standards.

Hopefully, Arne Duncan will seek to retool the common core standards in a manner that is corrective.

On the issue of charter schools, the question that is gnawing inside is “I wonder what we could do if we spent all that money to bus our children on average an hour or more outside of their community, instead on revitalizing the schools in the communities we live in.

Some folks think that I am living in the past, but I cannot help wondering what are we doing to one of the pillars of freedom, public education. In my grandparents and even my parents time, education for black and brown people was against the law. When laws were changed, funding was changed.

Every parent deep in their heart wants their child to do better, to have better, to become better than they are. Education is the key to success for our youth and for our economy. Continually focusing on sending our children to some other school than the one next door is questionable, especially in the manner we are doing by choice through lotteries.

And come this legislative session in Connecticut, we are gearing up for a fight to ensure that the money follows the child. Another sensible measure, or not.

It is beginning to feel like we are just throwing everything we’ve got into the pot and that’s fine for Friday night stew, but will it produce a world-class education system?

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