A review of social media reveals many NCCS detractors either do not understand the program, or feel it is a federal takeover of local school systems. This indicates a need for better communication regarding the goals and components of the program. The majority of Americans are not really sure what the term “Common Core Standards” even means. Unfortunately, this lack of knowledge leads to resentment and distrust. What should be viewed as a straightforward plan for increasing students’ critical thinking skills and improving education across the United States, is too often seen as a socialist plot to indoctrinate our children.
Organizations such as the conservative Heritage Foundation and Republican National Committee feed into the campaign of misinformation by spreading stories of classrooms where answering a math problem incorrectly is acceptable and the social sciences are redesigned to support a leftist agenda. Facts be damned; opponents “feel” the Common Core is a partisan plot which must be stopped. Of course, as is always the case, there are those on both sides of the partisan divide who would scrap the NCCS for various reasons, and others who support the new standards fully.
This is not a new phenomenon. Every attempt at improving education in this country, whether top down or bottom up, has met resistance. Often, detractors have been correct in their opposition. Just as often, improvements in method have been abandoned due to lack of understanding and support from parents, organizers and politicians. Educators themselves have sunk numerous efforts at improvement in the classroom.
While the National Common Core Standards will probably not be a panacea, almost any effort to improve K-12 education in America is worth a try. Success will depend on buy-in from educators, politicians and citizens of all ages and backgrounds. Cooperative effort will undoubtedly lead to positive results. Tweaking will be required, but the goal is a good one, and can be achieved. Partisan bickering and misinformation campaigns can only lead to a continuation of the downward spiral currently leaving so many American students behind.
America’s ability to educate cannot afford to lag as the speed of information technology continues to advance. High tech societies will not thrive in an environment of low tech workers. It is inherent on our government and educators to inform the masses, ensuring they understand the NCCS effort, and its desired affect. Anything less can only lead to another failure.
James Wheeler – commoncoremath.net