Is Common Core Really Needed?

Bill Gates and then President Obama pushed the adoption of Common Core national standards and adoption of the standardized tests aligned to it. The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation donated $575 million dollars to create this teacher evaluation system.

This is important to all of us because this is the root problem of the current testing procedure, though not the only reason for the failure of the system. The purpose of the Standardized tests was to evaluate poor teachers and recognize the better teachers while boosting student learning. 1

The irony of this whole situation was the people who endorsed and promoted Common Core and Standardized testing were the very people whose children did Not attend schools using it. In fact, Bill Gates was a non-tech dad at home.  His children were not allowed to have cellphones until the age of 14. No phones at the dinner table, or before bed. Gates did not give in to the whining of his children when they complained all their friends had phones. 2

Let’s look at two opposing views of Common Core

Monica Burns is a curriculum and education technology consultant, and an Apple Distinguished Educatory award and founder of Class Tech Tips.   Her comments are in support of Common Core. Below are her views which represent the views of many

  • Prepares students to be college and career ready, which includes an abundance of technology in all classrooms
  • Provides way for students to enhance their technology skills
  • Encourages the use of graphic organizers and using multimedia, analyzing a video students can go back to the minute
  • Under Literacy grade 5 Common Core states, “Learners of all ages should be able to make meaning of multimedia as consumers and see the power of visuals as creators. Technology tools can help students create digital media. Depending on the task that you give students, they might make graphs with Numbers for Mac.”3
  • Under the Writing objective she states technology has kid-friendly publishing tools, encouraging the use of Adobe Slate and Book Creator. In fifth grade “connect a variety of informational text to QR codes for them to scan and access on their iPads.
  • Creativity — “students practice counting and sequencing using the programmable Sphero to move from one number to another across their classroom. Students were interested and focused on this math skill while using digital skills to interact with content.”4
  • Last sentence of article, “If we truly want students to be college and career ready, the thoughtful integration of technology into daily instruction is non-negotiable.”5

 

Valerie Strauss, a reporter for the Washington Post states the following in an article titled, Everything you need to know about Common Core –Ravitch,

  • “No other nation in the world has inflicted so many changes or imposed so many mandates on its teachers and public schools as we have.”
  • “The Pearson Corporation has become the ultimate arbiter of the fate of students, teachers, and schools.”
  • A component of Common Core was students would be “tested on computers using online standardized exams.”
  • Since Common Core there has “been a dramatic collapse of test scores” by about 30%.
  • Common Core “insists that children as young as 5 or 6 or 7 should be on track to be college-and career ready, even though children this age are not likely to think about college, and most think of careers as cowboys, astronauts, or firefighters.”
  • Blind faith in standardized tests6

 

  • Common Core
  • Why do we need elementary children college and career ready?
  • Common core does not address the unique qualities of children.
  • The writers of Common Core contained more representatives from testing companies than educators.
  • In many school districts the cost of Common Core and the related testing has come at the expense of improvements to buildings and the jobs of teachers of the arts.
  • The testing companies have become the real winners.
  • Common Core is not new. We are calling it common core …. There’s always money in it because kids are great but it’s not always about the kids. It’s never about the kids.
  • All children do not come to school ready to learn. They have many problems from home affecting their ability to concentrate.
  • The attitude of parents has a great effect on students’ ability and willingness to learn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

  1. Strauss, V. (2019, April 5). Analysis | Bill Gates spent hundreds of millions of dollars to improve TEACHING. new report says it was a bust. The Washington Post. Retrieved September 17, 2021, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2018/06/29/bill-gates-spent-hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars-to-improve-teaching-new-report-says-it-was-a-bust/.
  2. Weller, C. (2018, January 14). Bill Gates is surprisingly strict about his kids’ tech use – and it should be a red flag for the rest of us. Business Insider. Retrieved September 17, 2021, from https://www.businessinsider.com/how-bill-gates-limits-tech-use-for-his-kids-2018-1.
  3. Burns, M. (2015, July 1). The common core and digital skills development. Edutopia. Retrieved September 17, 2021, from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/common-core-digital-skills-development-monica-burns.
  4. Burns, M. (2015, July 1). The common core and digital skills development. Edutopia. Retrieved September 17, 2021, from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/common-core-digital-skills-development-monica-burns.
  5. Burns, M. (2015, July 1). The common core and digital skills development. Edutopia. Retrieved September 17, 2021, from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/common-core-digital-skills-development-monica-burns.
  6. Strauss, V. (2019, April 24). Everything you need to know about common core – ravitch. The Washington Post. Retrieved September 18, 2021, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2014/01/18/everything-you-need-to-know-about-common-core-ravitch/.

 

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