The poverty factor. This is something I've touched on before in a previous blog and it's something that is still really bothering me. The Common Core standards are supposed to "standardize" curriculum. We hear the words, grit, vigor, tenacity, perseverance over and over again. Very basically, this just can't be applied to all students and teachers in all of our nation's districts and magically put every student on the same level playing field. It won't make all students college and career ready. All students will not go on to college and for some, that's really ok. This doesn't address students with special needs either. I don't mean to sound pessimistic, it's just simply not realistic. You can't tell me that kids in New York City or a rural poor community somewhere else in the United States will all rise to similar academic levels and/or magically succeed because of national standards.
Students and teachers in low income districts are facing a great many challenges that those in wealthier districts do not face. It can't be the white elephant in the room because it is reality. What should really be addressed is poverty. You can't rightfully then punish teachers and districts for low test scores tied to curriculum when there's a huge disadvantage to start off with. The Common Core standards only widen the gap even more. We are already witness to this in many parts of our country and I bet it's going to get worse if some serious changes aren't made.
Add in the fact that high performing students are faced with a curriculum that's "dumbing them down" and special education students are left out somewhere along the line. Again, all children are not the same, not standard. All communities are not the same. This is plain and simple common sense. Our government should focus it's attention elsewhere, and give local control back to all states and districts. Address the poverty level in this country first. Well, that's so much easier said than done. I don't have this solution but I can tell you that re-vamping our education system in this way is causing more harm than good. And let me tell you, in spite of this all, our country is academically globally high performing. Don't let the skewed data out there fool you.