I’ve been asking my patients who are teachers what they think of the K-12 Common Core State Standards. This system for education seeks to establish what is believed to be “the core” that everyone should know.
This plan, driven by policy-makers, attempts to set the same standards across all the states.
In response to my questions, a majority of my teachers have expressed their opposition to Common Core. They are concerned that teachers feel pressured to teach to the test so kids will do well. This allows teachers to meet government goals, but does not ensure the students are genuinely learning.
I believe we need to let teachers teach a curriculum that has been approved by the parents not just what a test calls for. The tests should accurately assess the learned content, not govern what is being taught. The goal is for children to learn a body of knowledge, not for programmed responses to be elicited by a test.
Their focus should be on developing minds, not just trying to meet a certain expectation. Education should not be seeking to produce cookie cutter kids.
In addition, Common Core tends to place all kids at the same level. The exceptional kids are often not pushed to excel. It’s a race to the middle, not to the top.
The Common Core initiative ignores one of the main causes of poor learning: childhood poverty and the obstacles that accompany. No amount of standardizing will overcome the problem—it needs to be addressed at its roots.
As governor, I would seek to ensure that Michigan addresses the real learning needs of students.
Photo Credit: http://bunkiechamber.net/economic-development/education
Paid for by Dr. Jim Hines for Governor; P.O. Box 5595, Saginaw, MI 48603