If you haven’t seen this video of a Tennessee high school student speak out against Common Core State Standards, you should watch it now.
Both the left and the right, teachers’ unions and Conservative organizations have been critical of Common Core, some of for the same reasons and sometimes for different reasons. From the left, they are unhappy with the increase in standardized testing being used in teacher’s evaluations and changing standards which make it harder for teachers to put together effective curriculum for the classrooms. From the right, they generally will agree with these complaints, plus there is the addition of Federalizing education standards and allowing third-party (read: big cronyist businesses) sources to obtain students’ information which can either be a) stolen or b) sold to these third parties as part of their marketing campaigns. Not that the left necessarily is in favor of those things, either.
In any case the student, Ethan Young, a senior at Farragut High School in Knox County, Tennessee, makes a good case from both sides as to why Common Core State Standards are not benefiting the classroom. The irony is that even if one believes this is a project of the National Governors Association and “the states”, as opposed to the Federal government, that does not explain how the NGA, most of whose members have no background in education or running a business but do have lots of experience in politicking, created these standards that are somehow superior to anything which could have been devised by parent and community activists, educators, business leaders, and a small number of politicians. Florida under Jeb Bush turned their education system around without coming up with a one-size-fits-all approach: they changed the way schools were graded, they rewarded schools who took more challenging students, they instituted a merit-pay system, and they held the schools that were failing accountable. the result? Hispanic and even special needs students in Florida over the last decade have scored well against the nationwide average.