What do the Common Core Standards (CCS) and Michelle Obama’s introduction of healthy lunches across American schools have in common? These policies are designed to aid students in furthering education, but they are also federally-based programs that now run our education systems — systems originally intended to be overseen exclusively by the state. It’s not news that in the past few decades the federal government has succeeded in disrupting the American education system.
Objectively, the most interesting piece about federal intrusion in education is that it has been done in secret without being made a secret. We see this most clearly by the creation of the CCS.
However, the CCS is nothing new. The introduction of yet another educational standard for K-12 students is not a revolutionary concept. Much to my own surprise, CSS has been in the works long before its release earlier this year. The program was initially introduced in 2009 and has since been steadily replacing the educational standards of previous years for schools all across the U.S.
In layman’s terms, the introduction of the Common Core is a government invasion of what should be a state-mandated curriculum.
Students are no longer learning in environments conducive to the way they learn. Instead of developing educational curriculums that adapt to the way students learn, we are creating new standards of how they should learn and what they should know, all disguised as preparation for college.
By constantly changing educational standards, we are creating a society of children who are learning how to regurgitate information rather than absorbing it. Is this really the type of educational system we need?
The establishment of standardized tests for K-12 students was initially intended to gauge how well teachers were following their mandated educational curriculums. However, these tests have now developed into tools to determine how well and how quickly students can learn the material assigned. The introduction of the CCS is not only determining students’ abilities to apply concepts through standardized exams, but also raising educational expectations for both teachers and students alike.
This major shift in the educational system creates a hostile learning environment for students across the nation. Standardized tests and the CCS put unnecessary pressure on students and may cause more harm than good for today’s youth. For instance, if teachers fail to complete the yearly curriculum for their classes, their students do not move forward with all the knowledge they will be required to have the next year. This means that those students have already been left behind, essentially abandoned by the very educational standard that is supposed to stand by them.
It appears that these educational standards are defeating their own purpose. We don’t need to tell students how to learn. People can learn new methods or tricks to effective learning, but for the most part, students have certain ways in which they can understand material best.
Standardized tests do nothing but place blame on other factors than themselves. Maybe the giant flaw in the educational system today is the use of standardized tests and curriculum standards altogether. In the last few decades, the U.S. government has stealthily inhabited matters of the state through the use of “necessary practices and policies.”
The state has individual power over education; this needs to be remembered. Students in our school systems today will not be successful or even remotely “college-ready” with the educational programs of late. It’s time to change school policies to work better for the individual student, rather than the system.