To The Editor:
Recently I have read some letters to the editor regarding the issue of schools implementing the curriculum model called “Common Core.” There seems to be a considerable amount of confusion out there. Here is my take on it.
First of all, in Missouri it is called “Core Curriculum.”
Second, it is not a communist plot. It is not socialism. In my opinion it is a program that recognizes the fact that our educational system is mediocre and needs to be fixed. Out of the top 34 countries that are considered to be developed in the world, we are not even average. The United States is ranked No. 14 in reading, No. 17 in science, and No. 25 in math.
Depending on what information you have access to, the No. 1 ranked school systems in the world are either Finland or Singapore. Also according to what information you have, the United States is currently ranked No. 25 in the world.
Forty-five states have banded together to more-or-less develop a “national curriculum” and some unified standards. Currently we have 50 states stumbling over one another. Common Core will bring some unity to the national education system. The Common Core “national” standards simply state what skills students should have at each grade level. It does not tell the schools how to teach the various subjects. It is not a movement to take away local control of the schools. Teachers still have the freedom to be creative and teach however they want to, just as long as they get their students to meet the standards. I might also mention the Common Core was created by the National Governors Association and the chief state school officers.
Something needs to be done to improve our school systems at every level. I believe the Common Core movement is a step in the right direction. Of course, the politicians will probably muck it up. They (the politicians) control funding and are constantly wanting to cut funds for education. Missouri is ranked No. 44 in funding for education. You also have politicians who want to tie teacher evaluation to the Common Core. Teacher evaluations were not part of the Common Core as originally designed.
We need to support our schools . . . students, teachers, administrators, and board members. Our future is in our kids and schools. If it means raising our taxes so we we can build a building, but technology, hire the best teachers we can, then we need to step up and do it. The old adage of “you get what you pay for” is so true.
I personally don’t want to take a backseat to 24 other countries. I want to be No. 1 in every category across the board.