Is Core Curriculum Rotten?

imagesThere has never been more controversy surrounding an educational initiative than with the common core. Is core curriculum rotten? Most educational experts agree common core curriculum is not the solution to closing the achievement gap. Too bad politicians are the ones with the final say.

Common Core Curriculum is meant to be an equalizing force. However, States with historically low quality, education systems are just falling further behind.
  • With proficiency levels plummeting
  • In West Virginia: 35% failed exit exam for high school
  • In Oklahoma: 33% failed
Algebra in the 8th grade is perhaps the biggest stumbling block
  • With 43% of New Mexico students falling below proficient
  • And 39% of Tennessee students

While core curriculum has improved performance in States with traditionally good education systems, the fact that States with traditional poor education systems have shown no improvement, begs the question…

Is core curriculum a one-size-fits-all pathway governed by abstract government content?
  • Three main arguments for core curriculum
  • Students will learn more if their learning targets are set higher
  • Students will learn more if the passing grade for state tests are set higher
  • And students will learn more if lesson plans and textbooks are all made more complex and rigorous or is it the great equalizing force?

History of Common Core

Historically, a dual educational system included vocational and college-bound tracks. The core curriculum is meant to bridge the gap between these tracks. The conundrum: By forcing a standard (and harder) curriculum on all students, many students fall even farther behind, get discouraged and ultimately drop out. Case study: Algebra
  • Common Core teaches algebra in the 8th grade
  • During a plateau in childhood brain development
  • Making it much harder to deal with and retain new concepts
Rationale: Students with algebra have more options when they graduate, and the earlier one takes algebra, the more advanced courses they can take before college. Real life: When Algebra is introduced too early, it turns kids off to math and is often cited as a reason for a kid dropping out, ultimately leaving kids with fewer options. Is Core Curriculum Rotten? Source: Best College Reviews
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2 Responses

  1. Sherry Perez

    By raising the bar, maybe more will be ready for Algebra in 8th grade. Great article here on brain development and tips to follow. Good news, it seems like grade 8 is the perfect time for Algebra.

  2. Miranda

    What this info graphic does not address is the damage done to our students under the detrimental years of “No Child Left Behind”. Decades of failure to fail or retain students who were not ready to move on to the next grade has left us with high school students who do not understand what it means to not attain mastery level of understanding, with a large population of 5th year seniors, and an increasing number of drop-out students. The “every child passes” mentality that resulted from NCLB flooded our educational system and society with no accountability, no responsibility, over-entitled citizens. Did NCLB work better? No government-imposed educational plan will ever be 100% supported by a nation of diverse viewpoints, but why oppose something in its infancy before the real results have been discovered? Is Common Core really that bad? It’s aim is to promote a nation of critical thinkers, not a nation of passive “teach-to-the-test” robot learners who will get passed along regardless of their learning in any given grade. Give it a chance.