The Common Core Standard program is a federal program that regulates a set of standards for states to follow in preparing students for college and the job market after high school graduation. In essence, the states lose their ability to implement programs that cater to their unique demographics and local characteristics. In the vast career driven civilization prospering today, many young adults are expected to perform at a certain level. So the Common Core Standard program was developed to educate students using the mantra: clearer, higher and deeper that will lead them to prepare them to meet these expectations. Although studies have found that today’s employers are asking for a higher standard in ability from young adults who carry a high school diploma and universities have high expectations for their entering class of college freshman, educators and state leaders don’t believe this federal program is as successful as it portrays to be. Despite disagreement of this program from public officers and educators, the program was implemented and states began to adopt it and some of the results are profounding. Government mandated education standards using Common Core standards is an overreach of federal authority and should be managed by local state education authorities.
Common Core standards have been introduced in an effort to stop U.S. children from continuing to fall behind the rest of the world. (Exstrom & Thatcher, 2014). When the “Standards and Accountability” movement began in the 1990s, U.S. states began drafting standards for their students in order to measure what they are expected to know upon graduation. As the movement continued it gradually trickled into federal control. When the original idea of Common Core standards was introduced, it had support from parents, business executives, politicians and more. (Exstrom & Thatcher, 2014).
Despite the initial support for Common Core guidelines, public opinion quickly turned against it. Many questions began to arise regarding this program. Educators, politicians and others wanted to know how these standards were being formed. (Exstrom & Thatcher, 2014). They also wanted to know who was going to fund the implementation process and what the U.S. Department of Education’s role was going to be. Because these questions were being asked, and also ignored, the controversy began to gain momentum.
Many states have refused to adopt the program and have become active in either preventing or changing the implementation of Common Core. Alaska has completely refused to adopt the Common Core Standard and 27 other states have passed legislation that either eliminate the need to implement Common Core, or would change the requirements. (Exstrom & Thatcher, 2014). These states and others are against the changes that the Common Core Standards will bring and for good reason and those reasons include the prevention of federal powers over states and also the disagreeable standard for teaching K-12.
While initially most people were supportive of the Common Core change, its popularity dwindled as the ideas and opinions of the states and their people were being ignored. When the states ideas and opinions were being ignored, they came to a realization that the Federal Common Standards Program will be just that, a power to the Federal and the states will not have much of a say when adopted. This is ironic since the movement was state-led to begin with (Ferguson, 2014). Many states would prefer to have the right to implement, change and regulate education within its own discretion. Although some states are choosing to write their own guidelines, some of them are consistent with common core standards with a few minor rewordings (March & Peters, 2015). It was not just the fact that the federal administration was ignoring the states ideas and comments, there were more problems latched on to the Common Core Standard.
People are also upset because they felt that teachers and school leaders were being ignored. For instance, they carried the unfair expectation of teachers to learn the new curriculum while also continuing to perform their normal duties (Jones & King, 2012). This concept overwhelmed teachers and school leaders as they were already overwhelmed enough and the fact that they were not being listened to by the federalists was not helping. Instructors who also need to implement CTE instruction have additional hurdles to overcome (Blosveran, Liben & DeWitt, 2014). There is something about giving the federal government control that worries many other state leaders and this in turn effects down throughout the chain.
The states that have adopted the program have some irate teachers that are stating the program is not working for their students. From the article, A New Kind of Problem: The Common Core Math Standards, written by Barry Garlick, he refers to a complaint from a parent whose student is educated within the Common Core Standard. The parent goes on to say:
They implemented Common Core this year in our school system in Tennessee. I have a third grader who loved math and got A's in math until this year, where he struggles to get a C. He struggles with "explaining" how he got his answer after using "mental math." In fact, I had no idea how to explain it! It's math 2+2=4. I can't explain it, it just is. (Garlick, 2012).
The Common Core Standards program is ironically what it represents; it is standard to the core and doesn’t allow for teachers to use algorithms in teaching mathematics or other subjects. Students are being taught as if a robot to just compute the answer as is, without much further explanation. Education is meant to enlighten the student not to program them to become designed to a certain job in the workforce. Education is much more than programming a student, it’s about being connected through knowledge in all realms of subjects. The Common Core Standards program is designed to drill the student into becoming this program, specially designed individual, made to order, for employment at corporations and companies that drive industrialization. Most corporations have a foundation of unethical practices such as pollution, over processed foods, long work hours and unfair wealth distribution. Programming a student to adhere to money based corporations is a detriment to the basis of enlightenment through education. Education should not be taken for granted in any sense, however. It is vital for students to appreciate education, knowledge, professionalism and the value of work in America and that is the core of what students should be taught. That any job in this country is a job worth value and the students should be taught the morality and value of work no matter what the position is. However, students should not be programmed in order to value work and education, they need to be enlightened.
When dealing with the government for any matter, it takes a very long time to come to any type of solution. The barriers, the regulations, the cost and the time involved are extremely intensive. It is vital that when dealing with any type of federal government policy; to attempt to keep localized power as much as possible because the process to undue federal power will take an almost endless amount of energy to reverse. The fact that teachers and state leaders were being ignored is just an example of the uphill battle and that was just the process of them trying to take control. The key is to keep the federal government at bay whenever possible. They don’t need to be involved in the state’s educational system; the state should be the holder of that discretion. This is not to say the federalist don’t have good ideas but this is just to say that they shouldn’t have superior power over their ideas and how they are implemented within the state’s education systems of the United States of America.
In conclusion, given how the states have had little say in forming or approving the Common Core curriculum, it is obvious that the Federal Government has gone forward without the states support. This violation of states’ rights is unnecessary, considering many states are adopting common core like standards with only minor changes. Moreover, the fact that the states for the most part have approved common core like curriculums, it is fair that the states should fight against the overreach of the federal government since this could lead to a pattern.
Blosveran, K., Liben, M., & DeWitt, S. (2014). Common Core: The Challenge and the Opportunity. Techniques, (89), 14-19.
Exstrom, M., & Thatcher, D. (2014). Common Core: Put to the Test. Ncsl.org. Retrieved 20 July 2015, from http://www.ncsl.org/research/education/common-core-put-to-the-rest.aspx
Ferguson, M. (2014). 3 Hurdles for Common Core Adoption. Phi Delta Kappan, 95(8), 68-69. doi:10.1177/003172171409500815
Garlick, B. (2012). A New Kind of Problem: The Common Core Math Standards. The Atlantic. http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/11/a-new-kind-of-problem-the-common-core-math-standards/265444/
Jones, A., & King, J. (2012). The Common Core State Standards: A Vital Tool for Higher Education. Change: The Magazine Of Higher Learning, 44(6), 37-43. doi:10.1080/00091383.2012.706529
March, J., & Peters, K. (2015). Telling the truth about the Common Core. Phi Delta Kappan, 96(8), 63-65. doi:10.1177/0031721715583966