The evidence that does exist suggests that the Common Core represents a small, if shaky, step in the right direction. Critics would be better off recognizing the Common Core for what it is – an imperfect improvement over the status quo – and supporting its successful implementation than fighting a losing battle to repeal what has become a new national norm.
In recent years, polemical critics on both sides have obscured the legitimate issues surrounding the Common Core. Rather than promote rational dialogue, they have caricaturized the issue, depicting the standards as confusing, developmentally inappropriate, and tyrannical on one hand and as near-flawless, research-based brilliance on the other.
Before we push technology into every domain of children’s educational lives, we must develop a more robust research base on the effects such technology might have on student learning. Moreover, we must also consider the opportunity cost of education technology.
At first glance, it sounds misanthropic to criticize President Obama’s new community college plan. How could one possibly criticize a program whose goal is to make community college – a gateway to secure, middle class jobs – free for everyone? However, the implications of Obama’s proposal aren’t as clear as they initially seem. Although the plan is undoubtedly good politics, it is too early to tell if it is also good policy.
The world might be a better place if newspaper columns didn’t exist. Same with news channel and talk radio punditry. The problem with each of these media is the same: they distract from genuine factual reporting while making overblown claims to legitimacy and credibility. In the process, they misinform more than they inform.
Before jumping to conclusions and experimenting on schools with the highest-need students, we must proceed with caution, think carefully, and look at the available research. The scientific method – not the unproven theories of the private sector – provides the safest ground for the development of sustainable solutions to problems in public education.
Until that day comes, though, say no to TFA, or apply only on the condition that you are placed in a school truly desperate for staff. Only by standing their ground can college students force the organization to change for the better. Low-income school districts don’t need under-qualified graduates to serve and then leave. They need well-trained teachers who are in the profession to stay.
In my last column, I supported my arguments about race, gender and class studies by referencing two “primary goals” of a liberal arts education: to prepare ourselves to make the world a better place and to expose ourselves to a wide variety of perspectives and ideas. According to the undergraduate admissions page, the three main…