Forbes: The Science Of The Common Core

By | October 25, 2014

The following article appears on Forbes.com and was written by Alice G. Walton.  Please follow the link at the bottom to read the article in its entirety.  This is an important piece.

Experts Weigh In On Its Developmental Appropriateness

Last April, comedian Louis CK fired a round of disparaging tweets about his kids’ experience in a New York City public school. His particular gripe was with the Common Core standards that have been voluntarily adopted by 45 states. Among his tweets: “My kids used to love math. Now it makes them cry. Thanks standardized testing and common core!” and “It’s this massive stressball that hangs over the whole school. The kids teachers trying to adapt to these badly written notions.” His commentary got a lot of support from other frustrated parents around the country. Of course, it received some mixed reviews from the media and educators.

forbes_1200x1200Some weren’t having any of it. Alexander Nazaryan wrote a response piece in Newsweek, arguing that while testing kids “to hell and back” isn’t the solution to the U.S.’s lag in education, “introducing a set of national standards is a first step toward widespread accountability, toward the clearly worthy goal of having a teacher in Alaska teach more or less the same thing as a teacher in Alabama. And for those teachers to have to account for what their charges learned. Or didn’t, as it were.” He ends by suggesting that the kids subjected to the new standards will probably be ok, and that objecting to the Common Core is mainly a class issue anyway. “For the most part, the complaints against Common Core and the charter-school movement have come from upper-middle-class parents whose objections are largely ideological, not pedagogical. It’s fun to get angry when you’ve got nothing to lose.”

But this is more than an issue of parental pique. Child development experts and early childhood educators believe that there is actually quite a lot to lose. The issue is not at all ideological, they say – it’s partly pedagogical, and partly psychological. According to experts, a poorly conceived set of standards has the potential to be, at best, fruitless and, at worst, detrimental to the youngest kids who are on the frontline of the Common Core. In the long run, the argument goes, it might be associated with a lot more cost than benefit.

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