Is Common Core adequately preparing students for college?

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Errin Ahern studies in the Wilkinson Student Center, during a break between classes. Some critics argue that Common Core does not adequately prepre a student of college. (Natalie Stoker)
Errin Ahern studies in the Wilkinson Student Center during a break between classes. Some critics argue that Common Core does not adequately prepare students for college. (Natalie Stoker)

The national debate surrounding the Common Core Standards is centered around the issues of preparing students for both college and career readiness. Critics question whether it is really preparing students for college-level curricula.

According to Common Core’s main website, the goal of the standards is to ensure that students receive an equal and consistent education nationwide. Furthermore, the standards require that both student and teacher performance be evaluated by standardized tests.

“Common Core helps unclutter the mess that has become our public school system,” said Gregory Schafer, a former adjunct professor for a local community college. “Students and teachers are evaluated on a level playing field, and those evaluations give an accurate result of their understanding of key subjects.”

Although some suggest the standards are straightforward and reasonable, other opinion leaders argue that there is a different consequence and advocate against its implementation.

“Common Core does not adequately prepare students for college,” said Christel Swasey, a lifelong educator and recognized blogger. “In math, the standards put students at least two years behind the high-achieving countries by seventh grade; in English, the standards deprive students of adequate literature.”

The prospectus surrounding the standards has been highly scrutinized for complicating basic curricula, applying vague objectives and, in some cases, lowering state standards, according to TeachHub.

According to a study issued by the Pioneer Institute, the standards fail to prepare students for admittance to selective four-year colleges based on critical science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Yet, despite the voices advocating against the standards, nearly every state has adopted the Common Core Standards and their fundamentals.

“The academic alarms (surrounding Common Core) are only temporarily significant problems,” Swasey said. “Control of the standards has become the real issue.”

As the culture of college and world education becomes more demanding and expensive, the Common Core Standards will require consistent innovation and improvement, according to About.com.

However, without public ability to change the standards and its requirements, critics of Common Core rely on word of mouth, community awareness and community support.

“The fact is that Common Core Standards are held under copyright by those who wrote them,” Swasey said. “Local control is quickly vanishing as all states align standards, tests, textbooks and teacher training to one-size-must-fit-all.”

For more information about Common Core Standards visit Christel Swasey’s blog, www.whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com, or visit www.corestandards.org

 

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