Recently at the weekly Bonanza meeting, the topic of the Common Core State Standards and the federal government’s continued involvement in local education was mentioned. Unfortunately, instead of initiating an intelligent discussion it only precipitated an attack on the messenger. Common Core as it changes the depth and content of what our children are taught in public schools should be an important issue for all our citizens.
It is often argued when discussing topics that we should go back to the methods of the good old days, sometimes correctly and sometimes not. We as a nation have made technological progress that makes the simplicity of the good old days obsolete. However in the classroom maybe it would be a wise idea to incorporate modern technology into our old methods of educating rather than overhauling the whole system.
When our 60+ age citizens graduated high school there were few if any who could not read, write and do mathematics at a level of proficiency that dwarfs todays graduates. Many are raising or know of exceptional students that still excel, but these are not the students I am talking about. Rather it is the masses of children who have failed because of a lowering of academic and behavioral standards to meet the needs of socially deprived students.
Ever since our country entered the science of social engineering, creating an entitlement dependent culture, which has now progressed to an expedient political way of capturing votes, our educational system has suffered from bureaucratic destruction. The basis of the material taught has changed from grammatically correct English, scientific, mathematical and historical academia to political correctness and replacement of the parent as the guide to our child’s social and religious morality.
Dumbing down the education and lowering the academic standards to advance in grade or graduate in order to hide the destructive results caused by social engineering do not prepare our children for today’s world. Making the test easier in order for poorly educated students to pass does not achieve any desired result.
Why has amoral behavior, foul language, lack of respect toward teachers and violence of so many students been allowed to damage the education of the masses just because it is not their fault? Why is it that so many of the American high school graduates cannot speak proper English, perform simple arithmetic calculations without a calculator, nor a clue about the history and constitution of the United States or geography of the world?
A large portion of America sees the intrusion of the federal government and our liberal court system as a deterrent to the success of our children academic levels. Certainly others disagree. Children have an enormous capacity to learn if nurtured properly to reverse their deficiencies. This is where the discussion needs participation of a concerned community.
There needs to be a full and honest disclosure of what methods, subject materials and testing our children will undergo in the new Common Core curriculum. Are foreign students smarter than American children or just better educated by their country? I say they are not smarter but are results of a superior educational system with higher expectations.
Richard Reiter is an Incline Village resident.