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Common Core Standards Research Paper

The U.S citizens are dissatisfied with the K-12 education for a good reason. Despite investing in education compared with any other progressive nations in the globe, the U.S 15-year-olds rank 23rd in science congress and 31st in the math contest. Therefore, the U.S should seek immediate solutions to avoid becoming a third-world nation.

The latest idea initiated by the Common Core State Standards, which has been embraced by 45 nations, has stirred considerable argumentation and stimulating the opposition. Although Common Core was introduced in 2009 and has received broad media coverage, including serving as a form of entertainment by famous comedians, 61% of petitioners to a recent Gallup poll addressed that they were less informed about it (Gallup 54). At the summit, education is highly valued and parents’ dedication, and educators devoted to developing student’s minds and hearts. However, it is still not clear whether the top down, uniform standards initiated by Common Core interest or aggrieve American youths.

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The Common Core is a government-led initiative that was created when several governors expressed the desire to form standard milestones to evaluate what students require to know to be ready for education and career. Inspired by several experts, the initiative is not contracted to serve as a state curriculum because it is prohibited by the General Education Provisions Act (Altbach & Salmi 242). Instead, Common Core’s directive is to standardize the level of requirement in English and Mathematics that guarantees parents that children in their state and in other states are treated equally.

The Common Core was established by several advocates who believed that the U.S high school graduates are not satisfactory for college. About 60% of students joining the 4-year colleges are expected to take remedial courses in Mathematics or English, while 75% of students joining 2-year colleges require remedial instruction in either or both of those subjects (Enders et al. 254). These corrective studies cost colleges, families, taxpayers, and students billions of dollars. And it is obvious that if students fail to study in colleges, they are definitely not proficient in the workplace. Therefore, most states have embraced the Common Core in a bid to offer standard regulations for academic prosperity, prepare students for studies and the workplace as well as improve educational performance in the U.S. Supporters find these targets, and their manner of approaching them is completely safe. Defiance to Common Core is identified as an ideology case exceeding common knowledge. But developing opposition from greater levels indicates that Americans are worried that the initiative may cause more troubles in U.S educational problems and introduce a layer of bureaucracy that would constrain power from those who understand students best.

The implementation of Common Core has been facing various challenges. For instance, many educators argue that math questions are poorly structured, and math standards are inadequately classified. However, this article shall be focusing on the larger problem that is the knowledge behind the initiative, which is assumed to be severely misguided for various reasons. To begin with, it appears that Common Core warrants national leadership rather than teachers and parents, but in reality teachers and guardians are more exposed to children rather than office workers who rarely associate with students. The founder of Common Core, David Coleman, a Rhodes Scholar and Yale graduate, has no experience in teaching, yet he and his colleagues have been given greater mandate over academic evaluation, standards, and content. Additionally, when educators’ success is evaluated by their compliance with Common Core, they – instead of taxpayers, guardians, and community – are made responsible especially to the administrators of those regulations. In this manner, power is seized from the local community and given to several supervisors who expect educators to attain particular goals in a specific manner without considering how individual students learn best. Brittany Corona, an analyst, recently informed the summit that Common Core will definitely cause a shift in decision-making power. Under the current state guidelines, if parents have enquiries about what is being conveyed in classrooms, they are free to inform their child’s principal, local school board, or district office. When information is concentrated nationally, the state transfers its educational policy-making authority, and parents cannot address their grievances to local leadership.

The Common Core concentrates on uniformity rather than customization. Diane Ravitch, an education-policy analyst, states “Beneath the Common Core principles there exists a blind faith in curriculum standardization and evaluations, and, perhaps, of students as well” (Shannon 112). Common Core assumes that uniformity, rather than customization based on unique education requirements, offers best services to children. There is also a likelihood that standardization of instruction techniques will lead to standardization of academic information. George Will, a conservative columnist, insists “What commences with basic national regulations must produce unavoidable pressure to regulate educational content.” Curriculum models, metrics, targets, and standards influence conformity in informatory content. Washington State is already supporting the structuring of SAT, ACT, and GED tests with the Common Core (Will). By getting more support, these tests will generate more curriculum resemblance. The entire act will gradually affect parental empowerment, and none of these will avoid the education politicization like what is already present in higher education (Arias 23). While regulated content and instruction may prove to be a good idea apparently, experienced leaders are worried that it embeds the will of people whose will is to utilize the education system to inculcate students into specific politically valuable beliefs. For instance, there has been a state effort established to coordinate learning on climate diversity. In 2010, Arne Duncan, the education secretary, promised that the Education Department would assume the leadership role in educating the new generation and training them to nurture their skills through green jobs. “Teachers have a major role in education because they educate students on climate diversity, and define the science behind it, as well as the best way to regulate the planet through our daily activities”, Secretary Duncan insisted (“The Greening of the Department of Education”).

The Common Core limits progress instead of promoting it. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush recommended the approval of Common Core. He argued that the standards would facilitate more innovation in schools and poor standardization (Bigham 187). However, practically, the initiative has done literally the opposite. Even though advocates insist that the initiative give tutors flexibility by allowing them to be innovative as long as they attain specific milestones, the practical realism is distinct. In the states where the initiative has been implemented, learning has already been exposed to extreme adherence to resources and time to regulate preparation. Furthermore, Common Core is determined by the application of standards that do not warrant better education performance. High standards seem like a better idea, but they are accompanied by high expenses and are no assurance of success. States with extreme standards do not necessarily outshine those with lower, and most of the countries like Canada that outmatch the U.S in science and math lack national standards. A closer attention is required to comprehend the role of the state standards in other nations before declaring that state standards would maintain the same desirability in the U.S (Brukey, Lindsey, & Marshall 6).

The Common Core omits the mark of education. The reforms that are being introduced in learning institutions across the nation have been suited specifically to prepare students for further studies and career. But in order to meet that objective, learning institutions are pressurized to allot fewer literary works as students graduate to high school. It is unclear whether explanatory texts produce satisfactory workers, but it is absolutely clear to many teachers that excluding classical literature spearheads devaluation of cultural knowledge. According to Anthony Esolen, professor at Providence Institution, by indicating that teachers are not offering functionaries, Common Core bears disgrace for great efforts of human art and knowledge in literary form. In reality, teachers are shaping people’s hearts and minds. If education targets to assist children to develop into maturity, competent in seeking the truth, encouraging goodness and practicing self-mastery, then administrators should reevaluate whether Common Core is a better idea. Constraining local control in order to maintain uniformity, while nurturing the creativity of educators and avoiding the great books is not a process for success and could even worsen the problem.

Adequate education services will assist children to develop their reasoning ability so that they can withstand reality and abide by it. The study of science and mathematics should encourage an appreciation of beauty, and order of God and God’s rules, while the comprehensive study of great literature should foster the consideration of external reality regarding evil, life, human nature, and death (Strauss). Certainly, students strive to prepare to earn a living, but they also require the understanding of how to make a life. The exploration of history and literary work is not entirely a workplace quest, but rather a way of assisting students to understand the reality of human nature and succeed as human beings, not just as employees. If primary and secondary education targets to inculcate students with a spirit for learning, appreciation of nature and nature’s rules, and craving for truth, then Common Core will undoubtedly disappoint. What is, therefore, recommendable is transparency. When learning institutions are transparent, providing easy access to instruction standards and the efficacy of their programs, guardians are able to evaluate whether a particular institution is the best match for their children. Instead of regulating academic contest and evaluating through bureaucrats, the people, including teachers and parents, closest to the children should be empowered. However, if the teachers fail, they should be held responsible by their community. Advocating for the progress of school transparency, Susanna Loeb and David Figlio, tutors at Stanford University and Northwestern University, argue “The comprehensive economic literature on the task of information on product standards indicates how effective information disclosure can affect the markets, and it is usual to anticipate that a major reference of consequences of school responsibility would be local and community pressure prompted by continuous accessibility of information” (Levine 186).

Choice is a better alternative when implementing the Common Core standards. When guardians are given the opportunity to select the best learning institution for their children, schools become subject to parents’ approval. In such situations, parents evaluate the standards of the education offered to their children. As quoted by Brittany Corona, “Choice places the student’s first and most crucial educator, who is the parent, in the driver’s seat, allowing parents to suit learning options with their children’s requirement” (Schneider 65). School choice, which is empowered through academic savings accounts, vouchers, special-care scholarship and instruction tax credits, forces institutions to engage each other and develop innovative techniques to nurture the students. The association of choice and transparency will unleash the creative potential of educators, make institutions accountable to parents rather than the Common Core administrators, and let guardians give more attention to their children’s education. For instance, Christians who have been discontented with the local education system have sought alternative ways, including homeschools, classical institutions, and Christian institutions. Christ-centered teaching progresses beyond instilling basic skills to something vital to every society, which improves virtue. In such institutions, educators are free to teach students according to the right ways. For instance, Doctor D. Bruce, the chairman of Paideia (a private K-8 school dedicated to nurturing children through Christ-based education), informs the summit that parents have several objectives in educating their children (Strauss). Bruce argues that whether at home or in a formal setting, the best alternative for education is basing it on intentional worldview.

The best solution to children’s education is to teach them in the manner they understand better. K-12 education is unsatisfactory because it omits the crucial aspects of child development. Despite a few hitches, it is evident that the Common Core standards have been established in reaction to this problem. The regulations set by the initiative ensure that there is uniformity of school standards which enhance the parent and child relationship, the teacher and student relationship, and much more potential areas. When students get informed in the correct manner, they gain an entire picture of reality, whereby they are allowed to apply the external sincerity to their lives. Through this means, students are able to properly balance passion and reason, and seek truly worthy things.

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Works Cited
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Altbach, Philip G, and Jamil Salmi. The Road to Academic Excellence: The Making of World-Class Research Universities. World Bank, 2012.
Arias, Bianca. Fostering Critical Thought Alongside the Common Core State Standards. Portland State University, 2015.
Bigham, Jared T. The Common Core Standards. Alpha Publishers, 2015.
Burke, Lindsey M, and Jennifer A. Marshall. “Why National Standards Won’t Fix American Education: Misalignment of Power and Incentives”. Backgrounder. No. 2413, 2010.
Enders, Jürgen, Ben Jongbloed, and Theo A. Toonen. “Public-private Dynamics in Higher Education: Expectations, Developments and Outcomes”. Transcript Verlag, 2015.
Levine, Michael P. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Center for the Study of Language and Information, Stanford University, n.d.
Schneider, Mercedes K. “School Choice: The End of Public Education?”. Teachers College Press, 2016.
Shannon, Patrick. “Common Core Standards (U.S.).” (2018). doi:
Strauss, Valerie. “Catholic Scholars Blast Common Core in Letter to U.S. Bishops.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 2 Nov. 2013,
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