I firmly believe that a consistent educational standard is necessary for our students to compete on a global scale. A scale which unfortunately, has begun tipping in the other direction.
The Common Core State Standards Initiative, is an education push that seeks to make sure students across our country are being taught to such a standard. The Common Core is a dramatic difference from America's current educational standards system for one primary reason. Until recently, we didn’t HAVE a uniform standard across our nation.
For decades, officials have lamented the fact that it's possible for a third-grader who lives in New Jersey to be considered proficient in a subject area, only to be told that he or she is failing if he or she moves across the border to New York. This inconsistency makes it all but impossible to compare student performance across the country. As a parent myself, so often when I hear the word “common” I assume that this means “uniform” or “same”. After all, how can my little angel be the merely "same” as any other child? My children are not statistics…they are unique and special, after all. However, having common standards does not mean imply that we must have common curriculum. It’s hard to argue that there are tangible advantages to creating consistency in our children’s education. That said, the need for a steady, overarching parameter does not translate to every educator teaching the same lesson, from the same textbook, at the same time.
The biggest problem with the Common Core Standards is that by not involving enough stakeholders on the front end, proponents have opened themselves up to much of the current criticism. According to a Fall 2013 Gallup Poll, among people who have heard of the Common Core, only four of 10 agree “the standards can help make education in the United States more competitive globally; a majority said the standards will make the U.S. less competitive or have no effect.” This failure to effectively communicate the objectives of the Common Core Standards has been one of the biggest deterrents to greater acceptance.
In my opinion what we need is to slow down the expansion of the standards until all stakeholders are able to weigh in with their expertise. After all, our nation's future economic prosperity is at stake.