By: Jennifer Rubin
If you didn’t think there could be a debate more irrational and misleading than the one over immigration reform (and the knee-jerk insistence on the misleading term “amnesty” by opponents) think again. Take a look at the arguments these days about Common Core.
Opponents falsely call the Common Core a federal mandate (states developed it) and/or a curriculum (that is left entirely to the states and local school districts). It is, rather, one attempt, or one part of an attempt, to respond to the reality that U.S. kids wind up in remedial classes in college and do a lot worse than a lot of international competitors, especially when it comes to the reasoning skills and proficiencies needed to compete in a global economy. (If nothing else, read Amanda Ripley’s “The Smartest Kids in the World,” but be prepared to be very upset about the state of U.S. education.) There are lots of reasons for this, but many of the excuses (e.g. stratified American society, not enough money, teachers’ unions) miss the mark. And while admirable, school choice is not a cure-all and sidesteps the question of what skills American kids must master.
Those who oppose the Common Core should consider whether their own state or local standards — which might produce results equivalent to those in places like Slovenia or Turkey or worse – are going to prepare their kids for the real world. In short, if we have not been demanding enough of students and teachers — in effect fooling our kids into thinking they are getting a decent education — what do they propose to do about it?
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