I tried to look at the new national education standards as put forward in Common Core with a fair and balanced approach. I went to their website and started on math because it’s the basis for understanding all science, http://www.corestandards.org/Math
Under the new approach, the furthest you can go in high school is algebra. There is no provision for calculus or trigonometry. Under the new guidelines, they schools are funded to the extent that they ONLY teach Common Core. That means that’s all they’ll teach. And it’s a pity because physics requires calculus if you’re going to take it beyond a few science demonstrations such as having an apple fall from a tree. You’ll see it happen, but you won’t be able to explain WHY it happened because that requires calculus.
Then I moved on to English, http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy
and noticed that literature will not be taught at the middle school or high school levels. When I was that age, I read Animal Farm
and later, 1984
, Lord of the Flies
and Fahrenheit 451
. Those are dangerous texts in the age Obama. I’m sure that the Common Core folks would have loved to have included literature if they could have limited reading to Das Kapital
. To avoid controversy, they just cut the whole thing out.
At this point I would normally make a strident plea for the classics to be taught in school, but as the wanna-be president said so eloquently (regarding the Benghazi Massacre), “what difference does it make?”
My sense is that those who put Common Core together want Junior College to be the new high school. I admit that a high school diploma doesn’t mean much anymore when you’re looking for a job. Maybe that’s what drove the people at Common Core? A truck driver doesn’t need to read Thoreau or Emerson? If you work in a factory, why should you study Thomas Paine?
I realize that school officials will cry, “We only have so much time!” My answer is to extend the school day by an hour or two each day if that’s what it takes for an adequate education.