2 Ways Common Core Standards Can Put Us Back on the Map
I have written before about how Common Core has come under attack by almost every type of person you can think of, especially due to its politically-charged nature. Politics aside, though, the standards espoused by Common Core can help American students succeed in an ever-changing knowledge economy.
Consider this: in 1965, just 11% of jobs required post-secondary training, but by 2020, 65% of U.S. jobs will require post-secondary training, according to the Committee for Economic Development.
How can Common Core help us with this, exactly? Let’s look at how.
- Common Core can be our gateway to education equity. To meet the growing demand for post-secondary educated workers, P-12 schools must have rigorous and effective academics in place like the Common Core benchmarks. I’ve always said that our public schools should be the great equalizer when it comes to giving all of our kids the American Dream. These classrooms SHOULD provide access to the same educational opportunities, no matter what the color of the child’s skin or how much money that child’s parents earn. That’s the ideal but it’s far from reality.
Implementing Common Core Standards is one way to improve the equality of quality education in our K-12 classrooms. States are still free to create the curriculum that makes the most sense for their students, but the basic agreement on what kids should learn, and when, should have some national guidance. We also know that to accommodate the rising demand for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math jobs, strong STEM learning initiatives must be in place in our classrooms. We owe it to this generation of students to equip them with what they will need to succeed academically and economically and Common Core Standards are designed to do just that.
- Common Core standards acknowledge the reality of our workforce today and in the future. Generally, in the education community’s frantic pace to stay accountable with each other and the government, I think some other aspects of our society get inadvertently left out of the education process. The business community is one.
However, it seems like the business community is not allowing itself to be left out of the process. You will notice that prominent business leaders, such as Bill Gates, are highly outspoken about educational standards such as the Common Core ones.
Yes, business organizations are concerned about the quality of education in our schools. And, if you think about it, they SHOULD be. These students are, after all, our future workers and the drivers of the American economy.
I’ve heard the argument that teaching our kids in a way that prepares them for the competitive global workforce is treating them as “commodities” and not like children. I suppose there would be some merit to that if science hadn’t proven time and time again that kids thrive in learning environments and that the economic status of your life impacts its quality immensely. Setting our kids up to succeed economically on the world stage not only benefits our nation as a whole, but provides those kids with lifelong skills that will elevate their own quality of life through adulthood. Common Core standards play a big role in helping students become ready for an improved quality of life.
What do you think? Is Common Core judged unfairly? Do you think a set of nationally-imposed standards will prepare us for the growing demands of our changing economy?