2013-08-21 / Opinion

DRAWING CONCLUSIONS -

by Kevin Eastwood

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There are pros and cons to

There are pros and cons to every educational program. However, the new 'Common Core' & the previous 'No Child Left Behind' are and was the very down fall to the US educational system. Prior to the establishment of the Federal Department of Education in 1975, by then President Nixon, the US was number ONE in worldwide education. Then teachers unions and social promotion enters the US education system and the previous years of developing an education system collapses. Teachers union, nationwide are setting education policies & the 'feel gooders', some psychologists, think that not holding children back that are under performing will prevent low esteem later in life. Again tinkering with education of our children, some with good intentions, 'No Child Left Behind' and 'Common Core' pop into the picture thinking spending oodles of time and money testing children and evaluating teachers while administrators, state education boards or committees, who have not or performed in a classroom for 30 years or more and parents and under performing students are left unaccountable. Common Core is putting the cart before the horse. Many students don't even have basic education skills to really graduate high school let alone produce at a level that Common Core requires. We presently have, according a study of 2300 students show, less than 45% show any improvement in critical thinking, complex problem solving or writing skills by the end of their sophomore year in college based on an article by CBS news. Also the article reveals the findings that are in a new book, "Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses," by sociologists Richard Arum of New York University and Josipa Roksa of the University of Virginia. It report argues against federal mandates holding schools solely accountable for short falls & failures. On Lou Dobbs' show,Aug.21st i believe, he sited a report that states only 25% of all high school students have the critical skills for college. Also only 64% have English language skills, 36% have the math skills and 36% have the science skills for college. Yet in 1979 every category was much higher. Before Common Core is implemented maybe back to basics would be in order. I will state two other observations. First parents & students must be more active in the learning process at home or what is taught in school is forgotten. Second, not everyone is suited for college, vocational training at the high school level must be reintroduced again as it was prior to 1975. Trade skilled persons, such as wielders, computerized hydraulic machine operators, electricians, carpenters, machinists, health techs and other job skills are in high demand and can make as much, if not more, than most college degree positions.

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