This quid pro quo is something that should trouble parents--as they possess a prior right to the Church and the State when it comes to educating their children--and has rightly toubled many parents.
Why? They understand the threat Common Core presents, as it transforms the government's "interest" in seeing to it that citizens are outfitted with the common core of knowledge and skills deemed necessary for bearing the responsibilities of adult citizenship into the government's "right" to educate children as the government deems fit.
Those seeking the adoption of Common Core disagree, of course. Rightly, they assert that those standards need to be identified, taught, and assessed to ensure that children learn what they need to learn.
That's a terrific idea. But, it is problematic in that the content of those standards--what's conveyed to children in schools by teachers--belongs, by prior right, to parents not government.
That's the philosophical argument in this debate that many parents don't "get." They have no problem at all in allowing the government to confiscate what belongs to parents by right because, after all, the believe it's the government's "role" to educate children.
It's state's role (and the Church's as well) to assist parents in carrying out what is theirs by prior right. Providing that assistance is in the interest of both the Church and the State.
But, there's another problem with Common Core that supporters don't want to discusss, namely, there's no real evidence that the Common Core standards will improve student achievement. According to a Wall Street Journal article, educational research indicates:
- There are states with high-quality standards that produce high levels of achievement (such as Massachusetts), but there are also states with high-quality standards and poor student achievement (such as California).
- States with high standards improved their National Assessment of Education Progress scores from 2003 to 2009 "by roughly the same margin as states with awful ones."
- The Department of Education has released three reports finding no link between student achievement and the difficulty of state tests.
- Students in countries such as South Korea (which has national standards) do perform better on international tests than American students. However, Canada lacks national standards (and funds both government and non-goverment schools), and its students also outperform American students. Furthermore, Americans perform better than students in some countries who do have standards.
This lack of evidence suggests that teachers not standards are what make the difference when it comes to student achiement, not standards. Research indicates that students of effective elementary school teachers gain one half-year of learning compared to students of ineffective elementary school teachers.
Parents possess the prior right to choose the schools their children will attend, not a government monopoly. Common Core is a scheme which avoids the philosophical discussion about who possesses the right to educate children as well as the lack of evidence that its standards will improve student achievement.
Let the discussion begin...
To read the Wall Street Journal article, click on the following link:
"Common Core Has a Central Problem."