Common Core standards have come under fire recently as states increasingly question their value and ask, “Is Common Core helping or hurting our students?” According to the Higher Ed for Higher Standards coalition, they are necessary for success in college and beyond, writes Allie Bidwell for US News & World Report.
“This is a great pathway for our young people realizing their dreams of graduating high school, attending college and preparing for careers,” said Nancy Zimpher, chancellor of the State University of New York, during a call with reporters. The standards, Zimpher said, are “a blueprint, a pathway for, quite frankly, sealing the leaks in the educational pipeline.”
The coalition claims that if the Common Core implementation continues, with a few renovations, high school students will be more prepared for their college classes.
And just what needs to be changed about these standards? Many believe taking the attention off of the graduation requirements and teacher evaluations, and focusing the attention on the quality of the program implementation is the key.
There are some who believe the Common Core is detrimental to student education, reports Ryan Whalen for TWC News-Buffalo, and that there are better ways, particularly involving teachers, to prepare students for the road ahead.
According to D’Youville professor and vocal Common Core critic Mark Garrison:
“I think the solution has to be much broader and more community-based,” he said. “It has everything to do with the economy, the political system and the culture, and that simply establishing different or higher standards in and of itself isn’t going to prepare people for the 21st century.”
Remedial help is currently reaching half of all students attending two-year colleges, and 20% of students going to four-year schools. Very few of these students end up graduating.
The “sad truth,” Morgan said, is that fewer than 10 percent of those students graduate from community college within three years, and just more than one-third complete bachelor’s degrees in six years.
While colleges are working fast to fix their remedial programs, common core supporters believe that nothing will work as well as fixing the standards so that students enter college prepared for the work ahead.
In 2013, Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, gave a speech calling for a delay of the Common Core implementation. This delay would allow for an overhaul of the standards, that when put in place would permit the success of students, not only in college but in their economic futures.
“If we’re able to step on the accelerator of quality implementation, and put the brakes on the stakes, we can take advantage of this opportunity and guarantee that deeper, more rigorous standards will help lead to higher achievement for all children,” Weingarten said.
Indiana became the first state to officially drop Common Core from its education plans, doing so this past March. Since then, Oklahoma and South Carolina have followed suit.