The Common Core Standards are Not So Common

According to a Gallup poll released this week, nearly two-thirds of Americans don’t know what the Common Core State Standards are. As many readers of this blog are aware, the Common Core State Standards are a set of learning standards that are supposed to prepare students for a 21st-century economy by emphasizing critical thinking skills and informational texts in reading, and depth in important math concepts.

Interestingly, while the Common Core Standards were designed to make American students more competitive in the global marketplace, the Gallup poll also showed that only four in ten of those familiar with the initiative think it can actually accomplish that goal.

Currently, 45 states and the District of Columbia are revamping their curricula to line up with the Core. However, many states are having second thoughts about their decision—thanks to a backlash by many who believe the guidelines represent a federal takeover of education. As such, organizers are arguing to delay, defund, or chuck the standards entirely.

What do you think? Should every eighth-grader know how to apply the Pythagorean Theorem? Should fifth-graders be multi-media savvy? Should third-graders be able to write opinion pieces?

The standards were designed to help ensure consistency across the U.S. in math and English, so that students from Seattle to Sarasota are “college and career ready” when they graduate from high school. The guidelines stipulate what students should learn and when.

Is there an inference here that every student should attend college? If so, do you think this is a valid goal for every American student?