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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Welcome to the U.S.A., Common-Core Style

I spend a fair amount of time these days looking over the new NY Social Studies high-school "framework."  Ancient Egypt mysteriously disappeared from the course of study.  Naturally, I was horrified, especially given that ancient Egypt was spiritually and physically built for eternity.
The curriculum was formed with the assumption that students will have already learned about ancient Egypt in the earlier grades.  And, I'm sure this will be true of the students who were schooled exclusively in NY.  Of course, a great many of our students are foreign born and many are more recent arrivals, not all from Egypt.  They may not be familiar with the knowledge and/or skill set assumed at each grade level by the architects of the Core.  The lack of Egypt in the curriculum is probably the least of their worries.  Caramba!

I read at Diane Ravitch that 97% of foreign-born students failed the Common Core NY state tests.  If we judge teachers purely by student test scores, then it seems the worst teachers work predominately with the newest arrivals to our country.  

Obviously, one set of standards is not working for all.  Will our foreign-born students ultimately prove to be failures in their new country?  I greatly doubt it.  But are we giving them that impression and may some believe it?  I believe so.  So, Welcome to the good old U.S. of A., Common-Core style!

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