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“End the Core 40” Editorial– Blain Perkins

Test, test, test, review, review, test, and finals. I have, in essence, I have just described common core in the simplest of terms, minus the suffering of intelligent students who can’t “fit” in the system.

Common Core is a one-size-fits-all education policy that assumes every student learns exactly the same. Rather than taking an individualistic policy to appeal to students of all kinds of different learning abilities and general backgrounds, Washington has yet again tried to pass off the entire American youth as one and the same. The fact of the matter is that this doesn’t work. It utterly fails, actually. Some are held back and can’t learn what they truly want to, thus giving up on school entirely because of this. Some are dragged along, barely learning a thing and unable to comprehend the lesson at the rate at which it must be taught, which results in the same thing: Giving up on school entirely. This is the common core.
But that’s not at all the only reason the current educational system has thrown real education down the garbage chute. It has many other problems as well.

These days, it’s not, “How much can you learn, students?” That’s not been the question for a long time. Instead, it’s, “Students, can you pass this test regulated by a group of old men in Indianapolis, then pass the even more important test made by men even farther away from you, in Washington DC?” We’re not getting what we need—we haven’t been in a long time. We’re not learning how to last in the world, we’re learning how to pass a test.

But, students aren’t the only ones suffering and left wanting for more. Teachers are also constantly disappointed with the tyranny of an imposed education system which robs each state and each individual school of its freedom.

Teachers have little power over what American students are and are not exposed to during time spent in their class. They must simply teach what they have been told to teach, or their students will fail the imposed exams. What happens then? They get fired. The result is a much less personal, individual classroom—Education has become more like a business deal than a personal experience. “You will learn this, this and this. In return we’ll give you a degree so you can get this job and make lots of money. Now sign here and get vaccinated.”

I’m not a genius, I don’t know the perfect system. But the problem is that Washington thinks that they do. There probably isn’t a “perfect education system”. I propose only that education be taken out of the agenda of the federal government completely, and mostly out of government in general, with minimal government interaction to ensure students are actually learning.

Standardized testing isn’t evil and doesn’t have to be totally abolished, but the US Government’s current approach to it is and must. There needs to be less government imposed tests, more individual attention paid to each and every student, and a new attitude towards the youth, which will make all the difference in the coming years of our nation.

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