Good luck with common core

08/29/2013 4:45 PM

08/29/2013 7:01 PM

The Bee is to be commended for its pro-and-con discussion “Are common core educational standards likely to succeed?” (Aug. 11, Issues & Ideas).

Eleven school districts in California, enrollment totaling a million students, opted to waive the No Child Left Behind and chose the common core program. They are the bellwethers for other districts.

Common core lists in detail for all grades standards in English, history, social studies, science and technical subjects. I think students in the upper IQ ranges could handle them, but not all those enrolled in public schools are above average.

Public education includes learners of all nationalities, abilities and economic levels. California’s school population includes 60 percent of children in poverty – low-income whites, Hispanic and African American. Their backgrounds have caused low test scores for 10 years – a social, not an educational problem. The common core program ignores this factor.

Common core, designed in the East, has won approval of governors in 45 states. To be successful, it should have included those who carry out its dictates – teachers and school administrators. Public education has the responsibility of serving all students; school personnel should have a voice in what is to be taught.

I have not seen cost estimates – materials, for example, and costs of the yearly testing. One opinion writer said $30 per student. For California’s 11 districts with a million students, they are looking at a tidy sum.

I wish them luck.

FRANCIS BURKE

Modesto

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