Was the Common Core movement simply botched or just renamed? We know that most states have adapted their state standards to align with but not mirror Common Core standards. We also know that there is substantive reasons for concerns over the suitability of the standards especially for primary school age children.
Yes, the tests are also not perfect. Even worse, the test and punish mentality is worse than the problems that Common Core is supposed to correct. You cannot use the ‘drill and test’ instructional method to teach critical thinking and problem solving. The tests themselves, moreover, are a work in progress. Questions are complex and testing is time consuming. If the end of year assessment paradigm were scrapped for a periodic diagnostic testing program, everyone would benefit.
The deeper question that has to be addressed is: Why the Common Core in the first place? Politicians and educational policy analysts are grappling with a genuine concern for the future opportunities for our children. They clearly are–too often–using strongman techniques to get their message across. What message is it? It is one we need to hear.
The World Economic Forum just published its report on The Future of Jobs. We know that traditional middle and lower middle class jobs are disappearing. New jobs are being created that require different skill sets–and those skill sets tend to change rapidly.
How must the educational sector adapt to meet these new conditions? This is a vitally important issue. Our local district’s advisory council has been charged with evaluating its career and vocational programs. What would the World Economic Forum advise us to do?
- Evaluate job skills programs. They may be short sighted if those skills will change in a few years time.
- Research work force talent trends and skills gaps.
- Evaluate programs for their impact on diverse groups in order to improve workforce parity.
- Reduce the dichotomy between Humanities and Sciences and applied and pure training.
- Encourage alignment of programs with life long learning and skills retraining.
dichotomy between Humanities and Sciences and applied and pure training
life long learning and reskilling