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Common Core Critic: Kids Do Better With Flexible Learning

By    |   Tuesday, 04 Nov 2014 06:46 PM

A critic of the Common Core educational standards told Newsmax TV on Tuesday that a one-size-fits-all government standard for children's mastery of math and reading is out of step with the strongest contemporary trends in schooling.

"We're in a moment right now in American education with school choice proliferating — charter schools, voucher programs, tax credit scholarships, education savings accounts and homeschooling expanding at double-digit rates," Bob Bowdon of Choice Media, an education news service, told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner.

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In those newer educational settings, which exist alongside — and sometimes in tension with — taxpayer-supported public schools, "What we're really finding is autonomy works best, because different kids need different kinds of schools and different kinds of instruction," said Bowdon, Choice Media's executive director and a documentary filmmaker.

Bowdon said Common Core defenders are confusing standards with education, and in some cases may prevent children from diving deeper into subjects where they demonstrate great aptitude and potential.

"Let's just start with the math standards. Algebra II is the highest level of math in Common Core," said Bowdon.

Beyond that, he said, and with math teachers to be evaluated according to how their students do on Common Core-derived standardized tests, "the question will soon become, what incentive is there to teach math beyond that?"

"Lots of students take pre-calculus or they take trigonometry — courses that are beyond algebra II," he said. "And so that's the kind of the concern people have."

Bowdon argued that schools with more individual say over what, and how, to teach, are better positioned to put children on a good path toward lives and careers that align with their abilities.

"Wouldn't you want ... a great STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math] school for science and math students who are moving on to college in that realm, that might be separate from a great vocational school for kids who are going to be having great careers in the vocational skilled areas?" he said.

"Wouldn't it make sense to have a dramatic art school for kids who are more interested in creative study?" said Bowdon. "Or a great school for special needs kids who shouldn't be thrown away and discarded? They will have lives, careers, and they should be taught too.

"You have to say, does it make sense to use one standard for all of these different kinds of schools and different kinds of kids? More and more Americans are saying no."

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A critic of the Common Core educational standards told Newsmax TV on Tuesday that a one-size-fits-all government standard for children's mastery of math and reading is out of step with the strongest contemporary trends in schooling.
education, common, core
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2014-46-04
Tuesday, 04 Nov 2014 06:46 PM
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