The way education and testing standards should be approached is not an easy matter. There is not only plenty of variety across various states and locations, but each individual child is unique in their path towards academic success. However, there does need to be certain standards that schools need to meet in order to provide a good education and prepare children for college and the workplace. It seems apparent that the system that was in place before common core was introduced was incentivizing schools to decrease their quality of education instead of increase it. However, is holding every school and child to one universal testing standard the right way to enhance education? If so, what should those standards be? And who should decide them?
On one hand, it makes sense to hold everyone to one equal standard. It does not seem fair that children may be given poorer education and held to a lower standard of academic achievement solely based on the state they live in. Holding every school to the same standard ensures that every school has set guidelines on the material that needs to be covered in each grade and creates a more level playing field across states. However, will such a standard truly promote equality? Students have a variety of learning styles, strengths and backgrounds; universal testing standards could narrow the scope of academic “achievement” to predetermined national standards as opposed to considering each individual child’s strengths and weaknesses. The test would almost certainly promote mastery in certain skills over others, as well as solely rely on standardized testing to measure mastery in these skills. Can a standard be created that holds schools all around the country accountable for providing a high quality education while recognizing and accounting for the diversity that exists among students?