Does common core close or widen the opportunity gap?
Opportunity gaps refer to the way in which factors like race, socioeconomic status, community wealth, and other factors contribute to lower educational aspirations, achievement and attainment for a certain group of learners. According to the article, “Gov. Brown ‘Confident opportunity gap’ will close’” there is hope in Oregon for the opportunity gap to start closing. Oregon has been doing lot to try and fix the problem of having the lowest high school graduation rates in the country. Funding has increased for technology programs, $12 million has been allocated to English language learners and of course now all day kindergarten is present in every school. When it comes to common core in the state of Oregon Gov. Brown has passed a bill that makes it easier for parents to opt out of their child taking the test. While she did pass this bill, she does not want the students to opt of out the testing.
If Oregon already had low graduation rates before the common core curriculum was put into place, it is possible that its implementation had widen opportunity gaps in the state. However, it is possible that common core can also help close the gap. With students from all over learning the same things as the same time in all schools, that could assure that everything has the opportunity to learn. There is no certain answer as to what, if anything can help close the opportunity gap in Oregon or in the rest of the country. However, I believe that having standards in place is a good step. The important part is to make sure these standards are being implemented in a way that works for everyone.
Questions to think about:
- Does allowing parents to opt their children out of the common core tests benefit the school system or hurt it?
- Is it possible to close the opportunity gap with just changing the curriculum the schools teach?
- How can teachers best teach students when so many of them enter the classroom on various levels of understanding?