Common core standards are championed as a way to make sure every child, no matter where they live or what school they go to, has access to quality education that will help them master the skills they need to be successful. However, common core standards can also be seen as a way to benefit schools and students that achieve that standard and hold back the ones the ones that don’t.
It is no surprise that academic achievement is correlated with socioeconomic status. Students who live in impoverished neighborhoods and attend schools in those neighborhoods often lack the resources available to schools in neighborhoods with students of higher socioeconomic backgrounds. To simply hold all schools and students, without considering such factors, to the same standard can very easily result in a widening of the opportunity gap that currently exists. This will be especially true if the schools that are the most successful with common core receive the most funding.
However, I do not think Governor Brown’s proposal of allowing parents to opt out of common core standards will solve this problem. In fact, I believe that could very easily widen the opportunity gap as well. The students who will most likely be struggling with the common core standards are likely to be students affected by the opportunity gap in the first place, and simply allowing parents to have them opt out of common core standards seems like it can have the same effect as the system that was in place prior to common core which involved certain schools having easier tests than others. I think the biggest challenge with common core standards is setting the standards somewhere that will not be too challenging, but challenging enough for the vast majority of students.
- With the vast diversity that exists among students across the nation, do you think such a standard is possible?
- What kinds of things can we do to ensure common core does not increase the opportunity gap in education?