Genary Gomez Mr. Scheiner English Period #4 11/21/13
Argumentative Essay on Common Core
“Without Common Core we (America) are not where we want or need to be.” The New York Times reported this in August, 2013. Currently, every state sets its own curriculum for its schools. The result is that the United States ranks “25th in math, 17th in science, and 14th in reading compared to students in 27 industrialized countries.” Without national standards, students depend upon the luck of where they were born or schooled to get a comprehensive education that will prepare them for life. If the United States is one of the wealthiest nations of the world, why are we doing so poorly in education? The Common Core curriculum is a potential solution to this complicated problem.
According to the New York Daily News, New York City students are doing poorly in both English and Math. And the numbers get worse as time progresses and Common Core is implemented: from a high of 81.8% in English and a 68.8% in Math (2009, before Common Core), to a low of 29.6% in Math and 26.4% in English (2013).
These scores show that students did worse once Common Core curriculum was implemented. The New York State Department of Education sets the curriculum for all the schools in the state. Teachers prepare their lessons according to this curriculum. Do the test scores mean that New York State standards were too low before Common Core or that teachers were poorly trained in teaching the Common Core curriculum? Is the Common Core curriculum a good enough one to prepare students for success in life? If it is, we better start training our teachers better.
Some will argue that teachers aren’t being trained enough in the new Common Core curriculum because their students are doing poorly. This ties teacher performance to student achievement. So, in order to be rated better, teachers have to prepare their students better.
Common Core is supposed to move schools toward a more challenging, writing-intensive curriculum. But what is Common Core?
The National Review in May of this year in an article titled, Two Moms vs. Common Core explains: “Common Core is a set of math and English standards developed largely with Gates Foundation money and pushed by the Obama administration and the National Governors Association. The standards define what every schoolchild should learn each year, from first grade through twelfth, and the package includes teacher evaluations tied to federally funded tests designed to ensure that schools teach to Common Core. Over 40 states hurriedly adopted Common Core, some before the standards were even written, in response to the Obama administration’s making more than $4 billion in federal grants conditional on their doing so. Only Texas, Alaska, Virginia, and Nebraska declined. (Minnesota adopted the English but not the math standards.)”
I want a quality education. I’m part of the next generation. People in charge now aren’t going to be in charge when I become an adult. My generation will be making decisions and if we make the wrong decisions, there will be big consequences. For this reason, it’s important to have high standards so that kids who are currently in school will have the benefit of the best education possible, regardless of where in the country they live and what their economic status is
I come from the Dominican Republic where it’s expected that every student takes state tests in order to progress to the next grade. So it was no big deal to take some of the state tests here in New York. My teachers prepared me well throughout the year. Math is math wherever you go, as long as you understand what the instructions are. My biggest problem came with English because it was my second language. I remember that in 8th grade, some parents refused to send their...
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