We at Eagle Rising are excited to introduce y’all to our newest writer – Young Publius. Publius is our correspondent behind the lines in the public school system of Illinois. Today he’s writing to explain to the rest of us what Common Core really looks like. Please give Young Publius a warm Eagle Rising welcome!
The federal government has developed a new platform for American education: the Common Core Curriculum.
The leftists have been promoting it across the liberal mainstream media. There is a minor hole in the media’s coverage of Common Core; they never ask the ones being affected by this platform: the students. In order to establish my future statements, I am a sophomore in high school; I am an honors student participating in the college prep course.
Recently I was “selected” to participate in a “test of the test” for the new Common Core state test (the PARCC) which is set to replace the PSAE in the state of Illinois. On paper, Common Core sounds like a good idea, asking a student to explain how they got the wrong answer to a math problem and if they can explain their answer giving them credit for their work; however, in the long term, this will only undermine the American education system. We all (I hope) have been taught that 2+2=4. Under Common Core, if a student answers with 5 instead of 4, and can explain their answer, the student will receive credit.
School officials have said that Common Core is meant to drift towards the “how” and “why” questions instead of correct computation.
On Tuesday, April 8, 2014, I took the PARCC test.
The test administrator handed out the test booklets and answer documents. Once time began all the students started working on the test. The first part of the test banned the use of calculators. I did not mind this because I usually prefer to write down my work, so I was not overly concerned. Then I saw how the rest of the test was going to go. In order to find the answer to one of the problems I needed to know the square root of eleven (which is a prime number) and it rendered the problem unsolvable.
In the second part of the test I was asked to explain my answers, and my mathematical computation did not count as the explanation. There were other problems that did not even involve math; all I needed to do was write a paragraph about a certain item to gain credit. Then there were the graphs. For me personally, graphs are not a major issue, when they are labeled. This test gave me multiple graphs that had no indicators of which axis represented a certain part of the problem, not to mention on many of these problems there was contradicting information. These problems were unsolvable.
There was evidence of score inflation as well (I will be brief). The only students selected to take this test in my high school were all honors students. No students from general studies were present. This is not derogatory towards the average students; I am simply stating the state is attempting to make Common Core look better than it actually is.
In conclusion, Common Core is a bad concept that will ultimately backfire on the American education system, as well as the American youth.