A not-so-shocking new report that was recently released by the folks behind the college prep exam, the ACT, found that the Common Core was stunningly deficient in preparing students for college.
“The data highlights the disconnect between what is emphasized in the Common Core and what some college instructors perceive as important to college readiness.”
Specifically, the ACT report reveals the following findings:
- While secondary teachers may be focusing on source-based writing, as emphasized in the Common Core, college instructors appear to value the ability to generate sound ideas more than some key features of source-based writing.
• Some early elementary teachers are still teaching certain math topics omitted from the Common Core Standards, perhaps based on the needs—real or perceived—of students entering their classrooms.
• In addition, many mathematics teachers in grades 4–7 report including certain topics relevant in STEM coursework in their curricula at grades earlier than they appear in the Common Core.
Along with its report on the findings in general, ACT has released a policy report titled ACT National Curriculum Survey 2016—Education and Work in a Time of Change which highlights findings that are particularly relevant to current education policy issues. The policy report points to four key conclusions:
The need to prepare students for college and work success is still of paramount necessity in K-12 education.
• Nonacademic skills are important for success in college and the workplace.
• Teachers may need to place greater emphasis on students’ technology skills, especially in the context of computer-based assessments.
• Overall, K-12 teachers tend not to use large-scale assessment results in the classroom.
Common Core’s math standards don’t give the kids the skills they need to succeed in the college classroom. The English standards don’t prepare the students for the analytical rigors of college; in fact, the report finds that many new college students cannot actually distinguish between opinion, fact, and reasoned judgment! The biggest takeaway from the ACT report should be this – centralized education for a nation of more than 300 million people can never work effectively. The best way to prepare our children for the future is to decentralize and give more authority and control back to parents and their local communities. They know their kids best, and they are in the best position to make wise decisions about the education needs of their children.
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