Failure of the State: Education and Common Core
Failure of the State: Education and Common Core

Failure of the State: Education and Common Core

Common core is struggling to fulfill it’s role.

Some interesting news came out around the common core system of education currently being rabidly pursued by the public indoctrination “education” system. The Hechinger Report released evidence that one of the first states to deploy the standard curriculum, Kentucky, is creating an education gap between the races.

This isn’t really news for Common Core in KY though. It’s been a persistent problem for the 5 year span of its existence in that state. It’s not really surprising either, when you see examples of what is being taught.

Let’s take a look at my favourite fail to date – the pizza question:

This teacher fails to understand that 5/6ths of a 6" pizza is less than 4/6ths of a 12" pizza. Common Core fails hard.

This teacher fails to understand that 5/6ths of a 6″ pizza is less than 4/6ths of a 12″ pizza. Common Core fails hard.

 

Now, anyone with any basic numeracy skills can see the problem with the teacher’s analysis of the response. Perhaps it’s just a bad teacher here.

Let’s see if another example shows these “teachers” in a better light:

We seek them here, we seek them there, we seek "friendly numbers" everywhere! Common Core fails again.

We seek them here, we seek them there, we seek “friendly numbers” everywhere! Common Core fails again.

This one was done correctly, but still the teacher chastised the student for not finding the “friendly numbers”. I don’t know about you, dear reader, but I’ve never done mathematics based on which numbers are friendly or not. Maths is an objective science, not a social one. So what is the cause of the drop in pass rates? Is it, as Hechinger claims, simply a change in assessment making it harder for all? Logically that doesn’t make too much sense, as it should affect all demographics equally, or at least the delta (aka the rate of change) in performances should be equitable.

So if it isn’t the students who are the issue (and to say it is their fault smacks of victim blaming to me), is it the teachers? Again, I’m not convinced that’s the problem either, as there are serious flaws with how the current system assesses teaching performance.

Then, could it be the system itself? Well, this seems the most likely cause. First off, long time proponents of the system are starting to change their views, groups like the Gates Foundation in particular. The original vettors of the common core program disowned it before it was ever implemented. That should have been a warning sign. It isn’t just the common core system that is failing us, but the entire concept of state education as it is currently practiced.

Common Core is a Symptom of the Problem, Not the Cause

Common core has never been the real problem. Education has fallen into disarray. The problem is our entire system of education, one adopted almost globally today. Oddly, the system of education we all use and went through was founded in the industrial revolution and hasn’t changed much since. It’s called the Prussian Education System, or the Factory Model of Education. If you click that link, you will quickly understand the flaws in this system, but for those who don’t:

  1. It is a means for indoctrination. If you control the texts children read, you control the narrative. This is something which in today’s world is constantly being challenged by the Internet, but prior to that it allowed a lot of bollocks to be expounded as truth.
  2. It focuses on rote memory and not critical thought. We test to remember facts, not how to effectively apply them. Logical thought is not really the focus of our education system, but memory is critical.
  3. It standardises education to what the government sees as being fit for the public.
  4. Those who do not fit into this system are sidelined. Some kids know they are smarter than everyone else in their class, but due to the boredom this creates they often act out. On the other end of the curve, those with less memory skills, or with learning difficulties, struggle madly to even make par. Then there are those who freeze during tests. Or have mobility problems in their hand (like me, but I benefited from a mom who sacrificed much to get me a private education).
  5. We focus on a generalised form of undergraduate education. Other nations focus on specialisation in higher education, while getting a bachelors degree in the US requires taking a generalised spectrum of courses.

Free Market FTW

The free market can provide a much better way forward. In fact, it already has provided several.

  1. Courses can be done online, with lectures recorded, or run in real time. That cuts overhead down massively.
  2. Textbooks could compete for market share with all the independent schools (like they do in the private sector today).
  3. Those that decide they want a local publicly funded school can fund them collectively in co-operative systems. These will benefit those that go to the school without costing their childless neighbours.
  4. With competition in a market, prices fall. Ergo, the idea that it will cost thousands a year to fund it per kid will be a thing of the past. The easiest way to attract parents to your school is to have a good service at a cheap rate.
  5. Specialist schools in emergent skills could form & provide an education designed to promote that skill and all the skills needed to be proficient with it, instead of requiring specific courses or credits be acquired.

It took me longer to type that short list than it did to come up with those ideas, and I’m particularly fond of the last one. The free market literally has an infinite number of potential solutions, some we can’t even fathom today due to the tech required not existing completely in the present. One day nanites might be used to deliver the complete works of Shakespeare directly into long term memory, or teach everyone kung-fu. We simply do not know the best solution for everyone right now, so let’s try them all and see what works.

Suggested Reading: “Public Schooling Shows The Ineptitude of Government” by Vivre Libre

Born in VA, currently residing in the UK. Actively promoting a free society wherever I go.