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The Common Core Mindset

Common Core curriculum is meant to shape today’s youth and better prepare them for their futures. All inclusive of kids every age kindergarten through 12th grade, this program attempts to ensure that the children of today are as ready as they can be for whatever the college and business world have to throw at them. This program equips them with step by step tools on how to approach subjects such as mathematics, the sciences, literature, and even history. Common Core claims to be a more efficient way for kids to express their individualism as they grow through learning.

My senior year of high school, my school decided to begin implementing this new way of learning into our everyday curriculum. The transition, as you can imagine, was difficult for most, if not all of the students at my school. We were all already so used to finding our own ways to solve for y = mx + b in algebra or to come up with our own creative hypothesis during a biology class. Unfortunately, Common Core felt that the three years of high school that I had already completed were not doing enough to prepare me for college, business, and the real world.

Common Core’s main goal is to eventually have every school nationwide teaching the students the same things in order to have the same educational standards in every state. This makes it easier for the federal government to keep track of who needs to filtered out, making the No Child Left Behind program seem pointless. The No Child Left Behind program was originally established to make sure that kids, that struggled with their academics, such as myself, were able to learn at a pace that made sure they learned and succeeded. However, the sudden injection of Common Core has since taken away the aspect of making sure that students are learning at a pace that makes them successful.

This program has made it so that students can no longer express themselves through creative processing. Instead they are being taught to arrive at the same solution using only the limited tools that they are taught in class. It has taken away the creative expression that I grew up using to explain my answers for a problem. Today’s youth lack the ability to express their creative thoughts. Unification in this program only exists because the students aren’t learning the same thing the same way.

Is Common Core something that the government has made in order to give everyone a fair chance or is this just a program made to benefit the country? I think that the answer is a bit of both. Some states, such as California and Arkansas, have been among the higher test scores, sending their kids to more prestigious institutions like Harvard and Princeton. Common Core teaches students the same thing to give everyone a fighting chance, but I don’t see how overflowing the colleges is beneficial to the student or the country.

Being able to express ourselves through our thought process is one of our most unique talents as human beings. The idea that we can think up several ways to answer the same question and have be right is the beauty that Common Core doesn’t teach. What educational institutions need to see is that all students all learn differently, and that expecting them to conform to one way of learning is something that will only mold this country into a bunch of clones.

I experienced firsthand the divide that this program has brought between those going through school in the 21st century versus those who went to school in the 20th century. When I would ask for help on a problem on a certain problem, my parents weren’t able to help me because they didn’t understand how I had come with the answer that I got or how the work I did to get it was true. I have even seen this between them and my younger siblings.

Common Core isn’t what America needs to make the real world a more accessible and easier place for our youth today. Our youth need to be able to find ways in and out of their own problems and be able to explain how they got there with it making sense. Common Core isn’t helping the future of this country, it is stifling our creativity.

About the author

Kelly Makwakwa

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