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Education and common core, comparative understanding, the bell curve.

Updated on December 13, 2013

Not all should enter

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Education is not a noun and it is not a book.

Why oh why are people graded comparing them “against” others? Education should be a way of life not a business model. Education is right here and right now. Common is not a word we use to promote excellence. Education is poorly done when trying to make it common. Is the notion of comparative understanding as a competence level correct?

We ran a forum by folk and learned much about views on education. I may quote some here and so here is the link to the forum: http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/118754

I have never seen a corporation that evaluates performance across divisions and departments using a common matrix. I suppose you could do it but why would you compare an accountant with a salesman?

Sometimes a blank page speaks volumes

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A common problem or a standard problem.

Is standardization and common the same term? Apparently to the governments of this world the terms are synonymous. Here is a seldom understood fact. In the USA all children go to what we call high school or at least nearly all. That would be about people from the age of 14 years old to 18 years old for four years in that age group. It seems we still use the term mandatory.

Now in many eastern/oriental/Asian jurisdictions or venues children do not go mandatorily to the equivalent “high school”. In fact for most of the population, passing tests to get into high school is required.

We don't need no education

In other words, the equivalent of high school is not a right/mandatory through the world.

So along come these world test scores for determining the education throughout the world. In other words we like to compare nations against each other in determining the level and quality of educational systems. So you take 250 nations and compare them to each other to determine which nations students are the “best” educated. (even the sentence hardly makes sense)

Well do you test the 70% of non-high school “students” in China --- no, of course not. You see if a country only educates the top 30% of young people through the high school level then those are all of the children that are included in the evaluation.

Well along comes the USA and every child must go to high school and so we test every child.

See the problem with comparative based evaluations?

Here is where we learn

Source

Now use the same logic in comparing student to student.

Sorry but it does not work either

Children raised in cornfields in Iowa and children raised in inner cities in New York speak different languages and have different frames of reference. At least I think we should all hope so. Standing in lines and taking subways and living in apartment buildings is a whole other world than a farm home where the lines are rows of crops the transportation is a truck or horse and books are read instead of computer screens.

Here is another fun fact about these ratings

Private schools in the USA are not necessarily factored into the numbers. So that from China only the top 30% are tested, and here in the USA about 20% percent of our top students are not tested and included.

So what we are really seeing in these statistics ranking countries regarding the quality of education is really slanted and not helpful at all if used in comparative analysis. We include and they exclude. They test only their best while we test all of the rest.

Now about these teachers

Some teachers are making a big fuss against our common core educational agenda. They claim that the standardization notions require them to teach for testing and not for learning. They suggest that the common notions being required leaves no time for other activities, teaching and learning.

The more we look into that the more a stack of garbage it becomes.

I suppose we can have slow learners in school. Well if that is true we can also have slow teachers in school. It just is a fact. Some teachers are not up to the challenge of being a good teacher. Just because someone got a degree, diploma and certificate does not make them a qualified teacher. Just think about it, all it means is that they are good test takers. Because someone taught them how to take tests it does not mean they learned how to teach.

Did you learn anything?

Are you competent in common knowledge?

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Common core is just that.

It really is just about being commonly competent. The Iowa farm boy and the inner city slicker should all know common facts and core concepts. What is most scary is that there are educators that cannot reach that base level and not have time to inspire creativity and global approaches.

It would appear that taxpayers have a right to demand that our school systems produce young people with a decent knowledge of the common core.

Now with that said, not all children are capable.

Some young people just are not that bright. We have got to devise a system that separates our youth by capacity. That may sound harsh but it is not in the long run. What is wrong in the long and short term is making teachers teach all students to be equal. Why should smart Jody be handicapped by dumb Johnny? I know that sounds just too mean and cruel but it is a reality.

America does not have the resources to make all students equally knowledgeable. It is not up to the government to hold Jody back so that Johnny can catch up. And it is equally not up to our government to force Johnny to be as knowledgeable as Jody. If you think about it that system is and will always be insane.

Truly I hope this hub raised more issues than it solved.

We are not bound to all end up equal. We are all born equal in the eyes of the creator but we are not made equal in the sense that we are all common. There is not commonality of intellect. So why try to force that false reality onto the citizenry?

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      As a former teacher, I will say that you bring up some valid points....I left teaching because of he insanity that it had become....this concept that we were all born with equal abilities and should be given the same grades....it simply is not true....anyway, have a great day my friend. Well done.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hey Bill, I would not mind getting a b in a class where the best they could give you was an a. Enjoy the day!

    • VVanNess profile image

      Victoria Van Ness 3 years ago from Prescott Valley

      Being a public school teacher for about 7 years, I can easily tell you that "standardized testing" has certainly caused more problems than it has solved.

      At this point education becomes teaching students, even kindergarten and first graders, to answer test questions so they can pass the test, rather than being a process of learning skills that can help them to function in the real world and look at life a little differently.

      All of this with no regard to different learning styles, different learning speeds, and different ways of showing current knowledge. Imagine asking all first graders, at the beginning of the year, to read history, science and math standardized tests all by themselves, and then "grading" them on their knowledge of each of the subjects regardless of whether or not they could even read the tests. Talk about angry teachers.

      And then to top off the whole scary cake, teachers and administrators are receiving bonuses and incentives for high scoring students, which ultimately leads to what? Absolutely! Cheating! Ding ding ding!

      What a great system we have! And to think we are comparing ourselves to schools in other countries where education is actually well thought out and valued.

      Voted up, useful and interesting! Nice job Eric!

    • Brian Prickril profile image

      Brian Prickril 3 years ago from Savannah, GA

      It's this whole "No child left behind, thing". Nobody loses on the little league field anymore, either--everyone gets a trophy! Life is not fair. It's cruel at times, too. We're setting young people back by sheltering them from hard reality. Eventually they're going to find out. And by then, they won't know what on earth to do.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you, wow that is really insightful and inciteful (at least that should be a word ;-) WanNess they sure messed up losing you.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Brian, I had totally forgotten about whole notion of no winners in children's sports. I just started looking into soccer leagues for my youngest -- oh dear. When my elder son played the kids just laughed at us coaches saying that we "tied". "You want us to lie?"

    • VVanNess profile image

      Victoria Van Ness 3 years ago from Prescott Valley

      Thanks!! I really loved being in the classroom!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Teaching is great fun. It is like creative writing for me, just part time volunteer.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Eric - I couldn't agree with you more. We are equally loved by God and have (hopefully) equal rights under the law, but we are not equal in any other meaningful way. Some are fast, some are slow. Some think mechanically, some think metaphorically. Some see am amazing world full of equations and some of us fear those same equations.

      And everything else, every unpopular statement you made (according to the masses), I agree with all that too, both from the perspective of a student and an educator. Great Hub. Sharing. Theresa

    • Theater girl profile image

      Jennifer 3 years ago from New Jersey

      Eric, you raise some very interesting points. I have been an elementary educator for 19 years. I have seen the pendulum swing this way and that. But, standardizing how we assess children has never been a good idea as far as I have seen. No one teaching method or assessment works for every child. There is no "magic bullet" That is why, those who know, call it an art.

      Thank you for your engaging essay!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      You give great confidence, my friend Theresa. And I already know you to be a great educator, myself as a student.

    • MG Singh profile image

      MG Singh 3 years ago from Singapore

      Excellent post Eric. You have a grip on the subject

    • NiaLee profile image

      NiaLee 3 years ago from BIG APPLE

      Great article about education. The basis and targets of tests are not really taken in account when countries and states are compared... which makes no sense. Comparing at any cost just does not make sense. My kids go to a private that still have to take continuous state test added to their own teats! My kids have tests almost every week and important tests every month!They spend all their time and I spend a lot of mine preparing for multiple tests. I put had to put my foot down to avoid Saturday academy... yes after two after school for test preparation weekdays 4 to 6 pm in a 8 to 4 pm week, they wanted more... Children don't learn they work for tests and can't even enjoy doing anything, they even worry their teachers will get in trouble if their results aren't good enough.

      What do we do in a world of competition and obsession with money making skills? Reason why so much unemployment when industries change too...

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      NiaLee, keep that foot down. Thank you for sharing that. Wow!

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