Folsom Lake College's Online Newspaper
by Nicole Washington
For most college students, thinking of a family is many years down the road. However, the majority of Americans do end up having families, and it is of vital importance that the American population begin to think about what they want their children to learn, and how they want the school curriculum to be taught to their children. This often involves making one decision out of three options; whether to take the child to public school, private school, or home school. However, there is a new set of rules and regulations for public schools that may change a potential parents view: Common Core. But what makes Common Core different from the Bush administration's No Child Left Behind? According to the US Department of Education, “The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (No Child Left Behind) is a landmark in education reform designed to improve student achievement and change the culture of America's schools”. Essentially, the No Child Left Behind Act was meant to be a better resource for catching learning disabilities earlier, providing more information on children’s abilities for parents, along with assessing teacher qualifications more closely.
So if the No Child Left Behind Act was suppose to work so well, how come we have Common Core now? First, lets define what Common Core is: “Educational standards describe what students should know and be able to do in each subject in each grade”. According to the California government’s website, the State Board of Education sets up the standards in math and English and ensures that students in kindergarten through 12th grade are meeting those standards. The No Child Left Behind Act is based more on information gathering for parents, and Common Core is based on having higher standards for children and young adults.
While Common Core may seem like a great idea, many parents are unsure as to whether it is a good idea or not. Many questions are raised. How will Common Core affect children and young adults that are already doing well? How will standardizing the curriculum give help to those who may be falling behind? There is already a lot of standardized testing, why should we standardize the curriculum? How will this affect children and young adults in the long run? Will it make it easier or more difficult for them to get good careers? However, the more important question to ask when preparing to have a family is: what can you do to ensure that your child is getting the proper education, and not just being tested for their knowledge base? While it does seem that the entire world is focused on testing children to make sure that they are up to par, many are falling through the cracks.
What can you do to ensure that your children are being held to your standards? Read to them every night. Allow them to learn from their homework, and not just fill in the bubbles or unconsciously write down answers. Most importantly, make sure they understand the fundamental importance of asking “why?”
FLC Main: FR-108