Top-down federal standards will doom our education system

Lauren Williams's picture
Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Mini-Cassia Tea Party drew a respectable crowd of concerned parents and teachers Jan. 9 to hear a presentation titled “Myths and Facts” concerning Common Core education standards and curriculum. The forum was presented by Stephanie Zimmerman and Stacey Knudsen of Idahoans for Local Education. Stephanie and Stacey, two moms from Meridian, decided to take on a mighty task with little more reward than hope their efforts will revive a movement toward local control of educational standards and curriculum.

The crowd was pleased to hear this dynamic duo’s performance under scrutiny from several teachers and administrators also in attendance. Most agreed No Child Left Behind was a disaster in the making but failed to realize the similarity and further overreach Common Core will mandate. The suggestion that little was to fear from further federal intrusion into local education brought hearty laugher. Realization that a one-size-fits-all education program would bring the curtain down on local education and further erode educational quality in Idaho became apparent as Stephanie and Stacey continued.

Common standards will diminish professionalism in the most human-centric of occupations, as only teachers can bring enlightenment to a child’s mind. Replacing traditional education methods and books with cold facts presented by computers and education facilitators will only lead to failure. These untested common standards will lead to standardized curriculum effectively pigeonholing students for a fixed role in society via a matrix of evaluations and examinations maintained in a database that will follow each student through adulthood.

Many good points were made from many perspectives as audience members opened up and addressed their anxiety about such sweeping reforms now being implemented in Idaho’s education system. What parents will endure and how their children’s education will suffer consumed the bulk of the redress. Common Core will be field tested across the nation using this generation as guinea pigs in a scheme intended to instill grit and tenacity. But to what end? Where’s the love of learning?

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