New Editorial by Bob Wise Argues for Common Core, Level Playing Field
June 26, 2013 04:01 pm
Every student deserves the opportunity to learn in an environment that promotes critical thinking, collaboration, and 21st-century skills, a new Huffington Post op-ed co-written by Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education, and Robert Lenz, cofounder and chief executive officer of Envision Schools, argues. In particular, they write, students at-risk of dropping out of high school, would benefit from the deeper learning competencies set by the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The Standards, adopted by 46 states and the District of Columbia, would level the playing field for education from low-income and low-achievement schools to the most affluent, highest-achieving schools.
“The CCSS embody deeper learning in many ways. For example, the English language arts standards call for students to build evidence-based arguments and conduct research. The math standards ask students to solve problems as well as demonstrate procedural fluency. And in high school, these standards emphasize written and oral communication in all subjects, not just English,” the column reads.
In addition to providing students the skills they need to prepare them to graduate high school and attend college, the CCSS prepare students for careers. Today, there is a gap between skills that employers need and the skills new workforce members possess. The problem-solving and critical thinking components of deeper learning and the CCSS address this gap.
Business leaders and college professors say that college courses and the workplace demand the deeper learning competencies embedded in the CCSS. And they say that too many students lack these abilities, including some students who performed well on traditional tests. Of course the CCSS, in and of themselves, do not guarantee a level playing field. Naming a challenge does not solve it. But by describing an education that affluent students have been getting all along, these standards announce that all students should have access to the kind of learning they need. The United States cannot afford a two-tiered education system, where some students learn deeply, while others lack opportunities to develop the abilities they need to succeed. Students can learn and the nation owes them the chance to do so.