School Matters video blogger Kate Cohen discusses the implications of common core state standards for students of color. Are state standards harming or improving the scores of low performing students? Watch the video and learn more!
It all boils down to a good/great teacher beginning where each student IS and not where the teacher wishes the student would be. Bring each student up to standard from where the student IS.
Why do we have to divide everything along color lines? Has Common core state standards become a new addition to the stack. In order to make education equitable, everything else needs to be, job opportunities, pay scales, housing, etc. Maybe then we won’t have a debate about whether CCSS are meeting the needs of students of color. The socio-economic conditions of students of color will impact their educational needs and standards are not the solution, social and economic changes are necessary.
Thank you for your comment, Monica. You make excellent points, and it’s shameful that we even need to be discussing this issue. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how students who were struggling with previous standards are dealing with these, in many ways, more rigorous Common Core State Standards. When I taught 6th grade, many of my students were far from meeting the standards for their grade. As I read more, what came up time and time again was that a disproportionate number of students who are performing below grade level are students of color, and I believe it’s misleading if that’s not part of the conversation. I agree with you that standards are not the solution, but I also think that education professionals and writers of curriculum, standards, and assessments need to remain aware of the fact that a disproportionate number of students are still not meeting standards (despite massive federal and state efforts to reverse this trend). And while the problem still exists, the educational community has a responsibility to make sure that academically struggling students (of ALL colors) are given the best chance possible. In my blog post, I wanted to explore different things people are trying to do this.
If this a topic that fires you up, then I encourage you to check out the following (the first is mentioned in my blog post):
The Common Core State Standards Initiative: A Critical Response by Eric (Rico) Gutstein:
“Back to School” from This American Life (radio program, with transcript available)
“The Secret to Fixing Bad Schools” by David L. Kirp
National Black Agenda Education website
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