Is Common Core the Cause or the Cure for Failing Schools?

This morning I had a conversation with my good girlfriend about the reason she will be pulling her 6th grade son out of school this week and homeschooling him for the remainder of the school year.  Her son, a bright 11-year-old, is failing his courses at his Baltimore City Public Middle School and his mother attributes this failure to the Common Core Curriculum the school system has adopted, as well as the unsupportive teachers.  After a meeting with the school principal, my good girlfriend was left angry and hopeless because the school was not willing or able to offer any type of tutoring for her son so that he could get back on track with his academic endeavors.  Furthermore, the principal informed her that even though her son reads at a third grade level, he would not be held back a grade.

Common Core curriculum has been a nuisance to parents and children, alike, since it was introduced in 2009.  According to the Common Core website, Common Core is a set of high-quality academic standards in mathematics, and English language arts/literacy.  The learning goals outline what a student should know and be able to do at the end of each grade.  Furthermore, according to an article published by NBC News, Common Core is designed to emphasize analytical and critical thinking skills.

Opponents of Common Core, such as my good girlfriend say that the homework is too confusing.  Parents are unable to help children with their work, when needed, because we simply did not learn this way.  It’s a shame that the Baltimore City school system cannot do more for this child who is so behind in the curriculum.  This is an issue that many families I know face, both regarding unsupportive faculty and difficult results-based curriculum in Baltimore City Public Schools.

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