Failing Schools: A National Security Threat (page 2)

Failing Schools: A National Security Threat

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Updated on Apr 20, 2012

National security and the Common Core Standards:

Critical to these reforms are the Common Core Standards, an initiative that seeks to raise accountability by aligning state standards under a national framework. All but 5 states have adopted the initiative, which was first proposed in 2009 and is due to be fully implemented by 2015.

The report calls for an expansion of the Common Core Standards to include international standards of science, technology and foreign language. Many existing aspects of the Common Core Standards will be an asset in guaranteeing that American students remain internationally competitive: the standards greatly increase the percentage of informational (as opposed to fictional) text read by students in the earliest grades, for example, and require writing in the secondary grades to inform and argue instead of simply narrate. The mathematics standards give more depth to concepts covered only broadly before.

Through modifications like these, the Common Core Standards should help better prepare students for the postsecondary training required by full global participation and a strong national defense.

A catalyst for change

The report’s alarmist tone has been criticized by some, and dissenting views added to the document cite concerns about its focus on a top-down standardized testing model and widespread privatization. Still, the report’s authors contend that “calling the crisis in education

a national security concern is not a gimmick or an empty phrase.” All parties agree on one thing: the continued crisis in American education is not something we can afford to ignore.

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