Don't lose sight of the fact that over the last 5 years we've seen a massive expansion of private voucher schools with little or no standards, with more and more parents signing up based on advertising, ideology, religion and desperation. We've split the system up into parallel branches of education. If something did work, we'd never know about.
I started the clip below with a tea party demand that Scott Walker get rid of common Core. From there, Middleton's Superintendent Don Johnson backs Common Core and some kind of national standard. Chris Hayes' actually breaks it down, and things aren't as bad as we're lead to believe. This is incredibly valuable information to make an educated judgement. WKOW coverage:
An international assessment of 15 year-old students shows the United States is performing below average in mathematics and science.
The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) shows the US ranked 26th in mathematics, 21st in science and 17th in reading among 34 developed nations in 2012. The authors of the study conclude Common Core standards could help US students perform better.
Middleton-Cross Plains School Superintendent Don Johnson agrees. "Japan, Finland, Singapore, any of the top scoring (nations), they have clearly a national curriculum with national standards and its non-negotiable," explains Johnson.
The US currently lacks such national standards, but 45 states are implementing Common Core Standards to provide a more streamlined approach across the country. "It will raise the standards, I believe, because we've been running in different directions because of standards throughout the country, and I think its time that we kind of settle on some," said Johnson.
But Edgewood College Dean of Education Tim Slekar disagrees. Slekar says American students who live above the poverty line compare much more favorably with their international peers, which tells him the current standards aren't the problem.
"Its a certain group of children that we're not meeting, and those are the kids that are living in low socio-economic conditions," said Slekar. He says addressing the needs of the 25 percent of American students living in poverty is the key to better performance. "Hunger, health care and access to books," are the keys according to Slekar.
But Don Johnson says schools can't control many of those factors and cannot let them be excuses. "Well, they have this problem, so its OK if they fail.' Really? How can we actually say that its OK that they fail because, well, their parents don't make as much money," asked Johnson.