Children system holds one flaw: having one curriculum.

Children acquire an education from Kindergarten
through the 12the grade. Within these years, children are taught English,
Math, Science, Social Studies, and other subjects to provide students with the
prerequisites needed to enter higher education for success in different
professions. However, such system holds one flaw: having one curriculum. In
2010, the Common Core was set to create standards of what children should know
upon the completion of the grade. This allows them to make sure that the
children have learned everything they need to be prepared for their future
endeavors. Each school system creates specific curriculums in order to complete
the goals for each year. However, this hurts the students and their success. With
the pressures of having to complete a set of topics in limited time, teachers
are forced to rush all of their lessons. The students suffer, because they do
not retain the information very well. By having a set curriculum, students are
all forced to learn in one way only, which ignores the fact that every student
learns differently. Although having the Common Core organizes the information needed
to prepare for higher education, such curriculums limit students and prevent
them from reaching their highest potential because they are forced to learn in
one way, follow one path, and learn various subjects in a matter of one
academic year, making it difficult for students to retain the information
needed to succeed.

Common Core has its benefits. According to the Common Core, the standards
outline “what a student should know and be able to do at the end of each
grade.” This is to ensure that students gain the proper knowledge and develop
the proper skills to prepare them for higher education and their future careers
(“About the Standards”). Such skills are important especially for college. Higher
education institutions want to see that a student is well-rounded and
challenges themselves in various subjects including Math, Science, English, and
Social Studies. By setting such standards, the Common Core allows students to
learn various fields of studies which ensure that students are knowledgeable in
multiple areas, not just one. This strengthens the intellect of the students
and opens up many opportunities for them, broadening their horizons in the
professional world. This is very beneficial for students helping them get into
the best colleges and succeed in their careers.

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timing becomes an issue. In an article from the Washington Post, journalist
Valerie Strauss writes about D’Lee Pollock-Moore, an English teacher in Warren
County High School, who explains the flaws of the Common Core Curriculum.
According to Pollock-Moore, one of the curriculum’s biggest flaws is that it sets
too many standards in a small amount of time. In the 10th grade,
students are to meet 41 standards in one academic year (“The Seven Deadly Sins”).
This is just unrealistic. In one academic year, there is around 10 months.
Thus, teachers must accomplish 41 standards within that time to meet the Common
Core Standards. According to Pollock, some of the skills include citing
evidence, close reading skills, analysis, and making inferences (“The Seven
Deadly Sins”). These skills are extremely important as students will use them
throughout their entire lives from analyzing legal documents to providing a
thorough analysis regarding one’s health. With the constraint of having to fit
41 skills in 10 months, teachers cannot emphasize certain abilities as much as
they need to because they must teach other skills as well. Teachers are forced
to rush important skills, thus students are not able to retain the information.
Students don’t acquire such skills, causing them to not do as well in the
future, because they never retained the basics needed to go further. Such
curriculum forces way too many topics for a brief period of time, restricting
any retention of the information from the students.

the creation of the Common core, school districts altered their curriculums to follow
the guidelines of the Common Core. Boards have included various units that need
to be taught and directions on how to teach such units. In other words, curriculums
set one path; teach in one way, and in one pace, for all students to follow.

exhibit different ways of learning. According to the Rasmussen College, there
are four types of learners: Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic, and Reading/Writing.
Visual learning refers to comprehending information using visual aids such as
maps and images. Auditory learners retain more information they hear.
Kinesthetic learners prefer hands-on and participating to learn the
information. Reading/Writing learners learn best by reading the information and
taking notes. People learn very differently and retain information in various
ways (“Finding Your Fit”). In a classroom setting, students fit learning styles
different from the people sitting next to them. They don’t all retain the
information in the same manner. Thus one concrete curriculum does not
compensate for the needs of all the children in one class. The students who exhibit
the learning style the curriculums do not prefer end up getting the short end
of the stick. In our BCPS curriculum, auditory learning is common in many
classes. This is a very important skill to exhibit throughout life as people
will have to sit through lectures, meetings, and conventions where they must be
attentive in listening. However, in the education system, this becomes biased
because it favors students who prefer auditory learning. When I was in 10th
grade, I took AP World. I understand that this was a college class; however I
sat in the class as the teacher talked his way through the whole lesson. I am a
visual learner, so I did not grasp the information as quickly as other people
who were auditory learners. This made me doubt myself because everyone else
understood, but I was lost. However, it was not so much intellect, as it was the
way I retain information. The reason why others picked information quicker is
because the information was presented in a way that favored auditory learners,
thus they did better than I did. A student is easily influenced with just the
presentation of a topic. The students who learn differently do not do as well
on such topics and prevents them from actually learning the information, which
becomes a disadvantage for them in the future.

it is extremely important for all students to exhibit all learning types. People
will be presented with images and essays, even forced to sit in lectures throughout
their careers which requires some mastery in all the learning types. However,
by setting one concrete curriculum, students are forced to learn in one way. A
student who follows the learning style of the curriculum will do better than
the child who functions under a different style, so the first student looks
“smarter” than the other. In reality, the first student just retained the
information better than the other student because it followed his/her learning
style. Students begin to feel “dumb,” because they don’t comprehend the
information as quickly as other students do, thus they don’t do as well in
class. This lowers the confidence of the student in class, resulting in academic
dishonesty. Students, as a result, don’t learn what is essential in their lives
and miss out on the important information needed to succeed in the professional
world since they cheated or never retained the information.

A child
cannot learn or be judged based off of one set curriculum because it is not
flexible enough to meet the needs of all students. One curriculum may help
various students, but others who don’t embody the same learning style tend to
do worse, and begin to undermine themselves. It is not the child that has to
adjust to the curriculum, but it is the curriculum that has to adjust to the

probable solution to this conflict is to lessen the amount of students per
class and allow teachers to alter their teaching to fit each student by
removing a set curriculum, similar to that of Finland. According to Hancock,
schools in Finland are “small enough” so that teachers can connect with their
students. Thus, they understand their children and their needs so that “if one
method fails” teachers are able to collaborate for a better solution. Because
of this students are given much help within the first nine years of their
education (“Why are Finland’s Schools”). In addition to that, William Doyle
reports that after observing classes in Finland, he realizes that teachers are
“not strait-jacketed by bureaucrats, scripts, or excessive regulations, but
have the freedom to innovate and experiment,” in terms of the students
education (“How Finland Broke Every Rule”). By decreasing the number of
students in each class, teachers will better acquaint themselves with the
student, which allows them to know each child and what each child needs to
learn. By removing the need for a curriculum, it gives teachers more freedom to
try new strategies that will fit each child. As they start to know their
students more, they realize what they need to do to help each child learn the
concepts and alter their teaching around each child in order to meet their
individual needs. A certain amount of guidelines that should be met; the Common
Core does so but the amount of standards is unreasonable, thus they should be
lowered. Giving teachers more freedom and smaller classes allows them to
connect with their students and work with them individually in order to meet
their own needs. Each child follows their own path and own pace while still
being on the same level as everyone else.

child is important. We cannot rush skills to be accomplished as most children
will not retain the information in an extremely fast paced manner. We cannot
expect students to acquire important skills when they were merely explained and
never taught. We cannot expect teachers and students to operate under one plan
as it restricts the creativity and the abilities of many. We cannot allow
students to have a disadvantage simply because they retain information
differently than everyone else. The Common Core sets way too many standards and
therefore forces schools to create an extremely rushed curriculum. Students
cannot learn in this way. Let students learn in the way that they can learn,
let teachers teach in the way that helps their students the most. The future is
important. Help these kids learn. Fix the Common Core.


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