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Rotten to the Common Core

Common Core, an education program developed with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to improve academic standards in public schools, will fall far short of its stated objective, but not very far from the tree upon which it grew.

Its promoters tout it to be a “state-led effort to establish a single set of clear educational standards for English-language arts and mathematics…” to provide teachers, parents and students with a set of well defined expectations and “[h]igh standards that are consistent across states…”

Underlying these statements is the proposition public schools are not performing very well or completely failing to educate students to a necessary standard. Based on the fact SAT scores, since 1962, have twice been adjusted downward to artificially depict higher scores among students taking the exam but have continued to decline and national literacy scores continue to decline as a percentage of the United States population it is difficult to refute the dysfunctional public school proposition. Their solution to this very real problem, however, is like putting a gangrene infected band aid on a gangrenous open wound.

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Fixing Public Education

The Chicago Teacher’s Union strike, in September of 2012, is yet another reminder of how unproductive our public education system has become. Over 400,000 students had to stay at home while the teacher’s union and teachers held Chicago hostage for a 25% increase in salary and a halt on teacher performance standards. If those demands were not greedy enough by themselves, they came on top of the fact that Chicago teachers were already the highest paid in our nation. Their average salary at the time was approximately $76K per year while the tax payer, who has to support them, averaged only around $46K per year.

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