Phi Beta Cons

Common Core Will Have an Impact on College

Common Core is supposed to improve learning for students in in their K-12 years. There are many reasons to doubt that it will do that. In today’s Pope Center piece, English professor Mary Grabar argues that Common Core will have a detrimental impact on higher education.

She writes, “I have taught college English for twenty years and have researched Common Core for the last three years. I know that the project-based learning, the replacement of extensive reading and papers with group discussions on selective snippets, the replacement of literary classics with ‘informational texts’ and video, and the diversion from writing to ’speaking and listening skills’ will make students even less prepared to do the work of a traditional English class.”

Moreover, Mary points out, colleges will be expected to align their courses with Common Core standards. That will only put further pressure on professors to lower their standards.

I find especially revealing a comment from the director of teacher preparation at Arizona State that Common Core: “Students will come not with a new set of information they didn’t have before but with different types of thinking that really are required for success in higher education.” Those “different types of thinking” probably mean the social attitudes that are dear to “progressive” educationists, not a better command of reason.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

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