The Challenges of Borderless Education
Chapter 6: Common Core, local control, and high-stakes testing
The chapter describes the controversial American Common Core initiative in language, arts, and mathematics and how standardized K-12 courses are incorporated into state educational curricula in the United States. Growing parental and political backlash against excessive end-of-course and high-stakes testing has compromised efforts in many states to establish a standardized curriculum. As a result, achievement and college readiness scores have tended to decline. Reversing the downward trend has been difficult for many reasons, including political interference, economic inequality, recession, state-centered federalism, and the fragmented structure of the American governmental system causing extreme variations in support for education among states, especially those which have resisted the imposition of national graduation standards. These standards were originally proposed by conservative “back to the basics” presidential advisers and developed by a private commission, not mandated by the federal government. Nonetheless, they have become a political issue for conservatives opposed to any “federal interference” in implementing state and local education policy.
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