The topic of Common Core and School Choice his home for me as my mother was an Instructional Aid for Spokane School District 81 and she brought her work home with her every night. Not only to help me with my studies but first and from most the young minds that she was helping every day in the classroom.
Common Core is a complete divergent of what we have been doing for decades and sounds like a great idea in theory. But in practice it is a complete failure in our education system. Math and English are complex subject as it for adult who have been doing them all their lives and for a child more so. My mother would come home and try to learn the common core way of doing math so she could help her students with the next days lesson and would struggle with the overly complicated concepts she was trying to understand. Math has always been about simplification of steps to find the correct answer. Not over complicating or adding multiple steps to come up with the same answer.
Common core is only a system of creating a whole generation of Washingtonians who are only able to take test. But, more over, are also incapable of creative thought and real world problem solving.
This also leads up to the lack of school choice that parents face in choosing a school for their child. Some parent who want their child to have an “alternative” education like at Gonzaga Prep or Saint Georges School or at another private institution. They are forced to pay more out of pocket because the funds don’t follow the child, but stay in the school district that the child lives in. The funds are fueling the districts that they fail, substandard, or incapable of educating the child. Along with this you can not have your child go to a charter school were they have smaller class sizes, with better instructors and materials because it is, at this point in time “against the states constitution.” But as per the McCleary decision the legislator must fully fund education.
Here are my ideas to remedy these issues;
- Amend the constitution to allow so that charter schools can receive funds for your child’s education.
- Make the money follow the child, K-12.
- Stop the top down legislation of our children’s education and keep the choice of what to teach our children at the district level.
- Have all funds designated for schools place in a separate locked account that can only be used for education K-12. This will ensure that we know all funds are going to our most precious resource, our children. (This would not include any funds for higher education or trade schools as they are not mandated as per the state constitution.)
- Replace Common Core with a basic standardized test for reading, writing and arithmetic that simplifies instead of complicating. Prepare our children for life and not just college.