Opinion

Playing politics with education standards

An editorial from The Exponent Telegram

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — In May, 2010, the West Virginia Board of Education approved Common Core State Standards for mathematics and English.

According to its website, the board wanted to join other states across the nation “to establish consistent and clear education standards for English/language arts and mathematics.”

“The initiative respects the unique nature of every state, while acknowledging a shared national commitment to high classroom standards for all students in kindergarten through high school,” according to the BOE’s website.

But there are opponents who clearly disagree, including some educational experts involved with the initial process.

They like to argue that Common Core is an effort by the federal government to control education.

But according to Common Core proponents in the state, educational officials in West Virginia still have full control of curriculum for students.

The curriculum is designed to help state students obtain the Common Core standards, which educational leaders believe are critical to students being able to compete with those from other states and the world in terms of colleges and careers.

We would like to think that the debate over Common Core isn’t about the need for standards. We have long advocated for clear standards to hold students and educators accountable for their performances.

How else can it be determined whether the educational process is working to help all students?

According to proponents, the state’s approach to Common Core, known as the West Virginia Next Generation Content Standards, was designed by education officials, policy makers and teachers.

Some disagree about the amount of input educators had in the process, but whenever there is change, there will be some level of disagreement.

Granted, there have been issues with the rollout of some of the standards and curriculum.

But we’re more concerned that Common Core has been unfairly targeted by some politicians who are simply trying to find a divisive issue leading up to November’s General Election…

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