Friday, November 15, 2013

High-school student Ethan Young on the Common Core

Ethan Young, a senior at Farragut High School in Knoxville, Tennessee, speaks to his local school board about the Common Core. An excerpt:

The task of learning is never quantifiable. If everything I learned in high school is a measurable objective, I haven’t learned anything. I’d like to repeat that. If everything I learned in high school is a measurable objective, I have not learned anything. Creativity, appreciation, inquisitiveness: these are impossible to scale. But they’re the purpose of education, why our teachers teach, why I choose to learn.
That Young is now the toast of the right-wing Internets is of no concern to me: his perspective here is one that I agree with. I find the Obama adminstration’s efforts in education a great disappointment.

Related posts
Arne Duncan on Colbert
”Warnings from the Trenches”

comments: 2

alyRO said...

Great point of view! And while I do agree that children today are missing out on the freedom to be creative in the classrooms, I also believe that there HAS to be SOME form of standardized testing for schools. No, the emphasis should not be placed on the testing, but how do we know if our children are learning? I spent years in the gifted program, flying under the rader, doing "high level creative thinking" and yet I couldn't even write a decent essay, couldn't tell you what a subject and predicate was, and I wouldn't be surprised if any of my peers couldn't do basic algebra. So cheers to the creative thinkers...but what about the students who can't read past a third grade level? How can we identify the "problematic areas" if we're so "up in arms" over testing and standards? Truth is, the real world is made up of standards. You can't get into college without meeting the criteria (aka standard). You can't get certain jobs without meeting the requirements (aka standards). The real world is REAL and we need to prepare our children for it :)

Michael Leddy said...

Believe me, I know that. As I tell my students, the world beyond college is likely to be far less forgiving than any instructor. And I agree with you that the work of reading and writing instruction often leaves a lot to be desired. I think though that there are many ways to evaluate learning that are better than standardized tests.