Rotten to the core: Big money pushes PARCC and Common Core

Sep 1, 2015 by

By Jim Stergios –

Each year, much is written and said about K-12 education when students head back to school. That will be especially true this fall, as the education policy community eagerly awaits a decision by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education about whether to keep the MCAS tests or switch to assessments developed by the national Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).

The decision will impact not only which test Massachusetts uses to assess student achievement, but also what is taught in Massachusetts public schools. PARCC is aligned with the controversial Common Core curriculum, with its emphasis on workplace readiness. MCAS, on the other hand, is aligned with Massachusetts’ own standards, which emphasize a liberal arts education and are regarded as the highest-quality academic content standards in the country. In other words, Common Core emphasizes skills, while the Massachusetts standards outline a body of knowledge that all students should master and understand.

John Adams, author of our state constitution, believed that a “free government” required “a virtuous citizenry” and that the moral citizen’s ability to fulfill his (or with Abigail’s help, her) civic role underscored the essential role of education in ensuring and perpetuating the principles of a modern liberal democracy.

Adams’ Constitution and Massachusetts’ landmark 1993 Education Reform Act share the philosophy that education has two main purposes: (1) developing the informed, well-rounded citizenry needed to maintain America’s great experiment in ordered liberty, and (2) providing students with basic skills for self-reliance and happiness. In this view of education, vocational and career skills are important, but students’ literary, historical, mathematical, and scientific knowledge take precedence.

Source: Rotten to the core: Big money pushes PARCC and Common Core | NewBostonPost

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