School Board Issues
Where do you stand on Common Core?
I’m for it. There’s a lot of misinformation and misunderstandings about the Common Core, especially on the math side. The Common Core, while it’s sponsored by the federal government, is created by every state entity. And Alaska has its own Common Core, just like every state has developed its own Common Core.
I’ve participated in actually looking at it and putting it together and I’m for it a hundred percent. Does that mean it’s a perfect curriculum? There’s never a perfect curriculum. There’s going to be some kids that thrive in it and some kids that do not, but I think it’s a better curriculum. And I think it better prepares kids for college and career readiness, which is the ultimate ends to education, is to either have them able to get a higher education or enter the workforce and also be a trained citizen.
The foundation – math, English, science, government – is more through freshman and sophomore year. And then I would hope when they get to their junior, senior year they’ve decided or have a vision of where they want to go after high school. Should we be trying to educate them for a tech school? Should we be trying to educate them for college courses? So I think it’s somewhat different with every student and that’s where our educational process needs to evolve and adapt a little bit.
Well, Common Core is a good core to start from. I think that overemphasizing it and throwing out everything else … I think that that is overemphasizing. Like an apple needs a core, but it also needs the apple. So, we have to make sure we keep these life skills being taught. Music is something that was big in my education, the arts – all these things are very important.
As far as what do I think about the Common Core? They’re good too. Math is important. Being able to read helps you with all other subjects. You know, these are important subjects as well. So, maybe it’s overemphasized, but I definitely would say it’s important.
What is happening in Alaska is we have the Alaska state standards. And so, I’m all for higher standards. … We knew that our standards were low, and so we’ve adopted the Alaska state standards. They’re similar to the Common Core, but unique in some ways and I support the higher standards.
I think Common Core is interesting in the fact that it provides those metrics that are needed for a school district to figure out where students stand when compared to the nation. However, the problem I have with Common Core is that it removes creativity from the classroom and it almost, for lack of a better word, dumbs down the general student population to the lowest common level. From that aspect, I’m not a huge supporter of Common Core because it does remove the creativity in the classroom and it does prevent teachers from expanding on certain subjects where they would like to expand, teachers that might be more effective in teaching one subject and may inspire that student to go into a profession based on science or something.
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