What is really needed is a common core of more vital learning standards.Despite education reformers' practice of ignoring the impact of poverty and the decaying morality of our society, data proves time and time again that while academic success is encouraged with high-quality instruction, it is more correlative to outside the school influences. Poverty, the stability and security of home and family, the perceived value of education in the family...these and more are forces beyond the teacher's power to control. "No excuses" reformers like to respond dismissively to this "elephant in the room", barely stifling their disdain as they continue the misdirection of responsibility for healing the wounds inflicted by poverty and moral decline.
I agree with "No excuses", but I would make it "No excuses, for all involved!" Teachers have continually risen to the challenges and sacrificed to meet the increasing needs and deficits resulting from poor governance and an enabling of uber-capitalism that has left many families and children behind. A moral and economic paradigm shift is required in order to change the tide. We need to impose a greater standard for young people who will grow to lead, and need to learn how to do that, instead of submit to suspicious measures of their value or their growth in value that appear to funnel them into the chute that more efficiently feeds this already failing system.
We need a more worthy common core that will invigorate the stagnant spirit and mobilize the bulk of our nation. We should be building society's core from the middle out, just like our economy, and for schools to truly serve communities they need a focus that meets the needs of communities not the demands of the market.
A more appropriate and vital focus would be a simple four standard approach 1) Your Self 2) Your World 3) Your Contribution 4) Your Goals.
- Standard 1) Your Self: A) You; B) Family
- Standard 2) Your World: A) School; B)Community
- Standard 3) Your Contribution: A) Cooperation; B) Participation C) Creativity
- Standard 4) Your Goals A) Achievement
The target of this more vital core is the individual's ability to not only maximize and demonstrate their skills, but to also contribute their skills to a greater good. Achievement isn't only reached through maximizing skills, but also maximizing the positive impact they have in the community and in the world.
To come: A break down of important performance indicators in the 8 sub-categories (I don't have some fancy name I can use to make money off this stuff yet...cuz you know it's all about the money):
You, Family, School, Community, Cooperation, Participation, Creativity, Achievement