We want to follow up our post from yesterday on our ten questions about the Common Core with a few more. This time, we wonder how Common Core affects low-income schools. Many upper-income schools have complained that the Common Core is too easy and that they already meet the Standards. Some lower-income schools have complained that it is to hard, and impossible to meet. As we try to bring all students up to a level that has been deemed minimum, how can the Common Core Standards help this objective? Again, we are talking just about the standards, not the high-stakes testing that accompanies the current program.
- Do uniform standards throughout the country bring up standards at low-income or underperforming schools?
- If most low-income schools have teachers who are less educated, less experienced, and less effective, can they write their own standards? Can they teach to national standards?
- If low-income schools struggle with low attendance, high rates of violence, and low motivation among students, will the common core make a difference?
- Should we, as a nation, expect that all schools and all students should (and can) perform at a basic level? Can Common Core help make that happen?
- Can National Standards highlight the discrepancies between low-income and high-income schools? Could this jolt the nation into doing something about the lack of opportunities available for many of our youngest citizens?
As a bonus question, what other changes might help us address the inequalities in school success? School choice? More charter schools? Online options? Paying students for progress?