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Education fix

When Common Core came out, many people jumped on board, anticipating auspicious results. Experts predicted that students would become brilliant scholars with test scores that surpassed China’s.

It’s presumptuous to think that Common Core will save education. Common Core standards are merely words on a paper — words that didn’t fare so well in New York. Only 31 percent of students passed the test.

Implementing costly programs, acquiring expensive high-stakes tests and enacting stricter government regulations is like throwing countless matches onto a fire with no kindling. The flame will rise for a few seconds, seeming to transform the fire, until it quickly dies again. Just as a match doesn’t steadily build a fire, a new program or set of standards does not transform education.

We need to stop looking to federal reformers as the saviors of education and start regarding teachers as professionals who can make prudent decisions about their students’ learning. We can choose to fall for the empty promises of education reform, but the bandwagon is full and about to tip over as the remains of its programs become obsolete in the shadows of the next quick fix.

Kirsten Baltich