Michigan Live published a story highlighting advocates of the Common Core saying it is important for military families and combat readiness.
The first argument is for military kids who tend to move around a lot. This is not a new phenomenon. So why the change now? We shouldn’t make changes in our entire education system based on the very small percentage of kids who move state to state.
Not to mention we’re told that schools can choose their own curriculum, the interpretation of different standards may vary, and states can add 15% to the standards. Military kids will probably find the hardships are the same.
The second argument is that it will improve military readiness:
In addition to the effect on military families, Stone said Common Core is necessary because of the increased demand for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills in the military.
"With the emphasis on STEM, we’re going to have a problem with recruiting in the future if we’re not producing students ready to join the military," Stone said.
K.P. Pelleran, state director for Mission: Readiness, a nonprofit group focused on improving military preparedness by addressing children’s issues, echoed the same concerns as Stone.
"The corps is required to have advanced tech skills to operate our military equipment," Pelleran said. "This isn’t the same equipment we went to war with in World War I or World War II."
Pelleran said that 20 percent of Michigan high school graduates who try to enlist cannot pass the military’s entrance exam, which tests mathematics, literacy and problem solving.
First if a test has a 100% pass rate it probably isn’t tough enough. Secondly there are many military occupational skills and not every skill will require the same level of tech knowledge. Third it’s questionable that the Common Core will help anyway.
Mission: Readiness produced a report in Pennsylvania touting the standards. They cite kids being overweight and juvenile crime as problems. Last year they issued a report in Michigan citing education, weight and crime. Does the Common Core address those? Well some think it will reduce juvenile crime. Incidentally Amy Dawson Taggart helped launch – Fight Crime: Invest in Kids which is also doing Common Core advocacy and receiving Gates money. It doesn’t appear that Mission: Readiness is Gates funded, but the Gates Foundation has awarded the Military Child Education Coalition almost $150,000 in 2011 to “to develop and execute an advocacy campaign in support of the implementation of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in multiple states by leveraging the voices and actions of its network of military families and uniform leadership.”
In 2008 that same group received almost $270,000 to “to create an alliance with Achieve and other national partners to support ADP Common Core Math Standards, identify middle school supporting content critical for mobile students, and create training modules accessible to students and educators.”