‘Common’ Core Fails This ‘Uncommon’ Child
I received the following message from a mom on her son expressing concern on why Common Core would not be appropriate for him. What happens to ‘uncommon’ children (gifted and/or special needs) under a ‘common’ system? Who decides how ‘common’ is defined? Watch this incredible child and think about those questions.
This is a “twice exceptional” first grader. The video shows him solving a college level algebra problem. He would not be permitted to pass kindergarten math under the rules of common core.
(MEW note: After receiving her message, I asked: How long has he been doing high level math? Anything else you would like to say about Common Core in general? What does “twice exceptional” mean?)
“Twice Exceptional” is the legal term for student with a disability who are also gifted. We homeschool, largely due to Common Core. This particular child has Autism and was without language until the beginning of the 2103-14 school year (1st grade). Sign Language was introduced at that point. He has been learning English through sign language. He started doing math in March 2014. This video was filmed August 2014. He soaking up info in all subjects like a sponge but math is particularly easy for him. We started with preschool math at the start of the school year. We ended with the video you saw.
The primary issue I have with Common Core is that the guidelines are designed to exclude students with certain disabilities, not only from accessing education, but from proving competency. Autism is a good example of this. The language components added to kindergarten math would be difficult for an adult with Autism to complete, let alone a kindergartener. The real kicker is, if a student with Autism is able to pass the requirements they would automatically lose special ed services under the diagnosis of Autism. So students with Autism are specifically targeted as a population for exclusion from graduation, college, employment, etc. These same students are quite capable of completing the work with different wording or without wording at all.
The second issue I have with Common Core is the lowered academic standard. The real use of logic and building of problem solving skills is removed. The US has essentially built a curriculum for a nation of factory workers…in a nation that outsources such work to other countries. The SATs and ACT are being rewritten to accommodate the Common Core standard. They are actually dumbing down the tests.
I guess there really is a third reason that I now realize many don’t know. My initial alarm about Common Core is another concern about Special Education. The law that provides federal dollars to states to protect the right to an Individualized and appropriate education for students with special needs per IDEA (fed law)…those funds have to be authorized every 4 years by the US President. The law the protects the President’s right to do this would be abolished if a national curriculum like say Common Core were put in place. The right to an education for special needs kids could be reversed.
Does anyone have the answers to the questions posed in the article?
- What happens to ‘uncommon’ children (gifted and/or special needs) under a ‘common’ system?
- Who decides how ‘common’ is defined?
This child is fortunate he has a mother who can teach him at home since under Common Core, he would be labeled a failure. What about those children who are in an educational system that fails them? They are not failures; it’s the ‘common’ system that they just don’t fit into that is the failure.
By accepting the Common Core State Standards Initiative, what are we condoning? #CommonCoreFail that does indeed fail children who learn in an ‘uncommon’ manner? Note to readers: The print is difficult to make out at the bottom of the page, but it reads Common Core Mathematics Grade 1.
Published August 29, 2014