This is a must see video from a brilliant Knoxville Tennessee student who lays out all that is wrong with Common Core’s basic philosophy and our now insane focus on standardized test results.

Kenneth Ye quotes a PEW Center on The States report that shows that annual state spending on standardized tests rose from $423M pre-NCLB to $1.1 billion by 2008 and the trend continues because federal funding has been tied to these test scores. He questions whether we are merely lining the pockets of profit motivated corporations by obsessing over the tests rather than using the limited funds we have for education on actually educating the children.

Education is not a business to be run, it is a process of informing human beings so that they may contribute to our society.

When it comes to the tests themselves, which are marketed as rigorous and promoting real understanding, he has this to say.

As a student who has scored 5’s on the AP calculus and AP  statistics exam, and is preparing to take calculus 3 at a local college  next semester, I can honestly tell you that I am unable to answer or justify your  first grade Pearson math question, “What is a related subtraction sentence?”

Having been educated in both the American and Chinese education systems, Mr. Ye is well qualified to give the warning about where the American education system is heading. We are heading toward the Chinese  system which focuses on data and test results, which forces its students to take the grueling three day entrance exams known as the gaokao which I have written about before.)

“Does their standardized victory communicate the creative and inquisitive mind set of our culture, and mindset that is now often overshadowed by cram sessions in other parts of the world?”

He said education is about informing human beings to be productive members of society. I would add, it is the process of passing on the knowledge and culture of one generation to the next. The culture we are now passing on is not our own.

Anne Gassel

Anne has been writing on MEW since 2012 and has been a citizen lobbyist on Common Core since 2013. Some day she would like to see a national Hippocratic oath for educators “I will remember that there is an art to teaching as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy and understanding are sometimes more important than policy or what the data say. My first priority is to do no harm to the children entrusted to my temporary care.”

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