Educational failure threatens our economic prosperity, global leadership and national security, according to a report by a Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) task force chaired by Joel I. Klein, former head of New York City public schools, and Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. secretary of state.
Too many young people are not employable in an increasingly high-skilled and global economy, and too many are not qualified to join the military because they are physically unfit, have criminal records, or have an inadequate level of education.
“Human capital will determine power in the current century, and the failure to produce that capital will undermine America’s security,” the report states. “Large, undereducated swaths of the population damage the ability of the United States to physically defend itself, protect its secure information, conduct diplomacy, and grow its economy.”
Among other policy suggestions, the report calls for expanding Common Core Standards to include “the skills and knowledge necessary to safeguard the country’s national security,” including science, technology, foreign languages, creative problem-solving skills and civic awareness.
Update: History, science and art are “truant” from school, said panelists at a Common Core discussion. Common Core will be creating Common Core State Standards-based curriculum maps in history and geography. David Coleman, one of the lead writers of the new English Language Arts standards, said it’s impossible to teach K-5 reading “without coherently developing knowledge in science, and history, and the arts.”
And that is why NAEP scores in early grades can improve slightly but collapse as students grow older. Because it is the deep foundation in rich knowledge and vocabulary depth that allows you to access more complex text.
Let’s not get confused here that [the CCSS] are adding back nice things [history, arts, science] that are an addendum to literacy. We are adding the cornerstones of literacy, which are the foundations of knowledge, that make literacy happen.
There is no greater threat to literary study in this country than false imitations of literature which do not deserve to be read.
Coleman told states not buy mediocre materials with a “Common Core” stamp. Wait for the good stuff to be available, he said.