Education/Common Core standards

William T. Robinson, Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

I would imagine most parents want the best educational opportunities available for their children to prepare them for success in this competitive world. All too often the economic status or zip code of the child’s parents or guardian decides whether their child is provided the best education possible. The truth of the matter is that parents in the know (and who can afford it) put their children in educational institutions that generally guarantee their child’s academic success. This success is predicated by an environment generally void of the behavioral or disciplinary problems so often taking up a majority of the learning time in many public schools. Thus the student is provided with a learning environment conducive for progressive and beneficial learning.

It is a well-known fact that all children can grow academically in an environment that provides structure and discipline. Private schools and academic magnet schools generally control the type of enrollment in their schools, eradicating chronic behavioral problems or those who may not meet the academic goals. Generally, private schools are very adept at offering extra educational assistance such as private and group counseling by teachers as well as finding peer tutors for those who need additional assistance in keeping up academically.

Public schools for the most part claim to offer additional assistance, but unfortunately we find too many students still falling between the cracks for whatever reason. While the public school system spends a lot of time pointing fingers blaming teachers, administrators, parents, the community and students—the main victims, when the smoke clears, are the student. When all is said and done, students are assessed by standard tests based on what they should have mastered, not on excuses.

Since all parents cannot afford to send their children to private schools, let’s look at what can realistically be done to improve public schools , especially the ones who have not become charter schools (not to say that maybe all public schools should be offered as charter schools). We must get away from the politics and make it possible for all children to be given the opportunity to be academically successful.

First, we must acknowledge that as it stands in public schools you have two victims: the child who wants to learn, and the child with behavioral problems, keeping others from learning. Many believe behavioral and learning problems can be confronted at an early stage, with deep intervention and therapy applied to correct the problem. That means calling in all the main people in the child’s life and analyzing what is really happening or not happening.

Making sure the child gets the proper help should be a top priority. Perhaps it means parental counseling for the parent, individual or group counseling for the child, or additional assistance or tutoring to help a child who is chronically behind catch up. These are a few suggestions to a myriad of problems affecting many students. But it vital to arrest the problem as early as possible. There are those who argue that the academic concerns of certain children (poor, Black, and Hispanic) are minimized and trivialized in order to generate a potential clientele to eventually feed the private industrial complex (prisons)—which is big money.

Making sure your child gets the best education should be a priority for all parents. Don’t let those in control of the direction of education limit your chose if possible. You can bet they are making sure their children are getting the best educational opportunities possible. It is no wonder that educationally conscious parents support Common Core standards, wanting their children to be competitive—knowing what all children in their child’s grade level should know, regardless of where they live in the country. Anything less is cheating your child of being academically competitive in a global economy that makes one more marketable based on what they know.