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Tests can’t fix problems that poor children face

Supporters of the Common Core say it is valuable because we are producing students who are unprepared to be successful in the workforce. While some of the content on a standardized test could be beneficial, it is rather evident that we have become a society of teaching to the test. The content tends to get lost in the shuffle, and the thirst for knowledge is lost. We are creating an insufficient workforce because so many Americans nowadays are never taught what it is to truly learn.

While there is nothing wrong with using standards, policy makers seem to be blind to the realities of why standards are not being met. To be blunt, the issue is the lifestyle and cycle of poverty that is unfortunately in most districts. For a child who lives in the inner city, whose parents likely cannot put food on the table; those same parents cannot possibly put an emphasis on the importance of learning. No matter what is done during the school day, what is not being reinforced and nurtured after school will be any child’s downfall. Making tests more frequent and difficult will not fix that problem.

What needs to be done is work to bring positivity to those in poverty; present these children with safe, enriching after-school programs; pair students with mentors. Students who live in a poor environment will be more likely to prosper if they are shown what success looks like and how it benefits a person. Being involved in positive activities and being around constructive people influences personal growth and ambition more than any test ever will. Right now, we are choosing forced results over a genuine interest in practical learning.

Allie Downs

Lake View