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Shaky arguments cited to justify Common Core

A recent article in The News blamed poor public school standards for causing colleges’ need to provide remedial courses to large numbers of students. Hence, the justification for the questionable Common Core Standards. However, the real cause may be found by examining educational history. When the baby boom hit, schools responded with massive expansion. Colleges grew into universities, new institutions were founded and great building programs undertaken.

Unfortunately, school populations declined sharply in the 1980s. In order to fill seats, most schools had to reach more deeply into the student pool and started accepting pupils whose lack of academic talent would previously have prevented their admission. Inevitably, these kids needed help and the remedial classes were offered. When colleges selected the top students, remedial courses were not needed. That same strata of students today are not the ones needing remediation, as the stats in the article demonstrate.

As a retired teacher, I wonder if the need to use specious arguments to justify purported cure-alls such as Common Core attests to the shaky foundation of the whole idea.

William Rich

Williamsville