Common Ground for Christians & Common Core
Former public teacher Liz Riggs, who taught under both traditional standards and Common Core, writes in Christianity Today that there is a lot of misunderstanding about the standards that masks their importance for improving schools. “Unlike a curriculum, teaching method, or educational approach, a standard does not dictate how or what a teacher must teach,” Riggs says. “The difference between Common Core and many state standards is simply the level of rigor, complexity and higher level thinking built into the standards.” She points out only 26% percent of students meet college-ready levels, and only 11% of low-income students. “More rigor means the potential for higher levels of learning for all kids—not just some,” Riggs adds. “It means kids of means and kids from poverty are more equipped for college and beyond; a rising tide lifts all boats.”
She specifically addresses a Christian audience with these words:
“It’s easy to understand why so many parents feel passionate and personally invested in the issue of education. We are fiercely protective of our children—and as we should be. We want them to have the best possible opportunities and experiences, so they can go on to live fulfilling, successful lives.
But what about other people’s children? What about the poor, the downtrodden, the orphans that we as Christians are called to serve and to care about? What about those who are so deeply entrenched in systemic poverty that a high-quality education is the only way out? What if an educational shift in a more challenging and rigorous direction benefits those children more than our own?”
Read the full article in Christianity Today.