Common Core State Standards for English. Who benefits?
Who benefits from the regular revamping of educational standards? Does educational achievement go up or go down? I suspect these activities have little effect on educational outcomes.
Stanford University researchers are going to help English Language Learners (ELLs) in the school system meet the Common Core State Standards in language arts and mathematics according to an article I read recently.
There is funding from Bill Gates and and the following is going to happen.
“To foster awareness and a national dialogue among key actors in standards-based education reform about the need to leverage common core standards for English language proficiency development, the initiative will sponsor meetings, webinars, and commissioned papers on key topics. Partners will include local, state, and federal educational agencies; experts in Common-Core State Standards in English language arts and mathematics; developers of the next-generation science standards; and developers of new English language proficiency standards, as well as advocacy groups, publishers, and test makers.
Organizers will also collaborate with local school districts and their teachers to create clear specifications and exemplars of how teachers can foster English language proficiency as part of subject matter instruction, above and beyond any English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction that English language learners might already receive. This work will be widely shared and is expected to help shape how the new Common Core standards are used by educators to develop English language proficiency of their students.”:
I must say that I do not understand all of this. ELL’s largely cannot keep up with the minimal English language requirements that they face today, and as a result they do poorly at school. The main reason, in my view, is that they don’t read enough.
If they could be induced, encouraged, persuaded or forced to read more in English, much more, their language skills would improve. I really fail to see what this initiative will achieve, other than a lot of educators, administrators and teachers will spend a lot of time and money in committee meetings and publish lots of reports and recommendations.
It is not a matter of standards. It is matter of how to motivate the students to explore the world of the written language, through reading.