Just saw the following article on slashdot:
What really caught my eye was “The state ranked 47th, only above Mississippi, Alabama and the District of Columbia, in a tie with Hawaii.” The District of Columbia. Think about that for a moment. Then think about where the US Department of Education is.
It would be easy to hop on the bandwagon and cry out about the sorry state of “education” across the US. For me personally, it is the tests themselves, and the metrics we hold up as “standards”, that are sorry. Yes, no doubt, there are issues in all our schools, issues with pedagogy, issues with curriculum, issues with tradition and practices – I do not argue against that. And to that end, Common Core sounds like a good leveler, a true standard if you will.
And yet I ask, “Is that really the biggest problem we have?”
“We are looking at a lot of different ways to carry students forward into the 21st century,” said Allen. “Science, technology, engineering and math are where most of the jobs will be in the future. We don’t want every child to become a scientist, but we want them to be prepared to make that choice if they want.”
I have a different opinion. I continue to assert that we need to focus on relationships, on conflict resolution, on giving a crap for our fellow humans. STEM is nice if you want to specialize in something (and sure sounds as sexy as all get out for the geeks of the world – and yes, I call myself a geek). But STEM does not stop white collar crime, nor do much about overpopulated jails or keeping kids off streets. Heck, for that matter, STEM has made the TSA go from bad to horrible and our social lives are run amok with “technological advancements” like facebook + iPhone and other always-plugged-in devices. We have overdosed. STEM is like bringing Patrón to an AA meeting – good stuff, bad context.