The new standard in education these days is called, Common Core. Common Core was developed because the educational standards of each school throughout the United States vary. In an effort to unify education, the developers of Common Core sought out a solution: Teach each student the same curriculum in the same way.
Is that truly what is best for students? Standards are used in many aspects of life. Speed limits ensure drivers are aware of the top acceptable speed. Drug testing athletes ensures a level playing field. Accreditation is used by schools to consistently graduate only the students that reach a sincere understanding of what has been taught.
The problem lies with those that are exceptional. Will Common Core be able to ensure the success of those that are gifted and talented beyond age and typical ability? In a culture that wants all participants to receive an award, the gifted, unique, and exceptional quit trying to be the best. Speed limits were designed to do just that… limit speed. Common Core must ensure that those rare and remarkable students are able to show the world the fullness of their capabilities and be applauded for their exceptionalism.
The American culture, in an effort to bring unity, is guilty of punishing the great by rewarding the good. The educational bar in America must be raised, not lowered, if the Nation is to compete with the rest of the world. Not everyone is the same. All have value, gifts, and talents, but the reality is that some are gifted far beyond their peers. In the days of the first Olympics, the greats were honored and the others stood in the shadows of the glory given to the winner.
To be exceptional is to be determined enough to try harder, work smarter, sacrifice more in an effort to be awarded for the hard work it took to win the prize. Once upon a time, America wanted to be the best, so Americans pulled together to invest in the exceptional teachers, coaches, and leaders to invest in those willing to pay the price. Common Core will serve the masses to ensure a level playing field. The hope is that it will also inspire the great ones to be just that… great.