Opinion
Federal Letter to the Editor

Both NCLB and the Common Core Ignore Students’ Individuality

March 31, 2015 1 min read

To the Editor:

The basic problem of the debates over both the No Child Left Behind Act and the Common Core State Standards is the belief held by some that all children should be taught the same thing at the same time and be measured against each other to see whether progress has been made.

This has not worked for past generations, and will not work for future generations. Each child is different—cognitively, socially, physically, and emotionally—and should never be measured against the accomplishments or growth of another child. Children are not created on an assembly line, with the end products to be compared with those from other assembly lines.

The common-core standards could be useful as a tool for teachers to guide students to create their own individual goals for attainment. The tests themselves can only be useful for an individual student to see if he or she has in fact accomplished those individual goals and to plot the next steps on the continuum of the common standards.

These standards should be based on the basic skills for reading, math, science, social studies, and the arts as they are used for a life of continuous learning. The content addressed for accomplishing those skills will differ from child to child, school to school, and state to state. Thus, trying to compare schools and states is a worthless endeavor that wastes money and creates school dropouts.

Nancy S. Self

College Station, Texas

The author is a retired clinical associate professor from Texas A&M University.

A version of this article appeared in the April 01, 2015 edition of Education Week as Both NCLB and the Common Core Ignore Students’ Individuality

Let us know what you think!

We’re looking for feedback on our new site to make sure we continue to provide you the best experience.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by Learning.com
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Speech Therapists
Lancaster, PA, US
Lancaster Lebanon IU 13
Elementary Teacher
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools
Elementary Teacher - Scholars Academy
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools

Read Next

Federal Biden Calls for $130 Billion in New K-12 Relief, Scaled Up Testing, Vaccination Efforts
President-elect Joe Biden proposed new aid for schools as part of a broader COVID-19 relief plan, which will require congressional approval.
5 min read
First-grade teacher Megan Garner-Jones, left, and Principal Cynthia Eisner silent clap for their students participating remotely and in-person at School 16, in Yonkers, N.Y., on Oct. 20, 2020.
First-grade teacher Megan Garner-Jones, left, and Principal Cynthia Eisner silent clap for their students participating remotely and in-person at School 16, in Yonkers, N.Y.
Mary Altaffer/AP
Federal Who Is Miguel Cardona? Education Secretary Pick Has Roots in Classroom, Principal's Office
Many who've worked with Joe Biden's pick for education secretary say he's ready for what would be a giant step up.
15 min read
Miguel Cardona, first-time teacher, in his fourth-grade classroom at Israel Putnam School in Meriden, Ct. in August of 1998.
Miguel Cardona, chosen to lead the U.S. Department of Education, photographed in his 4th-grade classroom at Israel Putnam School in Meriden, Conn., in 1998.
Courtesy of the Record-Journal
Federal Obama Education Staff Involved in Race to the Top, Civil Rights Join Biden's White House
Both Catherine Lhamon and Carmel Martin will serve on President-elect Joe Biden's Domestic Policy Council.
4 min read
Federal Opinion What Conservatives Should Be for When It Comes to Education
Education is ultimately about opportunity, community, and empowerment, and nothing should resonate more deeply with the conservative heart.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty