Newly appointed Department of Education head, Betsy Dovos, has provided a new initiative to remove Common Core Standards which could result in the end of racism in education. Many schools are hampered to help students of color due to associated federal government grant financing. The removal of Common Core Standards can provide many school districts with a high concentration of students of color the opportunity to redefine activities that are more conducive to the students that they serve.
Common Core State Standards is an educational initiative in the United States that details what K–12 students should know in English language arts and mathematics at the end of each grade. The initiative is sponsored by the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and seeks to establish consistent educational standards across the states as well as ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to enter credit-bearing courses at two- or four-year college programs or to enter the workforce.
To get grants such as the Race to the Top — or waivers from the mandates of No Child Left Behind states have to prove they have standards to prepare students for college and work. They don’t have to adopt the Common Core Standards, but that works as one way to qualify for grants or waivers. Betsy Devos could have the country on the brink of ending racism in education by Common Core Standards.
Presently the Common Core Standards provide minimal benefits to students of color. The Raccelerate Phenomenon provide a glimpse of how the standards have impacted Black students. The Raccelerate Phenomenon has an impact on the education, unemployment incarceration, and poverty level of Black men. Presently there are over 125 million and 20 million White women and Black men respectively in the United States. The graduation rate for White women is 88%. the graduation for Black men is 52%. The unemployment rate for White women is 7.1%. The unemployment rate for Black men is 13.3%. The prison rate for White women is 15%. The prison rate for Black men is 64%. The poverty rate for White woman is 11.6%. The poverty rate for Black men is 35%. This is an indication that the common core standards are not beneficial for students of color.
People of color should embrace the idea that Betsy Devos is willing to dismantle a system of standards that are counter productive. We know that they are counter productive due to the historical achievement gap between students of color and White and Asian students.
The elimination of racism by removing the Common Core Standards could begin with redefining the social studies and world languages curriculum. Instead of glossing over the facts important to the United States, the focus could become more Afro-Hispanic centered. Students could become immersed in the atrocities faced by their ancestors and develop solutions. Therefore eliminating the continued cultural struggle that a perpetuates a failing economic class.
This could lead to redefining the types of language that students of color learn. The total number of languages natively spoken in Africa is variously estimated (depending on the delineation of language vs. dialect) at between 1,250 and 2,100, and by some counts at “over 3,000”, Nigeria alone has over 500 languages (according to the count of SIL Ethnologue), one of the greatest concentrations of linguistic diversity in the world.
Students of color could learn these languages as an alternative to the school to prison pipeline. Instead of going from school to prison, they could go from school to Africa.
We have to applaud the efforts of Betsy Devos. An administration that is willing to tear down the very institutional racism that contributes to the demise of students of color is welcomed. The restructuring of Common Core Standards could become the new wave that eliminates racism in schools.
Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
PO Box 4707 Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
- Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships
- Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships: Methodology
- The Raccelerate Formula App
- Treasures of Hidden Racism in Education
- The Ultimate Guide to Classroom Racism Management
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