Will Public Education Survive the Next Administration?
by Emily Talmage
Donald Trump has called Common Core a “disaster.” The leaked DNC emails refer to the standards as a “political third rail.”
At this point, however, the controversial standards may be more of a red herring than anything else.
While the public remains largely in the dark, a massive upheaval of our public school system is well underway, and recent proposals from both major political parties indicate that the transformation will move full speed ahead regardless of who is elected president this fall.
The new system is designed to expand the education market by allowing out-of-district providers – including online programs, non-profits, local businesses, and even corporations- to award credit for student learning. At the same time, it doubles down on workforce development by aligning educational outcomes to the needs of industry leaders.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, students will “no longer [be] tethered to school buildings or schedules.” Instead, the system will require students to earn “digital badges” that they will display in individual competency-profiles accessible to potential employers and investors.
“By collecting skill-based badges, the record of achievement begun in secondary school becomes the foundation upon which workers build their capabilities and tell their stories to employers,” explains the infamous testing-behemoth, Pearson Education.
Knowledgeworks recently described the new learning system as an “ecosystem,” in which the role of the traditional teacher will soon be obsolete.
With major investments from Wall Street, leaders in the online learning, ed-tech, and student loan industries, and even celebrity billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Reed Hastings of Netflix, the transformation has recently been picking up speed.
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