Common Core is a Flaw in ERC Economic Development Plan!

I attended the ERC Board Meeting this morning and listened to the discussion on the need to expand educational opportunities in Nevada County and to keep more of our graduates here, working for local tech companies.  Part of that discussion is being reported in The Union:

Many local school district officials, business owners and residents have been concerned with the county’s inability to keep young professionals in the region. Many of the county’s best and brightest go off to college out of the area, and due to a lack of career opportunities, they don’t come back, which can lead to less young families, less students, and less money spent in Nevada County.

That’s something the Nevada County Economic Resource Council, in partnership with California State University, Chico, is looking to change it aims to bring more educational and professional opportunities to the county.

“Our strategy to recruit video technology companies means there will be more companies here and more opportunities,” ERC Executive Director Jon Gregory said. “So by creating this partnership with computer science and engineering with Chico State, now you’ve really created a direct linkage between the students of Nevada County and the employment opportunities that exist for them, it’s a much more linear pathway, which today is disjointed and fragmented.”

Chico State University College of Engineering, Computer Sciences and Construction Management Assistant Dean Jerry Hight gave a presentation to the ERC board Thursday morning that stressed the importance of providing new educational opportunities to the local region, which in turn would help grow the local economic pie.

As I was listening this presentation and discussion, I was thinking about the implementation of Common Core, which is not designed to prepare students for engineering and science degrees.

Common Core is so flawed that even one of its authors, Jason Zimba, admits “that the new standards wouldn’t prepare students for colleges to which ‘most parents aspire’ to send their children.” 

In an op-ed at the Wall Street Journal, Marina Ratner, renowned professor emerita of mathematics at the University of California at Berkeley, explains why the Common Core standards will make math education even worse in the United States and move the nation “even closer to the bottom in international ranking.”

Listening the presentation and the discussion,  I was thinking the quality of a finished product (qualified engineers) is determined in part by the quality of the total parts (well educated high school students) that go into that finished project(engineers for local companies0. It is clear to a lot of professional educators that Common Core is not going to produce high school seniors ready to enter a university  seeking engineering and science degrees.  The ERC plan is for local Common Core graduates, educationally crippled students, to attend California engineering schools, including Chico State University and work for local companies who are looking for the best and brightest. 

I think the the ERC needs to step back one level in the education chain and insure the quality of Nevada County High School students. Students that are clearly ready to enter Chico State and graduate with a computer science or engineering degree.  We need to reject Common Core and return to the previous California Educational Standards.

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About Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.
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