March 10 — 12:00 am, 2005

New core curriculum is a real nuisance for teachers, students

This article was originally written for the Northeast High School student newspaper, The Megaphone.

Does school seem more difficult this year? Do the teachers seem to be moving at a quicker pace? Whether you have noticed or not, everything has changed. The reason is the Philadelphia School District’s core curriculum. It is new, it is mind-numbing, and above all it is a real nuisance for both teachers and students. I strongly disagree with this new curriculum.

The core curriculum does not allow for teaching independence or creativity. The core curriculum is much like a cardboard box. It traps both the students and the teachers into a locked routine with no way out. The curriculum is accompanied by a strict timeline, which leaves no room for the students who require extra assistance. Teachers are bound to follow this timeline, whether students comprehend the material or not.

It has come to my attention that much of the student population does not seem to read for pleasure; instead, they read when they are forced to. In my opinion, the selections published in the core curriculum are tedious and burdensome. Being forced to read these types of stories day after day begins to take a toll not only on the students, but also on the educators. This new method of learning lacks the variety of classical literature, such as the works of William Shakespeare.

This curriculum requires everyone to be on a similar level. Special education students are left with no choice but to grasp what is being covered in the regular classrooms. This new regulation has thrown the teachers into a frenzy. It has thrown students into a state of boredom, and it has forced the administration to strive for perfection in the district at any cost.

As a student I have seen the effects that the core curriculum has placed on all three sides of the educational system. Each day that I attend classes, the expectations are very high due to the curriculum.

I strongly feel that more realistic goals should be set instead of unrealistic ones. Teachers should be allowed more freedom in their profession, students should be granted a more diverse learning experience, and their voices should be heard.

the notebook

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