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Justice, Spirituality & Education Journal

Authors

Albert Cheng

Abstract

On June 2, 2010, new national curricular standards in math and language arts, called the Common Core State Standards, were released by the National Governors Association and Council of Chief State School Officers. As of November 4, 2011, all but four U.S. states have adopted and already begun to implement the new standards in their primary and secondary schools. These developments have become a key subject of widespread debate in the education policy arena. Proponents of the Common Core State Standards argue, in particular, that establishing a single set of national standards is necessary in order to ensure educational equity: a condition in which all students have access to the same educational opportunities and performance expectations. This paper first draws upon the biblical worldview to reexamine this concept of educational equity and then argues that the effort to establish national standards carries a fundamental flaw that prevents the realization of equity. The paper also investigates two other approaches to set curricular standards (i.e., state-level efforts and school-level, parent- driven efforts) and argues that school-level, parent-driven efforts are the most viable approach to promote educational equity.

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