Common Core is Minimizing Room for Creativity

With the increasing pressure on schools from Common Core to insure the students get ready for high-level tests, and for the school to ensure that every student learns to write the exact same way, creativity is endangered.

The Common Core program is the education outline in place in 42 states, the District of Columbia, and four United States territories. The program focuses on math and literary arts, i.e. English, and wants you to execute these subjects in an exceeding manner along with the pace of every other student, not allowing them to provide any room for creativity along the pathway to success. Not only does this school guideline not provide enough room for creativity in the main subjects, but is also allows no one to focus on the arts, and most schools do not require more than a year for the arts.

Students need more ways to express their thoughts in school. Often in school, assignments that are attempted one way will get refuted because the program says to do it a specific way. “I don’t understand why Common Core makes us learn the way we do. The content is shoved down our throats, and then they immediately move onto the next chapter. Then when we have a unit test I forget everything in the first chapter and only remember the second chapter,” said Marina Karides, a sophomore at Severna Park High School. “I never had time to analyze what I learned.”

“The importance of creative writing in helping our students to develop their own powers of expression, empathy and critical reading and thinking,” according to Lehigh University’s website, but if no students are exposed to the concept of creative writing, and only exposed to factual writing, then how will students writing develop?

Not only do the English and Math departments lack the amount of creativity needed, but schools with Common Core do not want students to focus of the subjects that allow for creative ways; art, music, and foreign language, due to the distract from the main subjects. The standard high school requirement in all 50 states for all schools is a requirement of .5 credits in the “art education,” equivalent to one semester, whereas a requirement of four English and four Math credits are required, according to the Education Commission of the States.

“Funds have been cut in more than 80 percent of U.S. school districts since 2008,” according to usnews website. “The very first programs to go are often disciplines such as music, art and foreign language.” If the students programs are getting cut how will they express their opinions? The answer is simple, in the way Common Core wants them to in English and Math.

Common Core, in theory, is a good way to students to follow by, but it does not allow students to get creative on any level except for the way the program wants it to run. “I thought it would make students more creative, until I became a part of it and saw what they actually teach,” said Kevin Zill, a freshman at Meade High School.

Preparing to build a proportioned windmill, sophomores Sophia Barron and Kiersten Crowley read over instructions provided to them which allows no room for error. Error throughout the building process would deduct points even though the students both tried their hardest to follow instructions. “The Common Core curriculum allows for no mistakes to be made even though I’m working faster than my brain can comprehend. If a mistake is made at any moment, I will fall behind leaving me in the dust,” said Barron. | Photo by Shelby Chasser.