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Why is Education Important? Does Common Core Testing Answer the Question?

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Does the Common Core testing foster the answering of this fundamental question? The Common Core has been defined as a series of grade-by-grade standards for English/language arts and math. It is thought that in this highly technical world young people need to know certain facts by the end of each of the sequential years they undergo instruction including the learning that is done in kindergarten.

However, from the beginning of human civilization the question of why we educate our children has been the present generations’ uppermost question.

Socrates taught that there are many types of knowledge, essential and mundane. He acknowledges that most people focus on mundane knowledge. He states that the craftsman builds up essential knowledge, so that he can develop expertise of his craft, but this essential knowledge only benefits himself. We need to assist our young people to develop the essential knowledge of "how best to live." Even when Socrates posits the question of what is absolutely essential knowledge, it is not easily answered, and most people live in shameful ignorance regarding matters of ethics and morals. (Brickhouse & Smith 1, p.30)

Does the testing associated with the Common Core help develop this essential knowledge of, “how best to live,” and how best to handle matters of ethics and moral issues that challenge society today? These are the questions most worth debating over.


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