Using the required studies and your own research, respond to the following:
- What should be the focus of American public schools? Do you think the U.S. should be maturing
children into adult citizens or preparing the next generation of industry management and employees? Do
you think the U.S. should be doing something else altogether? Explain and justify your claims.
- In your opinion, does the Common Core sufficiently cover the values and skills American students
should have upon completing public education?
o If so, what evidence supports this claim?
o If not, explain what might be missing and provide evidence which supports that claim
WHAT SHOULD SCHOOL BE DOING FOR STUDENTS?
WHAT SHOULD SCHOOL BE DOING FOR STUDENTS? 2
What Should School be doing for Students?
Schools should be more concerned about developing the individual into a mature, skilled and
knowledgeable individual who can contribute to the nation’s economic development. This
insinuates that besides instilling skills and knowledge, schools have an obligation to mature
children into adult citizens and thus prepare the next generation of industry management and
In the recent past, the American school system has come under scrutiny, based on the
production of ‘half-baked’ graduates, which consequently influences their ability to be integrated
into the competitive corporate world (Kendall, 2011). Fresh graduates are said to lack people
skills, proficiency, sense of responsibility, problem-solving, cognitive strategies and critical
thinking skills that employers seek (Conley, 2007). This is because the teachers have mostly
focused on academic excellence and little or no time is dedicated to building an individual’s soft
skills and critical thinking (Kendall, 2011). Children need to be matured through teaching them
to be responsible, and promoting critical thinking and problem solving; thus preparing them for
their future role as employees and managers. This will ensure that they are ready to contribute to
economic development by utilizing the skills learnt in school.
The Common Core sufficiently covers the skills and values that American students
should possess upon completing public education. The Common Core aims at instilling various
critical skills among them the ability to demonstrate independence, have strong knowledge of
content, critique in addition to comprehending, develop value for evidence, have the ability to
WHAT SHOULD SCHOOL BE DOING FOR STUDENTS? 3
respond task and discipline demands and have an understanding of other cultures and
perspectives (corestandards.org; Kendall, 2011). These are valuable skills for students because
they ensure that the students are not only provided with academic knowledge but that they also
acquire critical thinking skills that are necessary for enhancing their ability to fit into the
WHAT SHOULD SCHOOL BE DOING FOR STUDENTS? 4
Conley, D.T. (2007).Toward a comprehensive conception of college readiness. Eugene, Oregon:
Educational Policy Improvement Center.
Corestandards.org. Myths v. Facts About the Common Core Standards.