Saving someone’s life sounds like a daunting task that can only be accomplished by people of a certain age and experience. Fortunately, Fontbonne is making it easier than ever for teenagers to get involved. The Blood Drive, sponsored by Friends for Life and Bonnies for Health, will take place on Monday, March 21 from 8:30am to 1pm. Registration will be open March 14-15 in the cafeteria during lunch periods. Forms will appear on the school website later this week.
The event is being sponsored by the New York Blood Center.
In order to participate, students have to meet three requirements. They must be at least 16 years of age, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds, and be healthy both on the day of the drive and in general. You may only donate during a resource or lunch period. Prior to donation, remember to eat well and stay hydrated.
In 2015, more than 30 girls participated in Fontbonne’s Blood Drive. One of those donors was Farah El-Choum ‘16. “I never really gave donating blood a thought but after I realized that I can save up to 3 people's lives, I began looking forward to doing it.”
Someone in the United States needs blood every 2 seconds. Donating blood is a noble act that can aid people in desperate need of a transfusion. “Blood is essential for life. 1 in 3 people will need blood in their lifetime,” says Ms. Connolly, moderator of the Friends for Life club. “Donating just one pint of blood has the potential to save up to 3 lives. Fontbonne students have always been so generous in donating, and we expect the same this year.” According to American Red Cross, more than 1 million people will be diagnosed with cancer this year. Many of these people will need blood during treatment, sometimes every day. By donating blood you may help someone fight a disease or even recover from an accident.
If you are interested in helping those in need, register for the blood drive!
Bonnies for Health is moderated by Mrs. Essex and Mrs. Ganser. Friends for Life is moderated by Ms. Connolly and Mrs. O’Donnell.
For more information on donating blood, click here.
Humans have been wearing makeup for thousands of years. Archaeologists have found evidence of cosmetic use across the globe in places such as Egypt, China, Japan, and the Middle East. It’s even been mentioned in the Bible. People used prototypes of eyeliner, lipstick, and even skincare products to enhance their appearances.
Today, many people find that wearing makeup increases their self-confidence and makes them feel more attractive. This is a positive thing, but the problem lies in dependence on cosmetics. Women often feel unappealing after taking off their makeup and will not leave the house without it. Barbara Greenberg of the Huffington Post notes, “The results of a recently-released survey found that approximately 20% of girls between 8 and 18 who wear makeup describe feeling unappealing, undesirable and simply not confident when they are not wearing makeup.” The environments in which girls are introduced to makeup is very important and will have a great effect on their self-esteem as they mature into adults. If girls learn from various sources that they can only appear desirable with makeup on, their confidence will deteriorate and their dependence on cosmetics will increase.
The main problem involves the power of the media and beauty advertisement. When the beauty industry was still relatively young, many ads appealed to women who struggled with parts of their body they considered problematic- this includes gray hair, unwanted body hair, and skin tone. Ads through the early to mid-20th century catered to these women’s weaknesses, promising solutions to their woes:
From the very beginning, it is evident that the beauty industry preyed on the things women hated most about themselves to appeal to them and gain profit. The general idea of advertisement is to draw in consumers to buy a product and help a business earn money. Clearly, it was a decent idea to try and relate to potential customers by appearing sympathetic to their problems; in other words, “We feel terrible that you have this beauty problem. Let us help you with this amazing invention!” Naturally, the response to these advertisements would be great, with many women rushing to buy solutions to issues that were never really problems to begin with.
One of the big issues that arise in beauty advertisement is the creation of previously nonexistent bodily flaws. This is even a problem in the 21st century, when long eyelashes and thick lips increased in popularity. Once brands get a hold of a trend, they target the audience that does not possess that look- for example, people with short eyelashes or thin lips- and attack.
One brand that is guilty of this is Benefit Cosmetics. “Turn your lashes from ‘yuck’ to ‘wow’ with they’re real! mascara,” the brand advertises. “With lashes beyond belief, no need for falsies!” Aside from the fact that I find Benefit’s mascara to be clumpy and time-consuming to apply, their form of advertisement is not necessary. I was actually shocked to see their ads in Sephora- I had figured supposed flaw-exposing images only existed in ads from the 1950s and Star magazine.
Some time ago, women began calling out beauty brands on their unfair treatment of potential customers. Just two years ago, blogger Beth Berry published a fiery blog post calling out the negative impact of the cosmetics industry on all people:
“You lie to little girls.
You confuse young boys.
You perpetuate self-loathing in adolescents.
You manipulate images of already-beautiful bodies into unachievable, inhuman shapes in order to present ‘beauty’ as just beyond our reach.”
Many people started calling out makeup brands that targeted women’s flaws and presented apparent solutions. Many internet users, both famous and unknown, went makeup-free to show how the beauty industry did not define them and that they were beautiful without makeup. They didn’t need it.
In short, we don’t need makeup. If you really think about it, nobody really needs to draw on their face with powders and pencils advertised as cosmetics to appear more beautiful. But this viewpoint can be problematic as well. I believe a lot of people turn their attention from the harmful beauty brands and place blame on the makeup itself. So instead of calling out the industry for treating women as walking defects (“Hey, beauty industry, stop making me feel less beautiful!”), we personify cosmetics themselves and battle with them (“NYX High Definition Finishing Powder, you are the bane of my existence.”). With so much attempted manipulation from money-hungry companies, it’s difficult not to have an issue with the products they are selling. However, I think it’s important to remember the positives of makeup, and how many brands have started supporting cosmetic use as an art form rather than a blemish corrector.
I have observed firsthand that social media has contributed greatly to the promotion of makeup to enhance the beauty of the human body. Many makeup artists display their work on platforms such as Instagram. Often, their looks are avant-garde and are not considered wearable in everyday terms. This is extremely beneficial to users who may stumble upon the posts during a casual browsing session. The use of bright, unconventional colors and patterns promotes cosmetics as a tool for enhancement rather than correction. Another thing I love about these artists is that they accept men into the makeup community without question. I have always wondered why, even during a time of gender acceptance and equality, people still consider males wearing makeup taboo. If makeup is an art form a man chooses to immerse himself in, who are we to challenge it?
There are several things cosmetics users need to do in order to prevent industry-induced self hatred. First, you need to recognize why you are wearing makeup in the first place. Is it to highlight your features or express your personal style? Or is it to cover up parts of your face you consider unattractive? Makeup is a powerful tool that requires great responsibility to handle. Perhaps you should rethink using it if your only motive is to conceal what you think is ugly. It’s a good idea to reflect on self-consciousness and self-love before getting involved in cosmetics.
You should also be prepared to be accepting of other people’s personal styles. Not every makeup user is self-conscious; many people simply use it to give themselves a confidence boost. Their ideas of beauty may be different than yours. For example, you may think red lipstick looks awful on you, but it may make someone else feel beautiful. It’s all about what personally makes you feel great- not anyone else.
Lastly, you should support cosmetic companies that promote positivity and artistic expression rather than guilt. Indie brands seem to be the best at positive marketing. Many of them provide a myriad of products and colors, and they are often very personal due to their small size. (For your convenience, I have attached a list of popular indie brands at the bottom of this article.) However, there are lots of large companies that push for self-love as well. It truly is important to purchase products from brands that support positivity and have consumers who do the same.
Makeup is wonderful if you use it with a positive attitude. You can emphasize parts of your face with brilliant colors and enhance your natural beauty. Approaching the process with the knowledge that you are beautiful both with and without makeup is the key. You can wear bright yellow eyeshadow or simply cover acne as long as you know that you’re the same lovely person regardless of what you wear.
Some reliable indie brands:
-Glitter Elixirs Cosmetics
-Makeup Geek Cosmetics
David Bowie was a multitalented artist whose eccentric, androgynous appearances caught the attention of the entire world. This makeup tutorial was inspired by both the color schemes of his album art as well as Bowie’s general luminescence. Follow the guide and video below to learn how to create this (mostly) wearable look!
All of the eyeshadows I used are from either Urban Decay’s Naked 2 or Electric Palettes. There is a product list at the end of this article.
*I filled in my eyebrows before starting the eyeshadow, but this is optional.
1. Because you will be using using some colors rather than just nudes, prime your eyelids before starting. It’s not necessary, but you may find that eyeshadow stays longer and creases less on top of primed eyelids.
2. Let the primer dry for about thirty seconds. Take an orange color- any type of orange will do- and apply it to your crease. Make sure to cover your entire crease and blend it upward toward your eyebrow.
3. With the same brush, apply a brown shadow over the orange. Blend it less so the orange is still visible on top.
4. Take a silver or white eyeshadow and apply it all over the lid.
5. Using the same brown eyeshadow as before, apply it to the outer corner and blend toward the center of the lid. Then take a black eyeshadow (ideally matte) and apply it over the brown in the outer corner as well. Blend it up into the crease, but do not let the black overpower the orange that is already there.
6. Take a flat brush and apply a light blue to the inner crease- it should start around the halfway point of your crease and go to your inner corner (NOT on the lid). Blend to soften harsh color transitions.
7. A brow highlight is optional but highly recommended. Take a shade lighter than your skin tone (a highlight color from a contour kit will work) and line the bottom of your eyebrow with it, blending into the crease.
8. Now take a light white or silver eyeshadow to use as your inner corner highlight- it should be lighter than your lid color (and hopefully more glittery). Apply it to the inner corner of your eye and around to your lash line. Gently press it onto your entire lower lash line (just below your bottom lashes, not above).
9. Next, line your eyes with a white eyeliner. This step depends on what kind of eyeliner you prefer to use. You may use a pencil, but keep in mind that it is harder to create an eyeliner wing with a pencil applicator. I recommend either liquid or gel to make the best wing. I actually used liquid lipstick as my eyeliner for this look, applying it with an angled brush. (A note on using lipstick on the eyes: Make sure your lip product is eye-safe before applying it anywhere in the eye area. Products not meant for the eyes may yield unwanted results.)
10. Create a wing at the end of your eye using the same eyeliner.
11. Use a black pencil eyeliner and apply it to your waterline- this is the area just above your lower lashes.
12. From the end of the eye, guide a thin line of black eyeliner under the white wing you made in step 10. You should make a line that just traces the wing that is already there- try not to extend it. (I recommend liquid liner for this step.)
13. What would a Bowie-inspired makeup look be without glitter? Using loose glitter or glitter eyeliner, cover around the outer half of the white eyeliner, starting from the wing and gradually tapering off in the middle of your eye. Make sure it is most opaque on the wing to create an ombre-like effect. After this, put on some mascara to complete the look. Any color will do, but I used black.
-Urban Decay Primer Potion in “Anti-Aging”
-Urban Decay Electric Pressed Pigment Palette (“Slowburn,” “Gonzo,” and “Revolt”)
-Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette (“Busted,” “Verve,” “Blackout”)
-Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in “Drug Lord”
-Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in “Perversion”
-Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in “Trooper”
-Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner in “Spandex”
-Urban Decay Perversion Mascara
What is feminism?
Many people will answer this question with a dictionary-definition answer: it is the movement for the equality of women to men. Others, however, argue that feminism an umbrella term covering advocacy for the equal rights of all minorities (e.g. in regards to race or disability) to their privileged counterparts, which would include women in the mix. Some even believe that feminism is the promotion of female superiority.
As a feminist, I support the idea that women should be politically, socially, and economically equal to male counterparts. When I first discovered the movement, I was surprised that some people didn’t want to fight for equality under the “feminist” label. As I opened my eyes to the strengths and weaknesses of feminism, I made several deductions as to why so many individuals are hesitant to become involved.
Says Celia Buckman of The Huffington Post: “To be a feminist doesn't mean that you have a quota of protests to attend or spend a minimum amount of time ranting about the patriarchy. It means you believe in equality.”
This may be true, but with all of the definitions of the movement floating around in both real life and cyberspace, it is a challenge to decipher its true meaning. Someone may not want to call themselves a feminist because they overheard it is a radical movement for women to overpower men. Others may not want to join the movement because they believe it is too broad and has no clear goal. Whatever their reasoning may be, this hesitation to label oneself as a feminist leads to one question: Did we do something wrong?
One of the main goals of primitive feminism was to achieve women’s suffrage. It soon branched out and focused on other issues, such as reproductive rights and workforce safety. Feminists in the 20th century made many achievements for women’s rights. Even today, women achieve equality in different types of victories. Women may now apply for any combat job in the military. Someone on the fence about their position as a feminist may see these great accomplishments and decide that they too want to push for gender equality. But why are they on that fence in the first place?
The internet is an incredible thing. Everyday people have the ability to create blogs and share all types of information with the world around them. However, if you’ve ever taken a computer class (or gotten the “internet safety” lecture from your parents), it is obvious that there are both positive and negative aspects of world wide web usage. The promotion of increasingly radical feminism on the internet is definitely something that has tarnished the social movement’s original message.
This may seem like a brash statement, especially coming from a feminist. I have observed first-hand, however, that a large portion of the online social justice community is hostile and quite absurd. Bloggers take the basic entry-level, or introductory level, of feminism and run off with it. What I mean is this: many people on social websites, notably Tumblr, find the idea of the entry level useless. To them, the basic principles of women’s equality in social, political, and economic areas is not enough. Some believe that if one is not radical, they are not a feminist at all.
There are several different levels of intensity for all popular ideas. Because the Internet allows anyone to voice whatever they like wherever they like, bloggers begin to isolate themselves in metaphorical opinion bubbles. Many even take offense to outside ideas that differ from their own. Deliberate ignorance is a widespread issue that is prevalent in both the real world and online; however, in terms of social justice and feminism, most of the damaging content can be found on the internet.
While some statements made by Tumblr users (who are often dubbed “social justice warriors” by both themselves and others) are questionable or somewhat extreme for entry-level feminists to process, others are downright off-putting. For example, says one Tumblr user: “If you are a dude and it is 3:00 in the morning/ DO NOT walk behind a woman/ ESPECIALLY if she is walking alone/ … Jesus men, be aware of how you are perceived for once in your life.” This user’s message may simply be that men should be aware of how they act around a vulnerable person (i.e. the woman walking alone at 3:00 am). This is an inappropriate way to make this point. I do feel unsafe walking around by myself sometimes. It is true that, as a woman, there are many threats I am susceptible to. Yet it is not acceptable to take my fear out on men. Some people are harmful. Others are not. I cannot force all men to avoid me at night because I fear the few dangerous ones. If I were someone undecided about the women’s equality movement and read this online post, I would immediately be mislead into thinking that was the opinion of all feminists. This is why posts such as these are detrimental to the true meaning of feminism. They discourage different types of people from becoming involved and warp what the movement is really about.
Many social media users who claim to be feminists use hate and accusatory actions to promote their idea of social justice as well. This often includes blaming the people they consider more privileged for the problems they face in today’s society. I have found an unsettling amount of derogatory content directed at men on platforms such as Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter. For example, one Tumblr user writes, “Hating on men has seriously become my new favourite pastime.” Another says, “Why would u write anything about men men are the most boring creatures on the planet.” I was absolutely appalled to find these posts online. Not only are they blatantly sexist- the authors of these messages use feminism to justify their hatred for men. Therefore, if an unbiased person views these while scrolling around on a blog, they may get the wrong idea about feminism.
The exposure of potential feminists to misleading, sexist, and harmfully radical internet content is one of the main reasons they are so hesitant to use the label for themselves. Who can blame them? Who would want to be a part of that?
This is where the importance of entry-level feminism comes into play. Not surprisingly, many radicals are uncomfortable with introducing others to the basic principle that men and women are equal. To many, it is not enough. However, I beg to differ. It’s more than enough. It is natural that people will be deterred from feminism if they are either a) reading hate-filled material claiming to be feminist or b) introduced to its most radical, eyebrow-raising forms.
Think of it this way: at age five, would you rather start taking math classes that deal with basic counting or BC Calculus? We are introduced to the math fundamentals first for a reason. At a young age we learn the four basic operations in mathematics: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Similarly, with entry-level feminism I learned that the movement was about the social, political, and economic equality of women to men. In math, we learn how to fix our mistakes and advance further into more involved topics. When I became more involved in feminism, I learned that there were many people who blackened the good intentions of the movement by misleading others with unjust opinions. Finally, the level of complexity that people leave off with in math is similar to that of feminism. After high school, some students may never take math again and stay on the same level. This is completely fine; after all, if they have no intentions to delve deeper into mathematics, why would they want to advance? Some people may stay comfortably at the entry level of feminism because it suits them the most. This does not make them more ignorant or less intelligent than more radical feminists. Not everyone wants to be as outspoken or active in the movement as others; it really comes down to personal preference at the end. This is something that is often forgotten.
I do not agree with every aspect of feminism. I would not consider myself a radical (though I’m not at the entry level, either). One of my goals as a feminist is to help others realize it is an inherently good-hearted push for social justice. As much as I would like to convince everyone who has been mislead by hate posts online, I cannot. As feminists, we must realize that equality of the sexes has always been what the movement has been about and that is what it should continue to imply. It’s impossible to stop every blemish on the internet, but we can prevent further damage by welcoming others and supporting the idea of an entry level. Only then can we repeal the taboo status of feminism.
Although the curly hair trait is genetically dominant, straight hair seems to be everywhere. Beauty ads encourage those with natural curls to straighten them. It’s always had a bad rap in the media as well; often, curly-haired characters in movies and television shows are portrayed as humorous and “geeky,” unlike their straight-haired counterparts. Recently, however, girls have started embracing their curly hair. With encouragement from both supportive beauty brands (like Dove) and peers, you too can love your curls! Here are five essential things every curly girl should know.
In fact, many curly girls skip shampoo altogether. This is often called co-washing or the “curly girl method” and involves washing the hair with only conditioner. Many girls who use this method work with special types of conditioners that work as a shampoo substitute. On the other hand, there are sulfate-free shampoos that are great for curly hair; one popular product includes DevaCurl No-Poo Zero Lather Conditioning Cleanser.
2. ...But you WILL die without conditioner
Because of the structure of curls, many essential oils do not reach each and every strand of hair, causing it to dry out. This is why conditioner is so important; it hydrates curls and lowers the amount of frizz that may occur due to dryness.
You should condition your hair in the shower even if it isn’t time for a wash. It is important to make sure it has enough moisture and is protected, especially in humid climates.
3. Daily hair washing is not necessary
One of the biggest mistakes made by curly girls is that they wash their hair too often. So how long should you wait in between each wash? Generally, the thicker your curls, the less often you have to wash your hair. Scrubbing it with shampoo too often will dry it out and strip it of its oils. If your hair is extremely coarse, you may be able to go a week (or even more!) without washing it. For upkeep, many girls will co-wash in between full washes. Read more about co-washing here.
4. Keep the heat away from your hair
Heat-based products like straighteners and blow dryers are unhealthy for every type of hair. Using too much heat can have a variety of negative effects on your curls including increased dryness and frizz. Air dry your hair when possible. If you can’t bear to part with your hair dryer, use a diffuser attachment. It is a bowl-shaped piece that changes the air flow, drying different sections of your hair to shape your curls. Additionally, blow-dry on a “cool” setting. Doing this will dry your hair effectively without overwhelming it.
5. Always be confident!
Curly girls have always gotten the short end of the stick. Often, it seems like the media is out to straighten every curl on the planet. Never let this keep you from wearing your hair how you want it. Don’t let peer pressure force you into changing it. You were born with a trait that adds to your individuality… Wear it with pride!
Autumn is in full swing, and that means warm colors are back in style. Darker, warmer colors may seem intimidating at first, but with this tutorial you will be able to confidently pull off a toasty smokey eye!
(Recommendation: Urban Decay’s Primer Potion.)
Also, before I apply any eyeshadow, I fill in my eyebrows. This is optional, but will truly complete your look. There are many different ways to do your eyebrows- you may use a pencil, powder, or pomade. They mostly depend on personal preference, with pencil being the lightest and easiest to apply and pomade being thicker and more difficult. There is no need to go overboard; just follow the shape of your natural eyebrows to bring out their fullness.
PENCIL: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz
POWDER: Urban Decay Brow Box
POMADE: Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow)
2) Crease color
Now we are ready to begin. Using a crease brush, apply an orange color to your crease and blend upward. Make sure you do this lightly. The orange will serve as a base for the next pigment applied.
(Recommendation: Urban Decay Slowburn)
3) Crease color continued
Using a crease brush, apply a brown eyeshadow on top of the orange and blend it out so just a bit of orange shows through. You may use any type of brown, whether it is matte or shimmery.
(Recommendation: Urban Decay Busted)
4) The eyelid
Switch to a flat eyeshadow brush for the lid. Starting in the center, apply either a white or silver color and blend lightly over the rest of the eyelid. Make sure most of the pigment is in the middle.
(Recommendations: Urban Decay Verve or Polyester Bride)
5) Outer and inner corners
Now that your lid is lightly covered, take a warm, rich gold and pat it into the outer and inner corners of your eyes. Blend it into your white/silver eyeshadow.
(Recommendation: Urban Decay Half Baked)
6) Outer corner continued
You’re almost finished! Using your crease brush again, lightly apply a black eyeshadow to the outermost corner of your eye and blend it into the crease. Black eyeshadow can be easily overdone because of its heavy pigmentation, so make sure you’re only using a small bit at a time. You can always make it darker if needed… but not lighter!
(Recommendation: Urban Decay Blackout)
7) Brow highlight
This step is optional, but will tie together your eyeshadow look. Using a matte shade lighter than your skin tone, trace the bottom of your eyebrow and blend downward into the crease. Highlighting your brow bone will draw attention to your eyebrows and brighten your eye makeup.
(Recommendation: Urban Decay Foxy)
8) Finishing touches
Now that your eyeshadow is finished, you should line your eyes with a black eyeliner. Whether you should use a pencil or liquid is all about personal preference. You may also want to draw on some wings to add flair. Finally, complete the look with a black mascara of your choice.
EYE PENCIL: Urban Decay Perversion or MAC Pro Longwear Eyeliner in Definedly Black
LIQUID LINER: Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper
MASCARA: BareMinerals Lash Domination Volumizing Mascara)
Your autumn eye makeup is complete! This look truly gives off a warm fall glow. You may be shivering on 50 degree, high wind days, but at least your eyelids will be nice and cozy.
Stay tuned for the next makeup tutorial!
Add 26 + 17 by breaking apart numbers to make a ten.
Use a number that adds with the 6 in 26 to make a 10.
Since 6 + 4 = 10, use 4.
Think: 17 = 4 + 13.
Add 26 + 4 = 30.
Add 30 + 13 = 43.
So, 26 + 17 = 43.
Get all that?
Yeah, neither did I.
The Common Core Standards were first released in 2010. They were created following the passing of No Child Left Behind, an education law enacted by President Bush in 2001. It declared that if a state required more students to reach a specific expectation, it could either improve its education system or simply lower the bar. Most states chose the second option to fill the quota of passing students with ease. In response to this, a group called the National Governors Association developed a set of standards that all states would use to make sure the entire country was on the same level. It was called the Common Core.
Since then, 45 states and Washington, D.C. have adopted the Common Core. It is not a curriculum; rather, it is a set of standards that outline what a student should know at the end of their grade level. Schools are free to create their own curriculum based on the standards.
So what’s the problem?
Drawn out on paper, Common Core sounds awesome- but that’s precisely the issue. (Communism looked awesome on paper too, until someone realized it wasn’t realistic.)
There are several reasons why this system does not work.
First and foremost, the main problem people have with the Common Core is the way it requires students to solve math problems. Joy Pullmann of The Federalist writes, “Common Core [has] deformed even the most elementary of our math abilities so that simple addition now takes dots, dashes, boxes, hashmarks, and foam cubes, plus an inordinate amount of time.” The system requires children to learn every complex method possible to solve basic problems- except the most convenient ways. It is supposed to help students “understand” what rudimentary problems mean by using a “base 10” method. The idea is that it is easier to solve problems if the children learn to break the numbers into tens places and then tack on ones at the end. The result, however, is a complete disaster.
Another problem is the purpose of the Common Core. Its slogan, “college and career readiness,” reveals that its intent is not truly for the benefit of students. To confirm this, we must first analyze the purpose of education. To be educated means to be prepared for citizenship and the workforce. That’s where the Common Core gets it wrong. The entire focus of this system is to prepare students for work. While education does prepare us for careers, the Common Core completely ignores its other advantages. In this way, children learn from an early age that what they are learning is for working (and testing) only, and perhaps not meant to be enjoyed. Says Julie Borowski of FreedomWorks: “Common Core is a one-size-fits-all education policy that assumes every students learns exactly the same. A top down and centrally controlled standards will hurt students’ creativity and learning. Good education policy realizes that all students have different learning styles, preferences, and paces.”
A lesser-known issue is the effect the Common Core has on teachers. Many students and parents blame instructors for their stress, yet they are struggling as well. Teachers have little control over their own lesson plans because of Common Core. They must follow the standards and curriculum their school chooses with little room for deviation. This hurts teachers because they may not be able to use the instructional style they prefer. Some also have an issue understanding the Common Core themselves, even at an elementary level. Degree-holding professionals struggling to learn the new curriculum does indeed make a powerful statement.
The last issue that needs to be addressed is the constitutionality of the Common Core. This is a controversial discussion, with some claiming this system does not follow our Constitution. Many people believe that because education is not addressed in our country’s Constitution, it should not be federally controlled. They are calling it an “unconstitutional interstate compact.” Perhaps these people have the right idea- Article One, Section Ten of the Constitution prohibits such compacts. On the other hand, there exists the Education Commission of the States, a Congress-approved compact that allows states to communicate ideas for education.
There are reasons why people consider the Common Core to be beneficial as well. Many favor it because it clearly defines the expectations of students. Additionally, because of how in-depth much of the learning is, students will better understand what they are learning. On a larger scale, it is expected to improve America’s education rank, as the country has fallen behind the rest of the world in the past few years. Also, states will find that they will save money on the writing and scoring of exams; if every state is using the same standards, tests can be shared and each state will not have to make their own.
Discussion of the Common Core often brings me back to a quote by Shannon Panzo: “Work smart, not hard.” If the Common Core methods work for some people, that’s great. The issue is that it doesn’t work for everyone. If a student is comfortable with using seven steps to solve 2+2, the other student who uses mental math should not be penalized because they did not have the exact same thought process as the other.
The negatives of the Common Core definitely outweigh the positives. Sure, it’s beneficial that states will be saving money on test production, but there is another price to pay. The Common Core State Standards assume that every child is on the same level of learning. It requires the use of overly-complex processes to solve simple equations with the belief that students will understand the material better this way. It prepares for test readiness and positive grade data more than anything. The biggest issue with this system is its integration. To suddenly force students into adopting these rigorous standards has a slew of negative effects. Trust me- it won’t take foam cubes or ten frames to solve this equation for disaster.
About the Author
Lauren Silverman is a senior and one of The Folio's editors-in-chief. She most frequently writes for her two columns, Write Like You Mean It! and Editorial. Lauren is a member of the Major Art 3 class and plays drums in a band. She loves the Oxford comma, Neil Gaiman, and her three pet cats.