By Orts Lamroe ’17
As the years progress, the cost of college increase and Common Core Standards continue to be controversial. With the presidency nearing, the issue surrounding education has slithered into the race, and Republican candidate Marco Rubio is pursuing education reform in his 2016 platform.
Since its creation in 2010, Common Core Standards have been disputed across the nation. The program contains some flawed features; one specific example being its emphasis on tests as a primary measure of students’ intellect. Students possess many qualities that simply cannot be shown with pencil on a Lexmark sheet, yet test have become the defining component of intellectual ability.
“Testing shouldn’t be the main measure of intelligence because many factors go into passing an exam, some of which are dishonorable, including cheating and guessing,” said Tanya Silenko ’17.
However, the valid question that emerges when parting with tests as a main measure is, “How else do we know if students are learning the material?” This is the biggest argument for test-emphasized schooling.
However, nationalized standards for a country as large and diverse as the United States (sometimes crossing state lines feels like entering a foreign nation) may be hurting education because it is difficult to formulate a scheme that works for everyone. According to corestandards.org, 46 states have currently implemented Common Core Standards, which shows the immense reach of the program.
Rubio’s platform on marcorubio.com says the candidate supports giving local communities the power to decide what standards best suite their population’s needs.
Rubio also plans on combating the issues posed by loans and rising debt in higher education according to marcorubio.com. Reform efforts are evident in his “Student Right to Know Before You Go Act,” which campaigned for college-bound students and their families to be able to obtain information such as expected salary and debts. As president, the candidate would expand on this idea of helpful data through the establishment of an “information center” which would provide potentially vital facts to students in helping make serious decisions while avoiding financial regrets and maybe even emotional disasters.
Nikolas Magloire ’16 said, “There is so much crucial information we need to know, and most of the time it’s not given to us, you have to look for it yourself. I feel that with an information center, the college process will be much easier.”
Low-income youths are probably most attracted to Rubio’s support for a pay-by-income policy, which is mentioned on marcorubio.com. For instance, two students who complete the same course of education may have varying monthly payment options because they’ll be charged in accordance to how much money they make. When assessing the current student debt according to The New York Times article “A Student Loan System Stacked Against The Borrower” by Gretchen Morgenson, “Some 41 million Americans owe $1.2 trillion in student loan debt. The median debt burden among borrowers was $20,000 in 2014, up from $13,000 in 2007,” This fair system will give some young low-medium income adults and their families confidence in their decision to enroll in college.
Rubio’s plans provide simple solutions to educational issues that have been overcomplicated by the older generation politicians. His young age and past efforts add truth to his understanding of the struggles of those currently attending school. When election time arrives in November, Rubio will likely appeal to a large population of the student vote.