TOPIC: A nation should require all of its students to study the same national curriculum until they enter college.

I agree with the fact that a nation should require all its students to study the same national curriculum until they enter college. The major reason is that a common curriculum provides a fair basis for students to be evaluated and a reliable guide for teachers to plan lessons. One example of a nation having the same national curriculum is the Common Core curriculum implemented in the United States.

Previously, education in the United States was a state issue, and different states used different educational standards and emphasized different topics. From the student’s perspective, this lead to some states having lower or higher standards than others in different skills, and lead to students being unfairly biased to do well in certain subjects simply because they were living in a certain state. When it comes time for them to take the SAT, a standard test taken by almost all high school students to get into college, they would be unequally prepared, which leads to a geographic bias for good performance on the SAT.

Having a non-uniform national curriculum also forms a bias in the way students learn, and has an unfair influence on the jobs they decide to pursue, and the way they live their life. For a start, this situation leads to a bias on the college majors and professions they would choose to pursue. If they came from a state that limited their exposure to computer science classes, for example, they would tend to not pick a computer science major in college. In the local workforce, there would be a dearth of software engineers. This imbalance may adversely affect the economy. So, we could see that having a non-uniform national curriculum forms a bias in the way students learn, and has an unfair influence on the jobs they decide to pursue, and the way they live their life.
From a teacher’s point of view, having a unified curriculum such as the Common Core makes educating students a more efficient process. The common core standards provide a clear metric to evaluate teacher (and student) performance across all states in the country. Having a common curriculum also takes a great deal of uncertainty out of lesson planning, and teachers would be able to devote more time to the teaching students rather than thinking of which lessons they’d like to learn. Also, extracurricular help would be easier and less costly to access. For one thing, practice workbooks would be able to be used nationwide, mass produced, and lowering costs. Also, in person tutoring would be more readily available. For example, out of state tutors can help students online, since they are using the same curriculum.
In conclusion, implementing unified education standards such as the Common Core across a country is beneficial for both students and teachers. For students, it makes standardized exams a fairer basis for comparing academic performance, and eliminates geographic performance bias. For teachers, it makes lesson planning a more efficient and unambiguous process, and additional resources more accessible. A unified education standard would have long-lasting impacts on the education and future success of the next generation.