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Critical Analysis Worksheet Essay

Perform a critical analysis of each reading using critical thinking techniques from this week’s readings.

Respond to the following based on your critical thinking analysis of the “Common Core” and “The Battle Against Common Core Standards” readings.

1) Define the term conclusion.
Aside from being the obvious result or closing, a conclusion is also “a proposition concluded or inferred from the premises of an argument” as defined by dictionary.com. This means, the conclusion is a final logically reasoned deduction.

2) What is the conclusion of each article?
The conclusion from the “Common Core” perspective is that students will learn the essentials for success in college and business prior to graduating high school. The conclusion for those that are in “The Battle Against Common Core Standards” is that implementing these standards is politically motivated and not in the best interest of students.

3) Define the term premises.
The premise is the basis of support for a given conclusion.

4) What premises support the conclusions in each article?
Those working against common core implementation cite government control due to the funding provided to school districts and lack of proof that the system works as basic reasons for their conclusions. Those in favor of common core cite better prepared graduating students, a more educated workforce, and standardization amongst students. The article indicated that if districts had to define their own educational standards, they would start by seeking out “common core standards.”

5) How convincing is the conclusion of each article? Explain your answer. I was more convinced by the arguments in favor of implementing common core standards. I noticed more bias in Smith’s article against common core implementation. I was more convinced by Sell’s article because of the objectivity.

6) Define the term biases.
A bias is “a particular dendency or inclination, especially one that prevents unprejudiced consideration of a quesiton; prejudice” according to dictionary.com. Anything that prevents someone from objectively drawing a conclusion is a bias.

7) What biases did you observe in each article? Why do you think they are biases?
While the “Common Core” article objectively defined common core and explained its function all of the sources cited were supportive of implementing common core standards. The article would state the opposition and then Sell would quote someone in favor of common core. Smith’s title alone lets you know that this is an opposing argument. The article is politically motivated. Throughout the article, Smith discusses democratic initiatives and state’s “relinquishing their right to control.”

8) What might be the sources of the biases in each article?
Personal expertise is the initial bias. Perhaps they have a child that has fallen below common core standards. Living in a state that has already implemented common core values, I have dealt with standardized tests as both a student and parent. While I was able to pass them with ease, I have witnessed students taken them multiple times to no avail. Those politically motivated are driven by funding and votes. It’s hard to determine if their focus is genuine or if ulterior motives are present. I recognize my personal bias with regard to choosing or opposing common core.


Bias. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved November 14, 2014, from \ Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/bias

Conclusion. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved November 14, 2014, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/conclusion

Premise. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved November 14, 2014, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/premise

Sell, M. (2013). Common core. McClatchy – Tribune Business News [Washington].

Smith, H.K. (2013, March). The battle against common core standards. FreedomWorks, Retrieved from www.freedomworks.org Link to the article:

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