These Standards were set up to raise the educational bar and expectations for our students and educators, to not only help students meet college's academic demands, but to help make our students and our schools more competitive nationally and internationally. Furthermore, they were written by a panel of experts convened by governors and state superintendents, and focus on critical thinking and analysis rather than memorization and formulas.
Common Core Highlights:
- The Standards set guidelines emphasizing critical reading and thinking.
- The Standards encourage integrating fiction and non-fiction texts across subject and content area. These guidelines outline what is expected at each level and encourage varied types texts and text formats without specifically naming texts, books or how teachers should plan their lessons. That is up to the state, city, district, schools and/or teachers.
- The Standards promote critical and analytic reading, writing, and analytic skills in language arts, math, science and social studies.
- The Standards promote more connectivity between school subjects - reinforcing content across areas and making it more meaningful. They also attempt to unify educational goals across the country.
FEARS and Oppositions:
- While the Standards were initially embraced by most teachers and unions, opposition began when the Obama administration ramped up its efforts to promote them. Unions then began expressing concerns that there has not been enough time to effectively train and prepare teachers in their implementation.
- Unions also expressed concern over how educators would be evaluated, especially as on a parallel front there's been a huge debate on teacher effectiveness, accountability and pay.
- As the Obama administration got involved, many Republicans identified this push as another example of federal overreach - along with Obamacare and took issue with federal money being tied to the Standards.
- There as also fear that the Standards, and in particular tests aligned with them have been set too high. These voices and concerns were underscored last week when New York State and Kentucky, both early adopter of the Standards, released reading and math exam results where student proficiency fell sharply.
Here is a fascinating infographic from http://visual.ly/getting-ready-common-core
And one more infographic on getting kids ready for math (from: http://community.practutor.com/discussion-boards/567-infographic-how-to-help-students-meet-the-common-core-standards-for-math):
Most agree that these Standards are GOOD standards. We've lowered the bar too far over the years. The less we expect of our students and teachers, the less we will receive and we deserve a lot more.
We also agree that students have to be much more comfortable and skilled reading, writing, and analyzing all kinds of texts and text formats. We somehow need to remove the politicians, the testing, and the threats of job/funding loss and give the Standards a chance of success.
For more please see: Common Core Standards and Changes: What are they and what's the fuss. This post not only explains the Standards in more detail, it provides reading suggestions as well.
Please your your thoughts, facts and fears of the Common Core State Standards in the comments.
In the meantime, I thank you for your visit.