Many people are confused by the Common Core State Standards. We need to make sure we educate the public on what the Common Core State Standards are so they can make informed decisions and opinions. This first video from Facebook went viral. You will notice the entire argument against Common Core State Standards are based on one math problem. [https://youtu.be/wZEGijN_8R0
You can also read about what people think about Common Core on Facebook.
The following video is an overview of the intent of the Common Core.
Common Core State Standards (CCSS) have been adopted by Forty-three states, the District of Columbia, four territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity (Core Standards, 2015). The issue of Common Core State Standards has seemed to upset many people. Teachers and parents are unfamiliar with the content and teachers need more training (Gewertz, 2014). What are the pros and cons of the Common Core?
Image retrieved from: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAYQjB0&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.shfwire.com%2Fnode9183%2F&ei=N7ccVa_9Lc_roAT3toHwBQ&bvm=bv.89947451,d.cGU&psig=AFQjCNFBFyVKrLKIjyR5o6gpLPCcY3ywxQ&ust=1428031427143889
- States are teaching 85% of the same thing. Students can move from one state to the next without the standards drastically changing.
- Students will be globally competitive.
- Students are taught how to go beyond the answer, to critically think and problem solve (Long, 2013).
- Test are computer based and allow for multiple answers to promote critical thinking and problem solving.
- States only have 15% control over what is taught. Each state has different demographics.
- Too much emphasis is placed on critical thinking and not enough on the basics.
- Students may not be ready and the tasks too difficult (Parents for Public Schools, 2015).
- Private companies are making millions off creating new tests.
- Standards are not tested, not proven to boost achievement (Burris, 2014).
Much of the opposition of the Common Core State Standards stems from confusion over what the students are doing. A survey conducted by the Gallup Polls in April 2014, found that 73% of parents reported they have heard little about the new standards (McCarthy, 2014). I am a teacher of 16 years and now I am an administrator. I am constantly trying to inform my parents about CCSS through conferences, parent meetings, and school events. I walk through K-6 classrooms daily. I see a huge difference in our students. They are not just giving answers, memorizing facts, and regurgitating information. They are thinking for themselves. They must justify answers and cite evidence from the text supporting their position. Students are also being taught that it is ok not to have the same position as someone else. Students are working collaboratively in groups on topics that are rigorous. The level of critical thinking and problem solving is amazing.
Math is another area where there is much improvement. Here is a link to compare the old California State Standards with the Common Core State Standards http://www.scoe.net/castandards/multimedia/k-12_math_crosswalks.pdf. Some grade levels went from having to know many different standards to concentrating on mastering basic concepts such as multiplication. CCSS is not about how many standards you can learn, but how well you learn them. Do you really understand? In the video, the angry mom talks about the students needing to learn other basic principals such as multiplication and division. The great thing about CCSS math is that grade levels are able to concentrate on mastery of those very basic concepts. Teachers are not having to water down the curriculum for a surface level understanding and move on to the next standard to learn. Below is a comparison of a California Standards Test to the new testing system called Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC).
The math problem would demonstrates a complete understanding of fractions, not just a memorization of them. A child would need to draw a picture and show conceptual knowledge of the fractions. Not knowing how to solve the problem is frustrating as stated by Erick Erickson author of Why Parents like me are angry about Common Core (2014). When parents are unable to help their child, they can become angry. The same goes for teachers who have been teaching math the same way for 20 years. CCSS is a different way of teaching and thinking.
Retrieved from: http://www.ppic.org/main/publication_quick.asp?i=1093
As seen in the video of the angry mom, one math problem was taken and attributed to every math problem and Common Core in general. Like in any curriculum, there is a learning curve. Is the Common Core perfect, absolutely not. What is perfect the first time around? Many people wait for a new version of a product to come out before they buy it so manufacturers can work out the bugs. The concept or ideas relating to the Common Core State Standards are needed. Why should one of the most powerful world forces be divided on such an issue? Don’t all of our children deserve the same education. A child’s education should not change from one state to the next. We are the United States of America. We need to become united and work on a concept that is the best for our students.
Burris, Carol (August 31, 2014). Opinion: What’s wrong with the Common Core? Asbury Park Press.
Common Core State Standards Intitiative (April 3, 2015). Myth vs. Facts. Retrieved from: http://www.corestandards.org/about-the-standards/myths-vs-facts/
Common Core State Standards Initiative ( April 1, 2015). Retrieved from: http://www.corestandards.org/about-the-standards/
Erickson, Eric (May 6, 2014). Why parents like me are angry about Common Core. Retrieved from: http://foxnews.com/opinion/2014/05/06/why-parents-like-me-are-angry-about-common-core/
Gewertz, Catherine (August 19, 2014). Teachers say they are not well-prepared for Common Core. Education Week, 34(1), 9.
Long, Cindy (May 10, 2013). Six ways the Common Core is good for students. Retrieved from: http://neatoday.org/2013/05/10/six-ways-the-common-core-is-good-for-students-2/
McCarthy, Justin (October 28, 2014). Public school parents now divided on Common Core. Retrieved from: http://www.gallup.com/poll/178889/public-school-parents-divided-common-core.aspx
Parents for Public Schools, Inc. (April 4, 205). Common Core State Standards. Retrieved from: http://www.parents4publicschools.org/Documents/Common_core_chart_final.pdf