From the time when the Common Core State Standards debuted in 2010, they have caused great controversy and concern among students, parents, teachers, and the federal government. The Core is coordinated by the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and was applied to develop a national curriculum and is currently implemented in 45 states. Texas, Alaska, Nebraska, Virginia, and Minnesota have not implemented the Common Core.
The Common Core State Standards allow for a reliable understanding of what students are expected to learn. It informs teachers and parents of what they can do to help students prosper. The standards intend to prepare students for the real world, familiarizing them with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in college and future careers.
The goal of Common Core curriculum is to get students to master skills and work through problems, rather than memorize and recite information that may not have truly been absorbed. Assessments involve much more writing and explaining. For example, the Constructed Response Assessment given in grades three through eight requires students to respond to four math tasks using math skills, writing, and drawing, where each answer must be clearly explained step-by-step and skill-by-skill.
Hills West Junior Ian Tornquist expresses his opinion about the Common Core. “Personally, I believe that the new Common Core system of education will blindside children and force many to learn in one particular way, which will prove to be detrimental to our nation’s educational system because it is government-controlled schooling.”
The work accompanied by Common Core is much more challenging than before. Students currently in kindergarten are learning skills and concepts that were previously taught in first grade. They are being overwhelmed with loads of difficult homework and challenging test. Students across the country will be learning important concepts in earlier grades, just like in the top schools around the world.
Students, however, are not the only ones affected by the new standard. Teachers must take part in classes and workshops related to Common Core. These high expectations are preparing American students to be able to compete in today’s global society.