This week I spoke with several parents and the words Common Core Standards came up in our conversation. In each experience, Common Core was blamed for a teacher not proving students more time to take a test, homework overload, and many other classroom decisions.
Common Core is a set of content standards. Content standards are basically a list of expected learning goals for a grade level. They are one component of many we use every day to make decisions in our classroom, they are never used in isolation. We as teachers make tons of decisions daily about how we will implement standards in our own classrooms. These decisions include choice of assignments, lesson design, assessment creation, sequencing of activities, etc.
Let me be clear. I am not stating that the standards are perfect. In fact, there are standards I would modify or eliminate. However, having taught in a standards based classroom for years, I have had an opportunity to experience multiple states’ versions of standards. I don’t believe there are a perfect set of standards. There will always be room for improvement and there will always be disagreement over the implementation of a new set of standards.
As educators, we can’t use the Common Core as a scape goat for choices we make in the classroom. Let’s be honest, there has never been enough time and we have always argued over the appropriate amount of homework that should be assigned.
Parents, I encourage you to educate yourself about Common Core Standards and content standards in general. I have included a few national resources below.
Each state has also created documents to help parents and teachers transition to CCSS. A quick search on the internet can locate the state documents.
If you have additional questions, I would be happy to answer or find someone who can. Leave me comment below.
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