Saturday, May 03, 2014

More Common Core Discussion

I just read a blog about homeschooling and the Common Core that asks the question:

 "Is math, arithmetic, probability, and algebra something that should change from state to state? Of course not.  It’s pretty standard."  
Common Core Educational Standards

I totally agree. This business of state independence on standards gets a lot of people all worked up but realistically, does the state of North Carolina (for instance) really have the resources to develop new math standards?  Why shouldn't they adopt the same math standards as South Carolina or Oregon? Do they think they have any special insight into the needs of their students for math skills in the 21st Century?  

If every state developed their own road signs or their own standards for car design safety, we could easily damage the US economy to the detriment of US consumers and businesses.  But business would not standard for it.  But, without business weighing in, we risk really screwing up the educaitonal system if every state decides to do something independent.  So far, the states have acted in unison with forty something of them agreeing to first develop and then to adopt a Common Core of Standards.  Now however, it has become politicized and it's possible that in pandering to the extremists and their rhetoric, we'll end up losing all the benefits of high quality uniform standards.

Any state that drops out and decides to go it alone will do so at their own risk.  Even Texas, for all their rhetoric, has always adopted standards that are different from the other states in name only.  But, this is the first time that it's become such a political football so I'm worried....

An important thing to remember is that each school or district is free to implement the standards with any curriculum or materials that they would like. The schools are free to choose their own literature to read, essays to write, problems for math solve, and films to watch.  A set of standards includes lists of "exemplary readings" but they are just there to illustrate the type of literature, the schools or districts are under no obligation to use them.  The choice of curriculum is left to the states and schools, it's only what the student outcomes or learning is supposed to achieve that is defined by CC standards.

1 comment:

Jamie Gaddy said...

This Common Core stuff is really scary. I can't believe that more classroom teachers haven't fussed about it!