10 Questions about the Common Core Standards

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  1. Is there value in having a set of information that every child is guaranteed to master before graduation?
  2. Do colleges and universities find it helpful to have a sense of what each incoming freshman has already mastered when outlining their schedule of courses?
  3. Should we take into account the fact that 15% of families move to a new home each year? Is there value in keeping all schools on a similar track so that these children do not fall behind or miss key learning due to transitions?
  4. Who should decide what children should learn? A small group of local teachers? A diverse group of college professors, teachers, and advisors? The administration at a given school? Local government? State government? The federal government?
  5. How should we assess how children learn? Should each child be assessed in the same way or should teachers decide on an individual basis?
  6. Should standards and expectations be available for all parents? Should they be published so everyone can see them?
  7. How should parents use the standards? Should we give them resources to reinforce learning at home? If teachers are writing standards, curriculum, and assessments, will they have time to share resources with families?
  8. Do we want our teachers and administrators to focus on writing standards and curriculum or interacting with the children? Do teachers have time to do it all? Should they?
  9. What is our basis for deciding what children should learn? Should the curriculum ensure that every child gets a good job? That every child gets into college? That every child can analyze a poem? Is there room for character building and self-esteem? Which subjects are most important? Why?
  10. What is our ultimate educational goal for our nation’s children? Can we state it in three sentences or less?

One thought on “10 Questions about the Common Core Standards

  1. #3 is one of the things I mention when speaking to others about Common Core. When I student taught I had students move in from other places, one from within the city I was in one from out of state. One of the students was way ahead of our students and one was way behind. My state introduced Grade Level Expectations almost a decade ago now. I did find as the years passed that kids moving within the state tended to have a more similar basis of knowledge than they had before. I’ll admit to not being sure about the new testing that goes with CCSS but I think there is definitely a benefit in today’s mobile/transient society to have some standards that are common by grade level across the country. That may not need to go beyond certain skills like writing a sentence, paragraph, multi-paragraph piece of writing, or basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Skills that prepare kids for life and/or college. Does it need to be as defined and detailed as it is now, that’s debatable.

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