Every parent wants their child to succeed, which is why you obsess over test scores and school rankings . But the institution of the Common Core Standards has changed the education game since you were rocking your Cross Colors back in the day. These new standards may have you scratching your head, especially if you've tried to help your second grader with her math homework. This is why there are things to know about Common Core to help your child through those nightly assignments.
According to the official website, the Common Core State Standards were launched in 2009 to establish guidelines for what children should know in math and English from kindergarten through grade 12. The standards were developed by teachers and experts from around the country to help prepare students for college and entry-level careers. Rather than being a daily blueprint for teachers to use in the classroom, the standards are meant to guide teachers as they develop their own curriculum.
Although the standards were developed to help students, the Common Core is not without it's critics. According to Education Week, some believe that the federal government has no business telling the states what to teach in their classrooms. Others believe that the standards are unfair, and that lessons should be tailored to meet the individual needs of the students and their communities. As of now, 43 states and four territories have adopted the Common Core standards.
You can learn more about how the standards are implemented where you live by visiting the Standards in Your State page of the Common Core website. And you can also check out what some education experts have to say about the Common Core, and how it will affect your family.
1. The Government Did Not Create The Standards
Contrary to what some think, the government did not create the Common Core standards, as mentioned on The Today Show's website. They were written by educators who were chosen by governors from around the country. Several parents, teachers, and administrators were asked to give feedback as well.
2. Kids Are Learning Differently Than You Did, And That's Ok
In an interview with The Washington Post, D.C. area fourth grade teacher, Melissa Palermo said that today's students are learning math differently than their parents, but they are also showing a more sophisticated understanding of math problems and how the answers are derived, rather just than memorizing facts.
3. Scores Have Decreased Because The Test Is More Rigorous
If you've been following the standardized test scores at your local school, you may have noticed a decline since the implementation of the Common Core Standards. According to The Journal, scores have decreased because the Common Core Assessment is more challenging than many of the previous state exams.
4. The Common Core Approach Will Not Be Easy For All Students
Students who are good at listening and following instructions may not be as successful in a Common Core classroom. More emphasis is placed on critical thinking and taking time to explain their thought process, according to The Santa Barbara Independent.
5. Common Core Gives Students A More Active Role In Their Education
California teacher, Natalie Ireland, told The Santa Barbara Independent that Common Core encourages kids to work together to solve problems and leading the discussion, rather than listening to a teacher lecture to them all day.
6. Kids Can Do More Than You Think They Can
New York City-area English teacher, Valerie Lake, was concerned that the Common Core Standards would require her to teach books to her class that they weren't prepared to read. But once she began her lessons, she was surprised at the level of understanding her students had and the nature of their discussions.
7. Parents May Have A Hard Time Helping With Homework
At first glance, your child's homework may look like complete gibberish. But don't be afraid. When in doubt, contact your child's teacher with questions. Also, the National PTA website has a guide to Common Core Standards, including activities you can do with your child at home, on their website.