The Common Core State Standards has become a toxic brand in education policy, unjustly depicted as an example of federal overreach that will singlehandedly eviscerate local control over curriculum, undermine teacher autonomy and drive students to tears. While debates in education are not known for their civility, the level of animosity and wealth of misinformation around Common Core is stunning.
While these myths persist in news stories and social media, a growing chorus of teachers and education leaders are speaking up to dispel these falsehoods and embrace the promise of shared higher standards. Here we offer a few antidotes to the rhetorical mudslinging that leads us nowhere.
A respected math teacher and professor writes in Veteran Teacher Punctures Myths Around Common Core on what the standards are—and are not. Offers Linda Gojak:
To be truly prepared to do the work called for in the 21st century, whether in a STEM field or in the work of everyday life, students must be able to reason about the world around them. The Common Core State Standards in mathematics call for understanding and reasoning to be a part of each child’s mathematical education. We cannot afford to miss such an opportunity.
Yes, the rollout has been rocky and rushed in a lot of schools, but no one expected this game-changer to be a cakewalk. And a lot of folks, especially teachers, are understandably wary about how the assessments tied to Common Core will be used in their evaluation ratings. But we can have meaningful dialogue about these issues without poisoning the promise of shared high standards.
Chris Stewart reveals the harmful psychology behind low expectations in Great Expectations: Why Students Need a Teacher Who Believes They Can Achieve:
Students most affected by the belief gap are among the most marginalized classes of America. Efforts to raise standards is an effort to treat them fairly and improve their access to an equal society.
Connie Meiers, a teacher and military spouse, offers her personal perspective on the resistance to Common Core in This Teacher and Military Spouse Reminds Us the Real Purpose of Common Core.
I embrace Common Core because many of the practices it employs I’ve done throughout my career. This is because I’ve had examples of EXPERT teachers when I was a student, and I’ve worked with expert teachers who have shared their expertise. I’m ALWAYS learning and growing as an educator…because until I have succeeded in all my students achieving mastery…there are still things I can learn and work on.