Common Core Standards: the good, the bad, and the controversy.

The Republican and Democrat Education consultants oppose Common Core Standards. Stephanie Salm (Republican) believes that the standards ultimately cause the students to become unengaged because they are given too much information and no time to process it. She quotes “If the education system keeps forcing teachers to expand their curriculum so quickly, I believe students will not only become less engaged but the outcome of this system will have a negative effect on our community.” Darriane Newberry (Democrat), spoke about how it is not only hard for the students, but how the teachers and parents are also affected negatively. “I’ve had a lot of kids come to me, unsure of what they are learning because their parents can’t actually help them because they learned something different and if they do teach them that way, the teacher will get onto them and tell them it is the wrong way. As I do agree and that is having the students think more, it is making it more confusing and extremely difficult for the teachers”.

So what are Common Core Standards? There are two categories: K-12 students and college and career readiness. They are meant to provide learning goals in English Language Arts and Mathematics throughout the year and help them prepare for the future. They are not a set curriculum they are just what the students should know at the end of the year. On the Common Core Standard website the English Language Arts are meant to teach students: Classic myths and stories from around the world, America’s founding documents, Foundational American literature, and Shakespeare. The Mathematics are supposed to lay a foundation of knowledge on: whole numbers, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, and decimals. 42 states, along with the District of Columbia have accepted the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Texas, Virginia, Alaska, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Indiana, and South Carolina have yet to accept Common Core statewide.

The purpose is to make sure the students know the level that they are supposed to be on and make sure they have the tools to succeed later in life. The rigor in the classroom has been upped to teach students how to be ahead of the game, it is one of the main points of setting these Standards. Since these are all the same Standards the districts do not have to spend on specialized tests, such as the FCAT for Florida, which saves them money on tests. Having all the same tests for the states helps determine how the students compare to each other so they know what they have to work on.
There are tons of opposing arguments for Common Core Standards and they mainly come from teachers, students, and parents. According to an article on “About Education” many veteran teachers are deciding to leave their jobs because of these standards. Teachers are expected to adapt quickly to these Standards that change often and are sometimes conflicting from what they were a year earlier. It makes it harder for the students to figure out what is the proper way of learning is supposed to be. They also do not offer modified Standard Assessments for special needs students which means the students are not being accommodated to in that aspect. Those scores count have to be sent in and can be counted against the school when in reality the assessments are not tailored to benefit the special needs students.

Common Core Standards are one of the main issues in Education right now and should be a big point in the election. The divide in Education about this cannot be ignored. There is controversy all over and not enough knowledge being shared about it for people to formulate their own opinions on these standards. Not everyone is going to agree on one teaching style or goals, but in the end the point is to teach students to become the best students they can be.