Monday, June 23, 2014

Considering Common Core from a Student’s View

In a recent New York Times article, reporter Javier C. Hernández explores the new Common Core through the eyes of someone new – a student who is actually experiencing the changes firsthand.
On its own, the Common Core was not a curriculum; it did not tell schools to use particular textbooks, lesson plans or technology. The standards provided a philosophy for instruction. Teachers would focus on fewer topics and cover each in greater depth. They would bring abstract lessons to life by explaining how skills could be applied in the modern world. And they would emphasize critical thinking at every turn.
There has been a lot of controversy over the new Common Core standards introduced to both students and teachers. While it is a seemingly hopeful proposal to increase test scores and classroom learning, some schools are left struggling.

While many have heard the opinions of teachers, administrators, and parents, it is interesting to hear the opinions of a 9-year-old acclimating to the new system. Hernández introduces Chrispin, a Haitian emigrant who once considered himself the smartest in his kindergarten class. Now, he is falling to the bottom of his fourth grade class and is left feeling unsure as to why. The article explores his new rigorous study schedules and his earnest attempt at dreaded long division.

The entire article raises the question of whether the Common Core is truly succeeding in what it sets out to do. Are children expected to change their ways of learning so quickly? Are teachers expected to do the same with teaching? The article suggests that perhaps the problem does not rest within the new standards, but how it is being implemented.
If you are contending with implementing "Common Core" check out "Reading Informational Texts" at

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