In an attempt to standardize America’s education, a plan has been brought forth that will bring every school standard together to strengthen the nation’s educational system. Many wonder what this means for the future of education and are unsure if it is something worth supporting.
According to the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI), the goal “is to ensure that academic expectations for students are of high quality and consistent across all states and territories.” To educators across the nation, this means they now have to sync up all curriculum in math and language arts for the benefit of the students.
One of the questions that seems to arise the most among educators include, “Does having common standards lead to dumbing down the standards across the board?” (Council of Chief State School Officers). By bringing all curriculum to the same point, many believe it will slow down those parts of the nation that are already highly advanced.
Makers of the CCSSI assure the nation that this will not be the case. “The common core standards have been built from the best and highest state standards in the country. They are evidence based, aligned with college and work expectations, include rigorous content and skills, and are informed by other top performing countries.”
The creators tell educators that they are not looking at the “lowest common denominator” here. They are truly looking for the improvement of the nation's education.
When asked about these new standards, educators such as those in Arizona admit they really do not know what these standards are all about. According to Aron Schmidt, an achievement teacher in the Vail School District, “We have yet to really discuss this in our district, but meetings are soon to come about these standards.” Furthermore, when asked about the possible changes, Schmidt said, “We will have to redo every state curriculum and take a new approach and take down programs we’ve been working on, i.e., Beyond Textbooks here in Vail.”
By beginning to discuss these standards, it is even more imperative to get a full understanding of what is going on. It is important for educators to first understand the use of standards, which most are already accustomed to. Also, it is important to make sure the students understand the use of the standards as well.
In a Frequently Asked Questions section on the website for the common core standards initiative, it explains the overall use of standards for schooling. “Educational standards help teachers ensure their students have the skills and knowledge they need to be successful by providing clear goals for student learning.” They are really just guidelines for students, making sure they are on the right track with their learning.
But do students really understand this concept?
When asked the simple question of what school standards are, most students are unable to answer the question. When the concept is explained, however, they really do not know if having common standards would make a difference or not. Codie Allen, a senior in the Vail School Distract says, “I think that things will pretty much stay stagnate, people aren’t really going to change because of standards.”
I feel that through creating common standards for schools, a lot of great things will start to happen. There will be so many more resources for learning because instead of having just worksheets and lessons for a single state, there will be lessons and worksheets to go across the whole country. Also, with synced lessons, it will be easier for students to fit into the classroom if they happen to move around. It will most definitively contribute to the productivity of the country's education.
Source: Council of Chief State School Officers. Common Core State Standards Initiative, 2010. Web. 20 September 2010.
About me: I am a senior at Empire High School and enjoy the little things. Enjoy :)
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