There’s Nothing Standard
About The New Standards
A parent’s guide to understanding
what “Common Core” means for our children
Do you remember “New Math”? Or when “Whole Language” replaced phonics? “No Child Left Behind” was all the rage, but now, it, too, has been left behind. Education is constantly evolving. What’s the next big thing in U.S. education? The Common Core.
The Common Core is a state-led effort designed to completely overhaul both the content students are taught and the way teachers teach it. In the past few years, the Gates Foundation has awarded over $150 million in grants designed to completely overhaul the U.S. education system. They worked with the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) to create and implement the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Driving the changes are concerns that U.S. students have suffered from an educational system that fed them a diet of easy reading and asked them to do little more than regurgitate facts.
How are the Common Core standards different from the current standards? In a nutshell, they are much tougher and go much deeper. They cover fewer topics, but do so in greater depth. The Common Core standards set clear expectations for reading, writing, speaking and listening, language and mathematics. However, having uniform national standards does not mean that each state will have the same curriculum. Each state is free to develop its own individual classroom curriculum so long as the curriculum follows the Common Core’s emphasis on critical thinking, problem solving and deep thinking.