As with any new initiative, there will always be those who are against it, those who have better ideas, and those who do not believe in change. The launching of the Common Core State Standards (www.corestandards.org) in June of 2010 has stirred up some controversy. Some believe that this will lead to a national curriculum and a national assessment. Others believe that the Common Core State Standards will hinder the creativity of the teacher.
Common Core State Standards will create opportunities for students and teachers.
If viewed in a positive way, the Common Core State Standards will provide opportunities for teachers to begin anew with a solid set of skills focused on literacy, not only in language arts, but also in the content areas. Incorporating the Common Core State Standards into course units of study will engage both students and teachers in the journey of becoming leaders in an innovative nation. As stated in the Common Core Mission Statement: “The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers.” The Common Core State Standards will guide classroom curricula into providing students with the much-needed skills to successfully access post-secondary opportunities and help students achieve confidence in competing in the 21st century workplace.
We need standards not standardization.
Teachers must have the autonomy in their professional learning communities to create authentic standards-based units of study that will improve learning for their student population. In order to do this, teachers must develop their skills in designing standards-based curriculum and provide leadership in their schools. Teachers shouldn’t settle on prepackaged or off-the-shelf curriculum. It is important that teachers think about how they can meet the needs of all students. Meeting the needs does not come from buying a product and implementing it into the curriculum. Improving student achievement begins with focusing on the Common Core State Standards. This will help students master the skills needed to become prepared for the 21st century global workplace. It is vital that educators focus on the Common Core and create authentic units that respond to their specific student demographic.
As educators, we must find the balance of continuing our passion for our craft while also focusing on clear learning targets.
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