Ahhh, the common core standards. Essentially, the common core standards pose the benefit of standardizing the curriculum across the nation. Having an uniform set of standards across the United States will ensure that all students are learning the same material whether they live in inner city Chicago, rural South Dakota or suburban Los Angeles. This concept sounds promising to me. I teach in a fairly transient school and there are students who are lacking in certain skills because their previous school did not teach the skills in that grade level and we don’t cover it either because in our school it is already taught the year before. And this occurs for students who move from school to school within the same city! I can’t imagine students who move across the country and what gaps they possess in their education. The common core standards provide this benefit in assuring that the students are learning the same set of knowledge and skills and will always be assessed on these skills.
On the other hand, there are some challenges to the common core standards as well. We have many students at my school that are lacking in some of the basic skills that should have been taught and mastered at the elementary level. For example, multiplication and division are still a problem for the majority of 5th and 6th graders. Whereas in other schools, multiplication and division are completely mastered by the end of the 4th grade. Does the common core standards accommodate for groups of students that are behind in skills and in which teachers have to adjust their lessons in order to get students caught up?
While I feel that there are certainly benefits to standardizing skills and knowledge for all students in the nation, there are some issues that still need to be addressed.
What are your thoughts regarding the common core standards? Let us know in the comments.