Common Core–the negatives

Since my last post highlighted a few of the positive aspects of the Common Core State Standards, I feel it is only fair that today’s post discusses a few of the negatives of the CCSS.

—-increased rigor
This aspect of the CCSS was also on my list last week of the positives of the CCSS.
While I do think increased rigor can be beneficial to our students, I am concerned that teachers are being instructed to teach 2 grade levels above the students’ current grade level. In other words, next school year, a fourth-grader should be taught at a 6th grade level. When said 4th grader has not had any instruction in 4th or 5th grade level skills. The previous year when he or she was in 3rd grade, the student was instructed in 3rd grade skills. Does anyone else see the flaw in this logic? I feel like this issue has not been addressed very much!
By the way, compulsory education in Illinois begins at age 7. Yes, seven. So if a student enters school for the first time at age 7 next school year, his first brush with education will be instruction for a 9-year-old! That is late 3rd grade, early 4th grade. Third-grade instruction for what possibly could be the student’s first experience with school! This makes no sense!
Moving on now…

—-textbook replacement
Textbooks will need to be replaced at a more rapid rate to keep up with the new demands of the CCSS. How about whether textbooks will even reflect the CCSS since most textbook companies cater to the great state of Texas, which has not and will never adopt the CCSS.

—-standardized assessments
The standardized assessments for the CCSS do not allow for special education testing. Every student in the school no matter the ability or disability will be tested using the same test and without accommodations for accountability. Please, someone tell me this has changed!
A greater emphasis on the standardized assessments will be felt by teachers, students, and administrators.

A difference in how teaching will occur in the classrooms will be a difficult and painful transition for teachers and students.

—-missing subject areas?
Currently, CCSS exist for only ELA and math. What about the other content areas? It is up to the individual states to come up with the other areas. That should not be. Develop CCSS for all subjects.
The Next Generation science standards are currently under review and will likely be available for adoption by next school year. But they are separate standards from the Common Core and states are not required to adopt them as well.

This transition to the Common Core will be a great and difficult journey. Overall, I think it will benefit most students. However, I think there are some populations of students that will experience even greater frustration in school and experience failure. How will the Common Core meet their needs?


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