“Preparing America’s students for success.”
That is the slogan of the new country-wide Common Core State Standards. So far, 44 of America’s 50 states have adopted the new standard. The Department of Defense Education Activity and four territories including Guam, American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands and Northern Mariana Islands have adopted it as well. Some educators for these territories believe that the Common Core State Standard is the best thing to happen for education in a long time. So what is so great about it?
The Common Core State Standard is a set of standards that will ensure students who attend public school from kindergarten through senior year of high school will be college and career ready. The standards have made key shifts in mathematics and English language arts course work. This shift aims to align students so all students can collaborate and compete against their peers. In order to do this, all teachers must use the same teaching materials and evaluation system. Due to this, educators working for the standards developed textbooks, teaching materials, assessment systems and tools for all educators.
In order to successfully create a standard that would work for all 50 states, experts worked with educators and researchers to create a program. Researchers studied high-preforming countries around the world to create a state-of-the-art program. Once the program was developed, it was presented to each state and the state made a decision whether or not to implement the standards. In the future, researchers hope to develop programs for all areas of study, not just mathematics and English language arts.
I have mixed feelings about the Common Core State Standard. I agree that there should be a standard for what every student should learn and everyone should be given an equal opportunity. Setting standards as to what a teacher should teach is a very good idea because some teachers are more ambitious and willing to do their job more than others. I agree with the statement that the Standards dictate what the teacher should teach. It should be up to the teacher what they teach and what materials they use.
Having teachers create their own lesson plans creates diversity in a school. When I was in kindergarten through sixth grade, I was always interested in what my friends in different classes were doing. Implementing standards takes away this diversity and makes every classroom the same. This can be a bad thing because some people learn differently, and if every teacher teaches the same way, some students may not be able to learn the concept. It is a benefit in high school as educators will do a better job of preparing students for the work force or higher education. When I graduated high school, I felt confident entering college. However, once I started taking classes, my opinion changed. I think my high school should have done more to prepare its students for college. Implementing a standard, will help students in many ways and give them confidence, regardless of what path they choose.
However, I also disagree with the Common Core State Standard. Implementing this standard will cost school districts more money, and some cannot afford it. As of right now some school districts are having trouble staying in budget for the next school year. I also don’t agree with the statement that it will make all students equal, successful and able to compete with each other. I do not think that all students will ever be equal to one another. How successful a person is depends on how successful they choose to be. A set of standards will not automatically make a person become successful.
I think it is worth it to implement the Common Core State Standards for a few years to see if it makes a difference. The difference will be shown not only grades K-12, but in the college level as well. Hopefully, the standards show positive results for states and students.