A lot has been said about Common Core Curriculum in the past 2-3 years.
How it helps the greater good -This article from NY times and NEA today-
how it is not worth it at all –this article from Washington post and Fox news- http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/eight-problems-with-common-core-standards/2012/08/21/821b300a-e4e7-11e1-8f62-58260e3940a0_blog.html
To Myths vs Facts – http://www.corestandards.org/resources/myths-vs-facts
What we know for fact is that
- Common core is here to stay.
- 45 states have adopted it and there was no federal say in it.
- It was all community driven – parents, teachers, community leaders, school administrators all worked on standards, pitched in and created them
- It defines what is expected of each child of each state at each grade level
Now, when we keep debating if they are good or not, in my opinion we are arguing if our educators are any good or not. Not the government, the educators -Since these standards were created by them. And we can never be in a good shape if we question our educators and now show faith in them, so let’s support them and work on a path to ensure that the core standards are well implemented and help our kids and nation grow.
Now, coming to the second part – what needs to be done to implement core standards. So every educator including a company like ours has varied opinions on that. Let me present PracTutor’s opinion. We need to ensure 3 things while thinking of implementing any standard, any policy.
- Is it going to be fun, easy and motivating for the kids (who actually will be doing all the work)
- Is it going to be easy for the teachers to know what they need to do – across 45 states?
- Is it going to be satisfactory for the parents who are apprehensive about all the changes?
So at PracTutor we did a lot of brainstorming bringing in educators, technologists, consultants, leaders, parents and of course kids. To ensure all the above 3 things are well implemented we did the following 3 things.
- Made learning and practicing/testing fun with rewards, exciting environment
- Made everything aligned to core standards with flexibility to make changes so the teachers are comfortable knowing what is expected of each standard and how can they bring in their creativity
- Keep parents connected with students and teachers to know how the students are performing and what the teacher is implementing
This makes all 3 involved parties very content.
To ensure this works, we give it for FREE to most school districts/teachers so they are prepared when common core hits them.
This is our opinion, we may be wrong, but we are willing to do the hard work with the right people and ensure we make it right and I guess that is what the US education system needs right now.