Monday, April 7, 2014

Common Core: It's Not Really as Hard as You're Making It

I'm afraid that, in this Common Core debate, the voices of reason (and the voices of the teachers, bless 'em) are getting drowned out by all the yelling and screaming. Adjectives like "shrill" and "irrational" to describe some of CC's vocal opponents come immediately to mind, followed closely by "stupid" and "morons," and then devolving into words not suitable for a G-rated blog.

Here's another attempt to inject some calm and rational input into the debate. A commenter to an article on Yahoo! Shine, an actual teacher, has this to say about Common Core:

Common Core is a set of standards, not a curriculum. I teach common core without a specific textbook or program. I look at the standard such as 7th grade geometry: 7/G.A.1 Solve problems involving scale drawings of geometric figures, including computing actual lengths and areas from a scale drawing and reproducing a scale drawing at a different scale. I find examples of the problem and worksheets to support practice. Then I assess as needed that the student has mastered the skill. The worksheets people refer to are from a private publishing company that has sold the school a new program. If you don't like the program your school purchased, let them know. Common Core hasn't changed the way I teach, it's just a different standard.

Unfortunately, her words will not be heard. They make too much sense, they do not convey an extreme emotion, nor do they convey an extreme viewpoint. In the long run, the bullies and the reactionaries will take down Common Core, just like they're doing with the rest of society's useful institutions. In the end, the Common Core standards will be subscribed to by a small group of exceptional schools who quietly turn out exceptional scholars, while the rest of society wrings their hands about the decay in public education, never realizing that they have brought it upon themselves.

Note: This posting is a follow-on to my previous posting  on the topic. Click here to read it.

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