Common Core Standards are either loved or hated, depending on the teacher and the parent, for some students the standards could mean the difference between failure and success. There are grassroots organizations across the country who hate the standards and want to see them abolished before they go into action, and then there are teachers who love the standards because they see the principles applied in their classrooms and the standards working for their students. An image on the internet of a student struggling with math is passed along social media, along with decades old curriculum that is being passed off as new curriculum for the masses to join together as further proof that the new way of teaching will not work.
Common Core hopes to make transitions easier for students in mobile populations like the military. By having the same curriculum in every state taught at roughly the same time supporters believe that it will make transitioning from one school to the next easier on students. Opponents of the standards say that the work is simply too hard for students, and that it takes local control of curriculum away from the school board. With the United States ranking 25 out of 30 in math according to Students First, a grassroots organization hoping to reform public education, it is clear that something needs to be done. Supporters believe that standardizing education and tests, will be the key to seeing higher test scores, and more children understanding the curriculum.
A teacher in Florida where the Common Core Standards has already been implemented says that she is seeing some success by the way that her students are responding to the curriculum. Dawn Norris a Monroe Middle School teacher says that her classroom is evidence that it is working. When a reporter from the Hechinger Report stopped by the interview Ms. Norris the students were gathered around in small groups discussing fairy tales from around the world, Norris was able to move from one group to another and offer her assistance. With the new standards the students are supposed to take more control of their education, rather than sitting back and listening to the teachers they have to participate in order to learn.
Principal Kenneth Hart from the same school district as Norris said when implementing Common Core Standards the school had to eliminate some other topics, however he added, that in doing so it has freed the teachers to focus on what is important. Although the Monroe school district may be seeing positive results other states are gearing up for a battle. In Louisiana law makers are preparing for what they are calling a “flurry of bills” related to Common Core. Supporters in the state of Louisiana believe that the standards will help students better prepare for life outside of high school whether students decide to go on to college or get a job.
While the battle heats up in some states prior to the implementation of the Common Core Standards in the 2014-2015 school year, teachers like Norris, will stand by the success they have already seen in some students. Norris and Hart are not alone in believing that the standards will improve education in the country. More teachers who have implemented the standards are beginning to speak up.
By Rachel Woodruff