Common Core Standards are Becoming the Norm from State to State

Kinestetic-Classroom-2Kansas State’s school board met today to implement Common Core science standards, thereby adding to the trend occuring from state to state. Standards are usually arbitrarily set from state to state, which leave many students ill prepared for college. The Common Core State Standards were written by building on the best and highest state standards in existence in the U.S., examining the expectations of other high performing countries around the world, and careful study of the research and literature available regarding what students need to know and be able to do to be successful in college and careers.

Common Core standards will make education benchmarks more standardized from state to state. The Kansas City Star reported that today, the Kansas state school board has approved new, multistate science standards for public schools that treat both evolution and climate change as key concepts to be taught from kindergarten through the 12th grade.

A growing number of states are implementing common core standards, setting the norm from state to state. The State Board of Education voted 8-2 on Tuesday for standards developed by Kansas, 25 other states and the National Research Council. In 2010, the board adopted multi-state Common Core standards for reading and math. As of today, the Common Core’s website declared that 45 states have adopted the standards along with Washington D.C., four territories, and the Department of Defense’s Educational Activity.

Teachers will know whats generally expected of their students on standardized tests. Teachers have been a critical voice in the development of the standards. The Common Core State Standards drafting process relied on teachers and standards experts from across the country. The National Education Association (NEA), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), and National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), among other organizations were instrumental in bringing together teachers to provide specific, constructive feedback on the standards.The new guidelines are designed to shift the emphasis in science classes to doing hands-on projects and experiments and blending material about engineering and technology into lessons.

Both teachers and students should become familiar with the standards. According to the Common Core site, it should be clear to every student, parent, and teacher what the standards of success are in every school.

The standards set will be the minimum, not the maximum expected of students. High standards that are consistent across states provide teachers, parents, and students with a set of clear expectations that are aligned to the expectations of college and the business industry. The standards promote equity by ensuring all students, no matter where they live, are well prepared with the skills and knowledge necessary to collaborate and compete with their peers in the United States and abroad.

All the while implementing these standards, administrators and teachers will ensure that their students do not suffer from a lack of creativity and specialized tastes: two attributes that lead students to become leaders in their fields.  This will allow teachers to be better equipped to know exactly what they need to help students learn and establish individualized benchmarks for them, says Common Core’s website.

Students in similar grades, from state to state, will have consistent math and science standards. With Common Core, the standards clearly communicate what is expected of students at each grade level, therefore removing the obstacles set by arbitrary state to state standards, which help some students and impede others.

By Cedric Hines

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