What's the big deal about Common Core?
April 28, 2014 2:58 PM Subscribe
(Why) Should I care about Common Core? Can you give me some resources to further understand it, and answer my basic questions?
posted by peep to Education (18 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
I've read the Common Core website, and I guess I don't get it.
I'm in Oregon, and I have a kid in 2nd grade. The curriculum he's been working with this year is based on the standards. And . . . it's totally normal shit for 2nd graders to be learning. Yeah, some of the math is taught in a manner that's a little different than how I learned it, but no big deal. It's nothing like the weird-ass stuff that gets posted to Reddit and rage-blogs.
As far as I can tell, my son's teacher is not using a "Common Core" book or worksheets or whatever (is that even a thing?). A lot of the math assignments are stuff she's handwritten and photocopied, so it would seem that she's free to teach as she pleases, as opposed to much of what I've read.
Common Core does not dictate curriculum, correct? Or does it? In some cases? One common refrain I hear is that a "one size fits all" approach is bad or that children should be allowed learn in their own way. I'm not seeing how Common Core has anything to do with those two things, unless there is a nationally mandated curriculum.
What do people mean when they say "Common Core tests"? The tests our kids will be taking has a specific name and it's not that. I've read about Smarter Balanced and PARCC - do those companies use questions written by some Common Core committee, and if not, who writes the test questions, and how do they decide what questions to use? If these are standards, why isn't there only one test/testing company?
Several things I've read refer to the reading/writing portion of the test as though kids are writing something out, and this writing will be graded by a human reader. Our teachers have said this is not the case. It's all multiple choice and on the computer. Who (what state(s)?) is having written tests graded by humans? It seems like CC is supposed to standardize some stuff across the nation, but clearly some stuff I'm reading is not happening in our state - confusing.
Our kids take one test per year. This is absolutely what I did as an elementary school kid - every year. CAT tests, SBS or something like that, from about 1981 until 1994. Isn't that totally normal? It doesn't seem like this is some new wave of unprecedented testing. Am I wrong there?
Are there any good in-depth unbiased resources about Common Core, with DETAILS? I truly want to be well informed and fully understand everything I can. Again, I've read corestandards.org but that's obviously biased, too. I don't feel strongly either way, mostly just confused by the level of passion.
I've tried to write this in a neutral tone but I think I failed. I'm really not pro-Common Core - I obviously don't know enough about it. It's just that in my experience so far, the anti-Common Core voices have been strident, annoying, and whiny, and many of these people are personal friends and family that I normally agree with and respect very much - help me understand!