For many educators in this country, many are teaching using Common Core. Some educator and politicians (go figure) debate about the new set of standards. Some feel like their state has no control of their standards. Some say it kills innovation. On the other hand, some love Common Core. They feel it is uniform and that no matter where a child moves, he or she will learn the same material.
Over the past two going into year three with Common Core here in Georgia, I have taught second and third grades using it and now will be teaching fourth grade math and science. While science is not part of the Common Core, math is. These are some feelings I have developed over the past few years about Common Core. It is not that bad! People who are doing a lot of complaining are the same people who are not in the classroom day in and day out! With that being said though, I am not going to say it is best set of standards God has ever presented to man. One major problem I have with it (like many other sets of standards), it does not necessarily take the children's background experiences into account. Common Core raises the bar, but how do you reach it if it is so far away from you? Furthermore, while the standards are simplistic, you must break down each one and recognize the necessary skills needed in order to accomplish each standard (especially with ELA).
While it does have its drawbacks, I think it is a good baseline. I like the fact that there are many other people teaching the same thing I am so I have a better community of people I can connect with to share ideas. And while some say Common Core makes students think critically, I disagree. It allows for the conditions to be set up for critical thinking and it is ultimately up to the teacher who pushes students to think critically. No one particular set of standards (whether it is Common Core or not) will ever make students think critically.
My other major issue with Common Core is not necessarily with Common Core, but implementation of it. In Georgia was done as a major overhaul to what was being used, Georgia Performance Standards. That disrupted some students knowledge base. Some were learning material that was taught the previous grade level. Pre-requisite skills needed for some new content had not been taught yet because with GPS the same skill would have been taught in the following grade level.
People wake up! Common Core is not perfect! But guess what, neither is any particular set of standards! Why? Because many of them do not take students into account. It does not take their background knowledge into account! For me, the main issue with Common Core and again with MANY STANDARDS is that they were developed by people who are so far removed from the classroom! While I may have my issues with the creation and implementation of Common Core, the standards are far from the problem themselves. They make you stay thinking as an educator and raises the bar to help push students further. As I close, I can't help but wonder how long will Common Core last?