WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Common Core standards were built on an idea that is not bad, critical thinking. However, it is difficult for students to think critically when they are being taught with one-size-fits-all standards. Fortunately parents, legislators, and educators are starting to notice this oversight.
Legislators and governors in many states, including Massachusetts which is typically looked at as an example of how the Core is supposed to work, are starting to question whether or not the standards are actually going to benefit students.
The Common Core — a set of education standards adopted by nearly every U.S. state — was built on the idea that students should be able to think critically rather than just memorize material for tests.
It’s a good goal. A common and valid criticism of American education is that it focuses too much on rote learning and not enough on comprehension.
But the Common Core and the tests tied to those standards might prevent students from achieving that goal. Those rigorous tests could discourage teachers from being creative and force them to teach to the test, according to a legislative official in Massachusetts who works on education policy.
Common Core was created in 2009 and is meant to even the playing field by giving every state a universal set of standards to measure learning. The program is incentivized with federal grant money that is given to states that implement the standards.
Massachusetts is typically held up as an example of how the Common Core is supposed to work. The state is considered a success story, with education officials noting improving test scores and reading skills.
But Michael Benezra, a legislative director for the Massachusetts Senate, told Business Insider that the tide is turning in the Bay State on both sides of the aisle.
“Inside the [legislature], the general attitude is that Common Core … is institutionalized and it’s not going anywhere,” Benezra said. “I’m starting to see the teachers unions and the charter school people kind of agreeing on the issue that Common Core needs to go.”
Read more here.
To keep up on the latest Common Core stories and the status of the standards in each state, check out EAG’s Common Core Watch.