I need all of you who have been working with and teaching about the conversion to the CCSS to help me understand the dilemma? Now that the Colorado mothers are filing a Bill in the CO legislature to delay the adoption of the CCSS, I am having difficulty getting my head around the problems. I thought that by definition a set of "common" standards was set and each school and each district could exceed those standards by merely enhancing their own curricula's.
Is there a total misconception by the public on what these new "common" standards are intended to do? Or, am I totally off base in my thinking? I could use some enlightenment from all of you who are experts in this CCSS concept. Below is an excerpt from the CO mothers who have found a voice in their legislature. When I read this, I was really confused. The assumption would seem to be that if a school is exceeding these "common" standards, then they would have to already be teaching those basics. So, if that's the case, I say what is the big issue? Schools still have control over their curricula's.
"We are concerned because Common Core brings the standards to the middle, lifting some schools and lowering others. If a school is already outperforming with its current standards, it still has to teach Common Core's lower standards in order to pass the test to which everything is tied. These standards are copyrighted and cannot be exceeded or changed more than 15%. It is hard to achieve greatness while staying within 15% of mediocrity. Colorado, along with so many others, took the Race to the Top bribe money to adopt Common Core, even before the standards were fully written and neither parents nor legislators were asked to vote on this."
There are many Myths and Misconceptions that parents hold as truths:
And I'm sure you all have more.
What can we do to explain Common Core to parents?
It is all about educating our parents as well as our students.
Thank you for that thoughtful response. I apologize for not citing my source. It was the recent edition of Education Week (Teacher Section.) But you were correct... it was a Blog I got caught up with the Title and didn't check to see if it was a Blog. My bad.
But, my concern is still the same about the myths and misleading information that is floating around about CCSS. I just wanted to make sure I had my ducks lined up correctly for my discussions of rebuttal in this state.
I checked out your link to the sample test questions, and I certainly applaud the level of thinking that has been created in the design.
It seems that there is still misunderstanding associated with the Common Core, but mainly with its implementation. Originally the idea of a set of national standards was applauded. Then when it came to implementing them, there was a realization that to be successful teaching methods needed to change.
Money was sought after from the federal government's Race to the Top. When awarded funds, some states found that they had to strictly follow the guidelines set by the federal government. State officials felt they were "giving up control" of varied facets of education policy. Local school districts began wondering why the change when their "state" was performing well. Now there are states "changing" the standards to meet their needs better. Florida is one state considering 56+ changes. It is possible that the initial rational for the common standards has been affected by political input.
We have additional discussions in the community that may offer insight:
Jeanne has referenced some additional good discussions on the Common Core Standards located in the Thinkfinity Community. This is such an important topic in education that we have an open group devoted to this issue. We invite all Community members to join our Common Core group and share their thoughts on this timely topic.
Thanks for sharing your discussion on the Education Week blog and making others aware of the ongoing dilemma on this topic that concerns educators, parents, and students.
Jeanne and Lynne:
Thank you for the additional input. Of course, Jeanne's very tactful way of stating that when the federal government offers money, there are always strings. Those strings are the issues involved with what was initially a great way for all states to be on the same page. The "puppeteer" always wants to be in control and that explanation is the driving force now. What a shame.
Reminds me when I was working on a grant team that had received $9.2 million Challenge Grant. Talk about being pulled by the strings.