Last spring, our Elementary School Principal, Curriculum Expert and others presented the who what where and whys of the Common Core initiative, and how it affects our children at our school. The good news is, for the most part, that our current standards are inline with much of newly proposed standards. How this will affect the content of what is taught is still a “wait and see” for parents who are still unsure. But what surprised me more than that was just a dozen parents attended the evening presentation, some with children in tow, myself included. With all of the controversy surrounding Common Core, I expected a bigger audience.
More than half of the public polled on Common Core is unaware of what it is, even though measures have been implemented in many schools, nationwide. An Education Week article, Common Core: A Puzzle to Public, notes that the general public, as well as public school parents, are puzzled by this latest initiative. With forty-six states and the District of Columbia already adopted the Common Core standards, and I find it alarming that there is ignorance of what the Common Core is and how it affects our youth.
One of the goals of the Common Core is to make the U.S. more competitive, compared to worldwide students, and one survey notes that the “PDK/Gallup survey found that just 41 percent of respondents” who are aware of the common core believe it will increase the U.S. academic and competitive edge.
With 95 percent of PDK/Gallup survey respondents support teaching critical thinking skills, yet the connection of common core addressing this deficit seems murky. Yet Lesli A. Maxwell notes that according to a poll published by the journal Education Next, opposition to Common Core is doubling, and the PDK survey highlights the needs for schools to “mount an effective communications campaign about the common-core standards.”
First step is to lead parents to what the Common Core is: http://www.corestandards.org/. Although this may be information overload for many parents, a great resource is the FAQs. For those who seek to understand the standards via video, the Hunt Institute has provided short videos ranging from one minute to nearly minutes long. For those unsure of whether they support the initiative, can access myths vs. facts. Parents and guardians need educators to explain what the coming changes are, which will affect their children. And parents and guardians need to know why this is important, otherwise, they will not make the presentations, meetings and talks.
Has your district reached out to parents to discuss what the Common Core initiative is? Do parents know what is looks like in their child’s classroom? Have these measures increased standards, keep them the same, or lowered them?
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