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The Two Sides Of The Common Core Debate

The Two Sides Of The Common Core Debate | Common Core | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON (AP) — Critics are relentless in warning about what they see as the folly of the new Common Core academic standards, designed to prepare students for college or a job by the time they graduate from high school.
Jenny Sloane's insight:

I found this short article just from looking over my newsfeed on twitter. I believe high school should either prepare students for the workforce or higher education and advocates for Common Core argue these are exactly the goals of the new curriculum. However, I also know that there are many people who are in complete opposition of Common Core. Some reasons being that teachers will have to follow very strict instructions and the curriculum ultimately takes away their ability to be creative in their teaching styles. I read another article where they explained that many of the top teachers were quitting for this reason. Both advocates and critics agree that Common Core will "reshape the vast majority of American classrooms." There are now 45 states that plan to implement Common Core. This means there will be many changes within classrooms that both teachers and students will have to get used to. Critics also argue that educators are not familar with the standards of Common Core and therefore they will have trouble teaching it. Also, they argue that these standards were never really tested in actual classrooms. However, I thought that there are schools in MA that have used Common Core and have seen great results and seen drastic improvements in many subjects, including testing. Before this semester, I really had no idea what was meant by Common Core. To be honest, even after reading several articles I still have no idea what to expect from this curriculum. However, I think it is very fascinating to continue learning more about this, especially because almost all the states will be using Common Core soon. I am very interested to see how students and teachers across the country respond to these changes and whether or not there are actually vast improvements. 

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My Books, Articles & Blog Posts

My Books, Articles & Blog Posts | Common Core | Scoop.it
Quote Of The Day: “Educators On What Standardized Testing Means”
Jenny Sloane's insight:

This quote really stood out to me on pinterest. I think it gets at a deeper problem with curriculum that people are ignoring and that problem is there is more important things in life that competing in the work force or scoring well on a test. I think it is absolutely ridiculous to have a goal as a teacher to get 10 year old children ready for the workforce. In my opinion this is setting children up to only care about working and making money in life. I think there are more important things 10 year olds should be concerned about, like mentioned in this quote. I think kids need to enjoy life and just be kids. They should not at all be concerned about the workforce or competing in it. I agree that inspiring children to work hard and enjoy school and enjoy learning is more important than providing actual skills for them to succeed in the real world. As a 10 year old those skills are really useless. However, if you teach in a fun and creative way that appeals to the kids, they will be interested in learning and want to go to school. That in turn will eventually lead to a better work mentality and they will be intrinsically motivated to learn and do their work and they will also enjoy it. 

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Support for Common Core strong in U.S. military

Support for Common Core strong in U.S. military | Common Core | Scoop.it
KELOLAND TV
Support for Common Core strong in U.S. military
Daily Caller
Sometimes, it seems like the Common Core State Standards Initiative has little support outside the D.C. Beltway and the analogous beltways in various state capitals.

Via Darren Burris
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Study Finds 73% of Teachers Enthusiastic About Common Core

Study Finds 73% of Teachers Enthusiastic About Common Core | Common Core | Scoop.it
Nearly every teacher in the U.S. now knows about the Common Core State Standards, and 73 percent of math, English, science, and social studies teachers in states that have adopted them say they are enthusiastic about their implementation,...

Via Mel Riddile
Jenny Sloane's insight:

At this point all teachers are aware of the common core. I am rather surprised that such a high percentage, 73%, of math, English, science, and social studies teachers are enthusiastic about the implementation of it (information from an online survey of 20,000 pre-K-12 teachers). Furthermore, 7% reported that they did not have adequate knowledge to take a side, meaning that only 20% are in some sort of opposition or are neutral. This surprises me because teachers understand that implementing common core means completely changing their classroom settings and styles of teaching. If I were a teacher of many years, I would probably not want to change everything about my style of teaching; it would almost be like starting over. Furthermore, it is even more challenging because basically everyone is new to this, so no one knows the best way to teach. Furthermore, it is not surprising that English and math teachers are excited about this change. From my understanding, common core curriculum will be even more focused on testing and therefore I would think there will be a huge emphasis on these two subjects. However, I think it is problematic for writing and elective classes that may never receive the same focus. I think those subjects are very important as well and it would not be fair to overlook them in order to spend even more time on other subjects. 

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Survey: Districts Heavily Focused on New Tests, Materials, for Common Core

Survey: Districts Heavily Focused on New Tests, Materials, for Common Core | Common Core | Scoop.it
A preview of a new survey finds school districts placing a high priority on revising curriculum, instruction, and materials for the common core. Organizations are springing up to help with those projects.
Jenny Sloane's insight:

I think it is interesting that 68% of districts plan to buy all new curriculum materials for common core. In another one of my education classes, EDPS301, we talked about how common core has succeeded in MA. However, what if it is really not that successful national wide? Schools are investing so much money into this new curriculum, what if it is not as great as people think? In the chart of Curriculum Initiative Priorities, the first bullet point says, "getting ready for the Common Core and its tests continues to dominate priorities." This ties into my concern about the emphasis on standardized testing in schools. From my understand, the topics of Common Core and Standardized tests are closely related because Common Core really focuses on testing. I do not think this is how schools should be changing their curriculum. I think Common Core curriculum should include and emphasize topics like creative writing,  critical thinking, and group projects. I also found it interesting that online resources are replacing textbooks and that is one of the high priorities schools are focusing on. This again shows the dominance of technology in our society and how it affects school and the curriculum.  

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Common Core shaping the classroom

Common Core shaping the classroom | Common Core | Scoop.it
The 5- and 6-year-olds drew pictures, some with colored pencils, crayons or markers, even identifying the people with simple labels they had learned, like "me," "dad." In the corner kindergarten classroom at Hayestown Avenue School, Smith visited...

Via Darren Burris
Jenny Sloane's insight:

This is the first article I read about Common Core and it already gave me an entire new perspective on this revolutionary change to the education system. From talking to my first grade teacher that I work with at University Park, I thought Common Core was a very strict and structured program that really limited teacher's creativity. However, from reading this article, I got almost the exact opposite opinion. I think the idea of integrating subjects together is a great way to reinforce main concepts. One example in the article was when 4 students had to share stories that were working on for a reading and writing activity. Instead of just calling on the students to present, the teacher asked the students to show on their fingers how many students needed to share. Some people raised 4 fingers on one hand, 2 on one and 2 on the other, and then the teacher showed a different way by raising 1 on one hand and 3 on the other. I was really impressed when I read this because I think it a great way to practice basic math skills in a fun way that is not just going through repetitive motions. I think the best way to acquire skills, such as math, is by practicing. WIth Common Core, students have more opportunities to integrate important materials and skills throughout the day, regardless of what the set subject is. Additionally, I think critical thinking and anaylsis is arguably the most important skill to teach students and starting this process from a young age is even better. One main arguement for Common Core is that it will "deepen the learning and critical thinking." Critical thinking is so crucial because it forces students to fully understand material, rather than just rely on memorization. One potential problem I immediately see with this change is that some teachers may not be comfortable integrating other subjects. 

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Common Core Debate Needs More Civility

Common Core Debate Needs More Civility | Common Core | Scoop.it
Common Core Debate Needs More Civility Carolina Journal In just three years, the debate over Common Core State Standards has become remarkably contentious.
Via Darren Burris
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