Oh….Common Core

I saw this image posted today regarding a Common Core homework assignment.

Common Core FlubNational Review Online also posted some interesting Common Core ‘word problems’ in their post The Eleven Dumbest Common Core Problems, stating “The Common Core State Standards Initiative is widely denounced for imposing confusing, unhelpful experimental teaching methods, involving test problems that lack essential information and sometimes make no sense whatsoever.”

In the Huffington Post Article: Smoke, Mirrors, and Common Core, it states:

“As a parent, I am troubled by developments in the New York Assembly. My kindergartner comes home exhausted after a day of school with almost no time for unstructured play. As the child psychologist Megan Koschnick explains, the Common Core standards are developmentally inappropriate, virtually insured to give many children math and reading anxiety.

There is no good way to implement bad standards.

Fortunately, some New York politicians listen to parents on the issue of the Common Core. There is a bill (A8844 & S6604), with bipartisan support, that calls for a Blue Ribbon Commission to hold hearings, do research, and make recommendations to the governor and legislature regarding curriculum and testing before moving forward, if at all, with the Common Core. The bill requires New York’s education leaders to think before they act: a sensible proposal.”

Too bad the proposal was rejected, right?

I do not object to standards – after all, we do need guidelines and something for us to reach for. However, I do oppose the way Common Core is being implemented. From what I can tell, instruction for this new curriculum has been lucid, at best. Students should not have to come home to hours of homework every night in order to keep up with instruction. I would really like to see a poll on how children feel about their learning experience.

On another note, Common Core may be here to stay for a while. The Washington Post highlights an article about How Three Teachers are dealing with Common Core in their Class.

One teacher admits that Common Core has its challenges. She said, “However, my school has prioritized Common Core implementation and tackled its challenges with consistent professional development, regular refinement of unit plans, daily lessons and assessments, and an intense focus on the Standards for Mathematical Practice. As a result, my students are thinking critically about numbers every day, and they are becoming accustomed to attacking problems with multiple strategies and assessing the validity of those strategies. The Common Core standards choose depth over breadth, and with appropriate teacher development and support, this leads to much more critical thinking and analysis in the classroom.”

Maybe the only thing that can be done is to give strict attention to how Common Core is being implemented. The ‘How’ remains. Is this something that needs to be taken care of on the federal level? Perhaps. Is this something that needs to be taken care on a school district level? Sure, why not. Is this something that teachers and parents need to learn how to deal with themselves? Looks like it.

I don’t have any answers to the questions I pose. I know rolling out any new policy is going to be tricky. Does it mean it is wrong? Not necessarily. But without the proper tools, resources, and training, policies that direct school curriculum is going to be hard for all those involved. One thing to keep in mind – who is feeling the inconsistency of this implementation? Our students. Period.