What Is Common Core And How Does It Affect Us?

Marley Watkins, Staff Writer

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What Is Common Core And How Does It Affect Us?

 

    Common Core, it’s been around for almost ten years and most of us as students don’t quite know what it is or how it affects us. Maybe if it’s even necessary. It’s a set of high quality academic standards in mathematics and language arts. Kids today from grades k-12 struggle with this new and “improved” version of education. It tends to confuse them, making them think that there’s more to their answer and that longer methods can be helpful. What I personally want to know is what the purpose of it is and how it’s supposed to help us in our future lives.

                In 2009, state leaders came together and launched Common Core. They decided that students in each grade level using the new curriculum should graduate with the same skill and knowledge for their outside life. Now most of our classrooms in the country use Common Core. Although, students don’t always agree that it can be helpful. The math curricular part is supposed to make sure that they understand the math behind their problems. Which, students don’t generally understand.

      Since Common Core was created, people have been arguing different points on it. Many explain that it’s not helpful or necessary whatsoever but others think otherwise. For example, “ On the whole, I think the Common Core is a good thing for the country,” says Paul Reville, a former executive director of the Pew Forum on Standards-Based Reform. “ The idea that we should have uniform high expectations for students all across the country is an important idea that states recognized and pioneered within their own boundaries long ago.” He states that Common Core was invented for a reason. He believes that challenging students is good. Teachers and students at Dana also have similar perspectives as Reville. Ms. Lavia, an eighth grade English teacher here points out that the standards Common Core has is more broad than the traditional ones. Every individual in each grade level has access to the same learning as their peers. She states, “With the standards we can measure where students are academically and the challenge they acquire is good, struggle is normal.” Her statement shows that some teachers enjoy teaching students new and different methods. 

    Students here also believe it’s beneficial. Another example stated by eighth grader Isabella Haage, “ The methods Common Core has is helpful because the way we are taught with it is more understandable and if you don’t get something, it can help you by giving you more ways to solve a problem.” This tells us that the “complicated” teachings of Common Core can be helpful for students. It gives them benefits and options the renewed way couldn’t. Sophia Caserma, another eighth grader at Dana states, “ Some ways it can be beneficial is that it gives students an advantage of what is going to be expected of them in the future.” Indeed, Common Core was designed to ensure that students can graduate with the same type of skill as their peers.Although, some don’t always gain that certain amount of knowledge when graduation comes around. 

The positives and negatives to Common Core

  Yes, much of the public think that Common Core is beneficial for us. Not everyone agrees though. This program is supposed to help us but that’s not always the case. For example Geraldine Sandoval, an eighth grader here at Dana voices her opinion, “ As students we want to learn stuff that’s helpful, sometimes the methods we are shown can be too long and difficult. There’s no use to make it more complicated. The standards becomes boring, disincentivizing many kids to learn.” The point that kids don’t always understand it is factual. Common Core is meant to be taught in every grade. Which means the mentally challenged kids learn it and it’s not usually flexible for them. It confuses those who learn it, making them think their answer they did all the work for means nothing.Again, quoting Geraldine Sandoval, “ I think another detriment of Common Core is that sometimes it doesn’t get straight to the point. The extra steps aren’t necessary.

     Something else is that standardized testing is inconvenient. They’re hardly ever based on what the teachers teach, which is why many students get confused or stressed about tests.” With it’s plethora of skills and standards, the Common Core doesn’t make provision for the fact that many students experience a level of difficulty with literacy and numeracy so it makes it almost impossible for them to meet the standards. Professor Daniel Kortez adds on to a movement in New York City by parents against standardized testing. “ The Common Core gives it more impetus because it’s a harder test, which makes more people upset.” In the math curriculum, students are mostly expected to show the math behind their answer than the actual answer itself. It starts to confuse students. They have to go through work for their problems that aren’t necessary.

   

 Common Core. It’s a type of learning curriculum students in every grade level are to be taught. It gives them a broader approach to solving a problem. The program provides multiple methods to finding an answer. These learning goals outline what a student should know and be able to do at the end of each grade. It affects many including students, parents as well as teachers. Everyone has a different view on Common Core. It all just comes down to why they think it contributes to a child’s education. Some think it doesn’t do much at all. While others believe it provides easier ways of understanding a solution. The reason this program is so controversial is because it all just depends on how it affects those who use it. Kids excel in different things and it’s not always the same thing their peers excel in. Common Core isn’t a negative thing, but it’s also not completely necessary. We all struggle in different things, which is perfectly normal, students find it easy just as some of their peers find it challenging, only because their brain comprehends what it understands. The reason why it affects students is because Common Core prepares each individual for different tasks they might come upon in the future, it becomes difficult for some because it might not be in their level of expertise. It’s only beneficial for those who need it to be.