Who hasn’t seen the Facebook post about the engineers who can’t do math the Common Core way? But despite this criticism from many, there have been fewer complaints about the Common Core standards in English/Language Arts.
These standards, which emphasize using text evidence to answer text dependent questions, require deeper level thinking by students. The emphasis on getting students to think deeply about a text, and to even grapple with a text, is something that students need to do before they get to college and are unable to do for themselves. Students need to learn to do what is difficult and to struggle with a text. This emphasis allows students to learn how to find the answers for themselves and encourages thinking.
Nearly every teacher bemoans the lack of thinking that students are doing. The Common Core’s emphasis on “proof” is important because it requires students to understand a concept deeply. The emphasis is not only on the right answer, but on why the answer is right or wrong in the first place. The Common Core, while not perfect, gets students moving into this direction.