5 Myths about Common Core
- · Common Core is Designed to Make Kids Conform:
Some people claim that Common Core Standards are in insidious way of making students conform, and that these standards hinder creative thinking. In fact common core fosters creative thinking by helping students dig deeper and gain a greater understanding of what they are learning. Teachers have narrower topics to cover which allow them to help the students grasp the material at a higher level and truly understand what they are learning. This rich knowledge base will help students come to their own knowledgeable conclusions in the future.
- · Common Core hinders the religious freedom of students:
Students have always had, and continue to have the right to believe whatever they choose, and to express those beliefs while at school. Teachers in a public school setting have a legal obligation to neither suppress nor promote any religious ideology in any way. Common Core standards are simply guidelines as to what students should be learning at each grade level. There is absolutely no reference to the religious freedom of students anywhere in the standards.
- · Common Core testing records student data and uses it against them:
Frankly, it would be inexcusable for teachers not to record student test results and abilities. The fact is that to teach with fidelity, teachers need to pass along pertinent information from grade level to grade level. This information allows individual students to receive different services to help make them as successful as possible in schools. Common Core testing is actual a blessing to any child that moves to a new state as their records will be much more compatible since all of the testing is the same. Furthermore, standardized testing is only a small piece of data compiling that any responsible teacher will do in the classroom. This means that a poor score on a standardized test will by no means jeopardize a child’s education, and there will be no federal database with all students’ records.
- · Different states need to learn differently:
This is one that can be heard by many people that believe that their state needs to be different than the rest of the states. Math and Language Arts are the two most affected subjects in Common Core. There is no valid argument for one state learning math, reading, or writing differently than another state. Again, the fact that all states will be learning these core principles the same leads to greater fidelity for education nationwide. States are still given the opportunity to amend the standards which allows for state history and science to be incorporated as each state sees fit.
- · Common Core is a way for the federal government to take over education:
Most people are not aware that it was not actually the federal government that created Common Core. It was actually a multi-state coalition including political and educational leaders from several different states. Furthermore, education is still controlled at a state level. Each state had the option of adopting these standards, and were in no way forced to do so. Finally, since the large majority of education funding comes from state and local levels, the federal government really doesn’t have much economic pull when it comes down to it.
I hope this clears up some misconceptions about the changes in US Education. While no system is perfect I do believe that we are taking a step in the right direction, and many good things will come of it. Regardless of what happens at a national level, there are many teachers out there that will continue teaching with integrity and fidelity always having the students’ best interests in mind.