“Opting Out” of Common Core Standards
- Author: Anonymous, Graduate Student
- State: NY
- Test: Other
- Date: December 2 at 11:04 pm ET
The past few years have been a mesh of heated conversations about the Common Core State Standards and what they will mean for our school systems, educators, parents, and most of all, our children. Some states are now beginning to “opt out” of the Common Core Standards, while others are pushing for more uniform instruction. What is important to remember is that every student comes to my classroom with different interests, talents, and ways of learning. Knowing this, it is probably not the best idea to teach each of them the same thing, in the same way, at the same time.
This is not to suggest that the implementation of the Common Core is the problem. Many of these new standards are not much different from the previous standards in New York State. There are shifts that have taken place, but for the most part, the standards encompass things every good teacher already knows and does. It could also be argued that we serve our students better by teaching them the reasoning behind what they are doing, rather than just how to do it. It is exciting to see the increased higher level thinking that is taking place in my Common Core classroom and a student’s ability to build each new skill on the basis of the skills that came before it.
The real problem lies in the delivery of the Common Core Standards. Scripted modules and highly structured curriculums are not conducive to creating the types of learning environments the Common Core demands of us. This form of curriculum instruction leaves little to the imagination and “sucks all the fun” right out of learning for our students and teachers, who feel they have no time to teach “the fun stuff” when they have to get through all their modules. Research indicates that students are far more likely to learn that which interests them. It is not the difficulty level of the material but rather the engagement level that produces positive results. If New York State truly wants to produce “smarter” kids, then districts should reexamine the methods with which they are attempting to implement Common Core Standards. This will be far more constructive than postponing or “opting out” of the revised standards.