Do We Need Common Core Standards?

 I came across this article from the Huffington post written by a parent about the Common Core.

The article is interesting - especially the comments at the bottom. The parent in this article is distressed because his son's school put into place the Common Core Standards in February and his son has gone from a child skipping to school to one that drags his feet when time to leave.
 "The teacher started dedicating two hours a day to packaged lesson plans. Rather than giving the students free work choice, in which they build with blocks or paint, the students must sit on the floor while the teacher lectures at them. Rather than tailoring the curriculum to each child, she hands students books from a narrow, predetermined list."

Make sure that you scroll down and read the comment section of the article. Then continue reading my post......

I agree completely with the comments that the Common Core Standards are just benchmarks and that teachers should be allowed to approach them in a way that suits the needs of his/her classroom. Thankfully I am in a school that does not force me into pre-packaged units and respects my ability and knowledge to put into place units and activities that are thoughtful and meaningful to the curriculum we are teaching. I believe that worksheets have a place in the classroom, but should not be the sole base for instruction. In my experience, I have found that children learn best when allowed to explore and create. I think Benjamin Franklin said it best "Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. "

If school districts have no trust in a teacher's ability to design curriculum to suit the needs of his/her students and simply offer a packaged curriculum with meaningless fill in the blank and multiple choice worksheets, then our students are certainly destined to hate school and never reach their potential. But if the Common Core Standards are used positively and teachers allowed to create curriculum that builds upon the Core in a meaningful and creative way, then our country is headed in the right direction. Every child has the right to an education and every child has the right to have teachers who believe in the potential of every one of their students. When school districts trust their teacher's ability to create units that are built upon the Core and  created in a way that allows students to become involved in their educational journey, then we are on our way to once again promoting students excited to learn and be in school.

I love the fact that our country's educational system is working to design a curriculum that mandates all states to have the same basic standards. Because of the transient nature of our country, it is  not unusual for a child to be in one state in the fall and another in the spring. It will also benefit our colleges and universities if all college freshmen are entering with the same standards. BUT, if teachers are not allowed to involve their students in their learning, then we are surely destined to failure. It is my hope that our country's schools do not end up like the one written about in the Huffington Post article. As a nation, we need teachers who inspire our students to dream and invent. Pre-packaged worksheets will not do this. Hands-on, inspirational, and involved projects and activities will!

Peace and blessings,