I am sure most of us have heard about Common Core by this point in the year. Either our friends are conversing over it, the news is reporting on it, or we have seen a multitude of posts proclaiming Common Core to be harmful.
How many of us actually know what it is though? Do we truly know what is at the heart of Common Core or are we simply taking in the “hype” and arguments being presented by other people?
I think it’s high time I researched this topic for myself and made my own choices about where I stand.
My initial concern is that my children will be expected to know information that I am not teaching. Has something drastic happened to the textbooks of which I am not aware? Aaaa! My second concern is whether or not those choices I make in curriculum will affect their testing of the SAT/ACT, should they decide to attend college.
This one decision could affect the rest of their lives.
Let me be clear, I have no problem with standards. I think guidelines are important and help us know when we are making progress. I also have no problem with updating how we learn things.
My uncertainty really stems from ignorance. I am hearing shouts from several different directions. Teachers – “Common Core is awesome!” Home schoolers – “Common Core is horrible; avoid it at all costs!”
But, what in fact IS Common Core? Is it a new method, a new set of standards, or something completely different?
When it comes to research, there are many techniques I might use. I could go buy a book, but I prefer to not spend money if I can. I could listen to a few debates (which I have), but those are filled with a lot of opinions and very little documented fact. I could read some news reports (both educational and mainstream). Or… I could do the simple thing; go straight to HSLDA!!
I really appreciate HSLDA for a multitude of reasons. They are efficient, they know their stuff, and they are always on top of things. It should come as no surprise that something like Common Core has caught their eye and information is already at our fingertips.
There is so much to be learned HERE, I could spend days reading and I probably will. To make a proper decision, I want to be fully educated before forming an opinion.
So far, I am finding several inconsistencies in the Common Core standards. How can one prepare students for college while not making literacy and proficiency also a goal? Hmmm… It is also interesting to note that several states who have already adopted this program are beginning to back out.
I am still a long way away from coming to the “core” of The Common though. I suppose what I am ultimately looking for is a list. Tell me exactly what you want these students to know. I can weed through the ballyhoo later; just give me the meat first.
I would have preferred to do this research during the summer, but it has only recently become available. So, it looks like I am going to be glued to my computer on what little downtime I have each night. I want to learn about this before the year gets too crazy so that I may take the appropriate actions, should any be needed.
I want to know for myself what Common Core is all about, and then we can make some choices for ourselves. And… (as one my childhood TV shows used to preach to us) “Knowing is Half the Battle!”
Have you researched Common Core for yourself? Does Common Core concern you?