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Teachers Sound Off on the Common Core Standards

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The Common Core Standards (CCS) – either you love them or you hate them. When we asked our Facebook fans what they thought about them, the reaction was positive. It seems that the shift from district and state standards to those that are universal throughout the United States is one that most teachers support. The “back to basics” approach seems to be a key component for why educators are willing to re-think and adopt the standards with little hesitation.

Buena K. explains her opinion about the CCS. “The CCS removes a lot of standards we had in our state standards and emphasizes the basics,” she says. “I think this is a good thing because we had so many standards to meet before that we could only spend a few days on each then move on. We are already talking about tearing apart our math book, discarding those things not in the standards and spending the time needed on the ‘important’ things. Yea! Back to Basics!”

Joyce R. agrees, but also expresses concerns. “I like the idea of all schools in the nation having the same expectations for each grade level, but will schools really follow the standards?” she asks. “Who’s going to make sure this happens? One advantage is that students who move to another district will have been taught using the same standards as the school they’re moving to.”

“I agree with [Joyce and Buena]!” says Nancy D. ” And I think CCS is especially important with many moving from state to state. We were in that situation once. [We] moved to a state with higher standards and when we moved back to our home state, the kids were ahead of the classes they went in to. CCS is definitely the way to go!”

What do YOU think?

Leave your thoughts and opinions about the Common Core Standards below!

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50 comments
Leah Demain
Leah Demain

I need to explore them more. We haven't started using them in 3rd grade

Jo Cullen
Jo Cullen

I like the concept. If implemented correctly across the country, students will be able to easily transfer between districts with mimimal impact on learning. However, I am concerned that the standards will be implemented without adequate training for teachers and without thought toadjusting materials and supplies used in the classroom. Who interprets the standards and decides what "deep" really means? I already see, just within my school, that one teacher thinks "deep" means one thing and another is doing something completely different while saying it's the "deep" that the common core requires. Also, we have to teach the standards this year in our district but we have no textbooks that correspond to the standards. Our math textbook includes at least 50% material that is now irrelevant. Also, what about science, social studies, music, art, etc.? Will all states take the same standardized tests? In what grade will these tests start? 3rd? K? 1st? How willing are colleges to change so that future students will graduate prepared to teach? I feel there are still many questions that need to be addressed.

Deanna
Deanna

I think the whole concept of the Common Core Standards is a great one, but there are many flaws that need worked out before it can be implemented effectively. I teach first grade and there are some standards that the common core wants our students to master that they just are not ready for. They do not have the cognitive ability to perform some of the skills that the standards are asking. The standards themselves move way to fast, too quickly. Also, it is incredibly difficult to teach the standards when there is not a curriculum specifically aligned to them. The curriculum that we have does not in any way align to the standards. As a teacher it is becoming increasingly difficult to teach the standards when there is no curriculum out there to teach with it. In time I think the concept will be a great one, but they really need to get the kinks out first before it can be implemented to the fullest potential that it offers.

Rochell A
Rochell A

I like what I have seen so far as I have started studying the CCS. I am anxious to see a pacing guide. That part will be just a crucial if we want our transient kids to be able to pick up where they left off as they move from school to school.

Laura D
Laura D

If we are going to go that route, I suppose it should tackle most if not all subject areas. It would make it easier for transient children.

Denise
Denise

I think the concept of CCS is great. Like so many have mentioned, we are teaching a mile wide and an inch deep right now. What I don't understand, though, is why there is only focus on Math and Language Arts. Don't get me wrong, these are probably two of the most important subjects, but since we are always saying that the U.S. is behind in Science, why are there no Science CCS?

Sherry H.
Sherry H.

In my state, we have formed 2 state-wide teacher networks, one for Reading/Language Arts and one for Math. These networks are then broken down by basically geographic region and 3 representatives from each school district are attending monthly meetings to learn more about the Standards, to "deconstruct" the standards, determine learning targets, etc. We are also studying assessment literacy, the Characteristics of Highly Effective Teachers, and leadership. I'd love to know what other states are doing as we all begin to implement the new standards. Do you already have copies of the standards and are you teaching with these now? What preparation/professional development is being organized?

Nichole D
Nichole D

I'm on the fence about CCS. I'm in AZ and we are adopting CCS ... what I'm concerned about is that we currently have high expectations (standards) of our students and the last time I looked at the standards (and I only looked at the math) I wasn't real impressed with them. For example (and correct me if I'm wrong) but money is only introduced once (in 2nd grade if I'm not mistaken) and that's the only time I see it in the CCS. Where now, in the AZ Standards, money is intro'd in Kinder and repeated every year. We have our 2nd and 3rd graders here in AZ plotting points (identifying points [x,y] on a grid) and on the CCS it's being pushed back to 5th grade. To me this is "dummying down" the Standards. And what about our new textbooks? My district just adopted a brand new reading and math series to coincide with the new Standards? Where will the money come from to help districts pay for new textbooks? And who will oversee the CCS? My district has a pacing calendar - but not all the schools follow it like they are supposed to. I have had students transfer to my classroom from another school within my district. They should be on the same page in reading and math - right? Wrong. A couple students were CHAPTERS behind in math ... so who's going to be checking to make sure that every school is "on the same page" with the CCS? Don't know .... I'm not entirely sold on CCS. The overall idea is a good one, but they need to, I don't know, "fine tune it" so to say.

Holly M
Holly M

I think it is great for all of us to be on the same page across the nation! I'm a fan!!

Laura
Laura

In regard to an above comment about the standards forcing you to "dumb down" your lesson....I don't think the common core standards will do that at all. They are meant as a guide for what your students NEED TO MASTER by the end of that grade. If everyone in your class has it down you should enrich and take their thinking to deeper levels by all means...unless I'm interpreting it wrong?

Kelly
Kelly

I think in the CCS are a broader based set of standards. Some of our current standards are so specific and yet when we get our curriculum, it encourages us to kind of turn a blind-eye to anything that doesn't fit with our grade level standards. I think CCS would be nice to have more of a nationwide sort of standards, which will be especially helpful when students change schools. What I think is interesting is that our district has yet to mention anything about it and no one is really discussing it. It makes me wonder if it will really have an impact or if it will just be something to consider.

Cheryl
Cheryl

We are living in the age of DATA. Unfortunately in today’s society, “good” teachers are measured by their test scores and if we’re all going to be compared than there should be some common ground. However I think we need to remember that standards are our road map, but as professionals we need to steer our students in the direction that suits them best based on their individual needs.

Stephanie McGinley
Stephanie McGinley

Having CCS, would increase the chances of success for our transient students. It would also make our jobs as educators just a little easier when we do get a student in from another state... Who wouldn't be in favor of something that would help both our educators and students succeed?

Carrie
Carrie

Back to basics is a great idea...especially because we need some consistency. However, we need to buckle down and create children who can compete with the other children of the world too. Going back to basics will hopefully allow us to take a step back and teach the subjects in more depth instead of teach and move on.

Diana
Diana

I really think the CCS are a good idea. The standards should be universal so that we can really see where the students rank amongst each other and where we actually need to step up and change things. I have a problem seeing children from other states come to New York schools and are below average. If the New York school system is so bad then how come when these students relocate they can't keep up? We all need to be on the same page so we can see where we are as a nation.

Tonya
Tonya

I have mixed feeling about this as well. I love the idea that everyone is on the same page. This allows states with water down standards to increase their rigor. But, at the same time these standards do not allow feedom for teachers to teach. Students are missing out a wide array of knowledge because its not a standard. I think it should be use as a guide for teacher but not the sole course of teaching.

Cheryl
Cheryl

Consistency in rigor across the nation would be welcomed. But CCS should not be all that is taught. Each region is unique and each class's needs are individual.

Chris
Chris

CCS is a great idea. I am all for it. However, the implementation is a different story. It's like trying to create the world's largest snowman. Great idea. Now try to move the middle and top snowballs onto the bottom one...(Can you tell I'm in the East and just shoveled some nice snowman snow?). It could have unintended consequences. I hope that states will let teachers/districts meet kids on their level and have the standards as the goal. For example, not all of my kiddos read on the same level or at grade level, but as long as they are making progress throughout the year, it truly isn't much of a concern.

Jessica
Jessica

I have mixed feelings about them. I don't know much yet, but I do know we're going to CCS next year. I like having common standards, but I also know that different parts of the nation have different cultural expectations and wonder also about the jurisdiction of federal and state governments on education. I think each teacher should be able to teach their way with what goes best with their personality etc, we're all individuals, but the content should be similar. In first grade I want to know that each of the kids came from kindergarten with the same content and I want to be able to send them on to second grade and have common content for that teacher when they mesh with the other kids from other teachers. My husband and I have discussed the issue and I will have to look more into it, but overall I think it will be good for us. The transition won't be easy but I think standards based gives a structured, but open way to teach.

Sheryl
Sheryl

We just had a conversation about this the other day in our faculty lunch room. We think they will help because we are mandated to use programs brought to us by heavy-hitting states (CA & TX), but they don't always mesh with our state core. Having everyone on the same page will help both teachers and mobile students.

Patty
Patty

If we adopt CCS, what will happen to all of the textbooks we use now? Will this be an addtional expense to adopt new materials? Our state is already having money issues.

Karla
Karla

I'm still in the air about CCS. I think that something is needed but agree with some of the comments that talked about the students that are already struggling are true too. We have sooooo many students that are struggling with the basics that I hope CCS would help with this.

Kristin
Kristin

I definitely like the idea of having CCS for the nation. When students move from state to state, their education often becomes inconsistent. They miss certain things and can be taught the same thing twice. It ultimately hurts the child, and that's what we teachers aim to prevent.

Holly Gold
Holly Gold

It can only benefit the students when we all get on the same page. The idea behind it is worthy, but putting it in to practice is going to be a task that takes time to implement.

Jenn
Jenn

I think CCS are a good baseline. But teachers shouldn't feel like that's all they can teach. Also, it shouldn't dictate HOW teachers should teach these subjects. But as we do in our differentiated classroom, we make sure everyone is on the same page, so no one is missing any information.

Crystal F.
Crystal F.

I think that it is a good concept, but it needs to be tweeked. I like to consistancy between states. As another post said, I think that back to the basics is the best for the students. We are moving on in subjects (math and reading) whether the students get it or not to get all of the standards in.

Cheryl
Cheryl

I like the idea of CCS. It is very difficult when we have students move in from another state and their standards were very low and trying to help them meet our standards is difficult.

Karen Greenberg
Karen Greenberg

As a teacher in a state that is not at the top of the totem pole, I wonder how much work our students will have to do to catch up. If we are behind now, are we just going to keep getting further behind? I love the idea of CCS, but I worry that when it goes into practice we are going to have a huge gap in knowledge vs. the new information being taught.

Michelle
Michelle

Like Jessica, I also like that CCS help us move away from "mile wide, inch thick" teaching to more in-depth standards. I also believe that the consistency from district to district, state to state will benefit our students. In my state, the only question has been when we start implementing the CCS if there are no standardized assessments yet available.

Raye
Raye

I haven't memorized the new CCS but I think a back to basics approach is essential. Here in Michigan, in 4th grade there are something like 58 standards in math. It's impossible to teach every one of those standards and teach them well!

Kendelle
Kendelle

I think the CCS is scary! Has anyone checked out the kindergarten standards? Two, too, to? What about fourth grade--Latin and Greek meanings for words? We've got nearly a third of our classes that are non-readers in third and fourth grades. I don't see how learning Latin and Greek is going to help those students. I feel like it's going to be impossible!

Kelly
Kelly

Wow, maybe some of the people who believe the standards fairly compare schools and students would like to come to my classroom one day. I think the students have so many needs, it is difficult. One of the things missing in homes today is consistency and dedication to helping children achieve.

Dana S
Dana S

I don't have a problem with the CCS. I think they would be great. My problem is with students coming into a school with them & coming from a school without them. It makes it difficult for those students who are behind.

Maureen
Maureen

I think Common Core Standards are a good idea. Here in Massachusetts we actually have challenging state standards now so it won't be as much of a challenge here. The next thing we need to tackle is common funding for all schools. We can't have a nationwide solution while funding on the local level. From one community to the next, there are huge discrepancies in materials, technology, professional development, class sizes and staffing, etc cause by disparities in per pupil spending. Federal and State funding helps the inner cities and communities with industries or a higher tax base have more to money to work with. Blue collar bedroom suburban bedroom communities are suffering from lack of funding and money does make a difference.

Melany
Melany

I think the Common Core Standards is a step in the right direction. We are comparing apples to oranges with each state having its own standards. Now, if states adopt the CSS, we can compare apples to apples.

Nancy
Nancy

As someone who has taught in two different states and hold licenses in three, I'm all for it. Consistency is sorely needed.

Cindy B
Cindy B

I like that there will be some continuity across the country and also appreciate that there is some very specific language which is lacking in our state's current standard course of study. I think that I can comment further once I have been able to more thoroughly examine them side by side with my current SCOS.

Hope
Hope

The "CCS" will allow teachers to take more time on the standards so the students will have a better understanding of the material. How often have we taught a standard for a day maybe two and then hope that they have mastered it for all future references of that standard. This will give us the time to allow students to master the standard as well as to enrich it for those that have mastered it. It will also be nice to have students moving into the district to have an understanding of what has already been covered.

Carrie
Carrie

I think it would be nice to get back to the basics. States are trying so hard to compete and therefore tend to over pack our standards. I just wonder what teachers did before standards became such an issue!

Jessica
Jessica

I like the fact that we are shifting from our mile wide, inch deep curriculum to one that is a mile deep and an inch wide. Too many kids fell behind with the rushed pacing calendars we have been following the last few years. I am feeling very positive about the CCS!!

Lori O.
Lori O.

The CCS might allow teachers to teach more "in depth" on certain subjects. It will also allow those moving from one state to another to be on the same page. Living near a border, we have students transferring in and they are either behind or ahead of what we are currently teaching. It can be very frustrating.

Jill
Jill

This is difficult territory. What happened to getting a feel for kids and what they need? My students were way past the lesson I was supposed to present in math today(based on National standards). So what was I to do? Drop it? Do some other dumbed down lesson? No, I enriched it and gave them what they needed. We need to be responsive to our kids, not standards!

Melissa
Melissa

I love the idea of having my "revolving door" come with a student whom has had the same exposure as the rest of my class. Likewise, when I have to let a student go I will feel confident that the receiving teacher will be happy as well!

Dawn Braddock
Dawn Braddock

This will make it a lot easier for smooth sailing in schools and hopefully more students won't fall through the cracks if they transfer from one school system to another. It's very difficult to play catch up and even worse if your school was ahead and now your child finds themselves bored and losing interest simply because of a move. About time!

Nichole R
Nichole R

I have mixed feelings about the Common Core Standards-the concept sounds good: all students at the same level on the same page from district to district, and practically state to state. I feel confident that many of the standards I teach already will be continued to be taught, and at the same time I believe that getting down to the basics will open up time for exploration of each standard and deeper understanding than we have time for right now when we are expected to teach so many standards in a short time. However- I worry, like Joyce R, that the Common Core Standards will be too big an undertaking to control-making sure everyone is teaching them is too troublesome...and that might lead to new rules/ new rigorous testing/unknown measures. Overall I welcome the chance to take on the Common Core Standards and teach them the right way!

Deb Adams
Deb Adams

I'm all in for the CCS. If we are going to be compared across the nation (ie Texas' kids score higher than Georgia's kids), then it is imperative that we are all measuring and testing the same thing. California already had an insane set of standards - CCS can't be any worse.

Jennifer Weinstein
Jennifer Weinstein

I love the idea of national standards. I have taught first, kindergarten and Pre-K and when you have a student that comes from another state and they haven't been introduced to letter sounds and they are in kindergarten. That child is immediately at a disadvantage. This way everyone is responsible. In my state, we already use the state curriculum, so switching to a national curriculum should be no big deal in Maryland.

Kim A
Kim A

I like the idea of CCS for many of the ideas listed in the article. I also hope that if we have common standards the textbook companies will follow suit and include the relevant things we need so that we don't have to 'tear the books apart' searching for what we need and getting rid of what we don't.

Sarah C
Sarah C

I think a 'back to basics' approach to the standards is an excellent move. Right now, too many schools and teachers are struggling to get all the standards taught, that it is required to move so quickly through them and the students sometimes cannot grasp the concepts you are teaching in this short time! A standards overhaul has been long needed!

Christin Frank
Christin Frank

Overall I think the Common Core Standards have good intentions. The first thing that came to mind, as previously noted, is how positively it impacts those students that are transient and will be able to gain all the skills they need even after relocating. I think it is going to be crucial for teachers to implement to them in order for it to be successful. Equally important is providing teachers the ability to supplement with additional skills as needed.