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What you need to know about Common Core

by : Mathrise
posted on : 8/30/2013

Understanding the new Common Core State Standards

Are you one of many parents who is frustrated trying to help your child understand their homework? Does your child bring home homework so complex it causes you, the parent, to spend your valuable time doing research online trying to help?

Many parents will notice distinct changes in the homework their children are given this school year and will certainly wonder why these changes are occurring, and how these changes will affect their children.

In 2010, the Common Core State Initiative was passed to once again change the educational requirements in math, reading and writing. This initiative, designed to help students prepare for college and future careers, was adopted by Arizona to provide the exact same curriculum as other states who have similarly adopted the new standards (Currently, 45 states and D.C).

Basically, the States came together and said ‘What we did in the past hasn’t worked out exactly as planned. Therefore, let’s raise our learning expectations and strive to provide an equal learning experience across the country.’

Sounds reasonable, right? With implementation of these new standards taking full effect this upcoming school year, it may prove beneficial to know some background information to properly understand how your children will be affected by these changes.

  • Common Core began with the “Race to the Top,” a stimulus package signed by President Obama which gave states billions of dollars in education funding as long as they joined the program. So, although the federal government claims this educational reform was state-led, the U.S. government gave those states huge incentive to adopt The Common Core.
  • Educational content will shift by grade level to meet the new Core standards. This will mean for most children there could be educational gaps (unlearned material) due to standards shifting. In order to be successful, students will need to somehow learn the material they missed.
  • Common Core is a “One-Size-Fits-All” set of standards which will impact gifted education, struggling students, and students with learning disabilities since teachers must teach everyone the content adopted by the new standards adopted. Unity across the nation is the goal.
  • Common Core removes instructional flexibility despite the possibility the program may not be what works best for a particular class or student. So whether your child is above, below, or even at grade level they will be taught grade level specific material that may not meet their educational needs.
  • There will not be separately tests designed for students with learning disabilities.
  • Textbooks will become completely obsolete with technology taking their place. This means when your child comes home with homework, there will be no physical resource available to help them (or you) understand it.

Many parents may wonder why such drastic changes in education seem to be constantly happening. According to a recent publication the United States is ranked 17th worldwide in education in the developed world. Many countries such as Brazil, Chile, Hong Kong, Japan, Portugal and Colombia, are making educational gains two or three times faster than American students.

American education has been in a lull. Prior to 2010, each state was allowed to create or adopt their own educational curriculum and standards. With no oversight, many states covered up poor performance and some even deceived parents and students with false data. In a shocking 2011 interview on C.N.N., Secretary of Education Arne Duncan admitted, “We’ve basically had a 19th century model of education that is not preparing enough young people to be successful in the 21st century.”

This is the computer age. Technology is king. Technology is the key to jobs and opportunity.

The Common Core aims to fix the educational model by establishing clear educational goals in reading, writing, and math. In the grand scheme of things, it attempts to play catch up to all the countries who have surpassed the U.S. educationally.

You may be thinking “How can I be sure my child doesn’t get learning gaps or isn’t bored at school.” To start, I recommend regularly communicating with your child’s school teacher. This is always the best way to keep informed. You can also research the Common Core Initiative online so you better understand it.

Take a diagnostic test – Companies like MathRise Learning Center in Glendale, Arizona offer low cost assessment testing which can diagnose students’ current learning levels and compare those levels to Common Core levels. This allows parents is to know exactly which skills their child needs in order to be successful. Once these results have been compared, an individualized solution will be offered. Professional one-on-one tutoring, like that offered at MathRise, can boost your child’s confidence, teach needed skills, and dramatically raise learning levels. So, whether your child is below grade level, above grade level, or anything in between, professional tutoring can be a great option for solving problems caused by our ever-changing school system.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

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