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Is Common Core Any Good?

By Layla Abbas
It is evident that people dislike change; change in education recently occurred and kicked up a storm of furor amongst parents who did not understand this new curriculum. In recent years tests were mainly multiple choice and focused strictly on basic skills. Concepts like writing, critical thinking, and problem solving were often overlooked and students left high school with little preparation to survive in the real world. In order to fix this, California implemented new standards known as the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

With this whole new curriculum it is easy to become discouraged because it is indeed at a higher level and difficult. Students are not used to this higher level thinking and analysis. Teachers are also finding it difficult to adjust to this stronger thinking level. After performing education tasks the same way for so long it is normal to have a difficult time adjusting. This often discourages people to the Common Core idea because they are opposed to change and often the challenges it comes with. Once the world gets over the change they can understand that Common Core has the capability of providing students with hand-on experiences and opportunities to explore new approaches. For decades students have focused on strictly knowing a formula to find the answer. How you found the answer or why you did what you did to find the answer was irrelevant. With Common Core students are encouraged to ask that “Why” question and understand the motives behind the procedures they are asked to perform.

Positive outcomes have already been established in states who implemented this new design. The Brown Center Report analyzed NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) for 2009-2013 and concluded that reading scores improved in states who established and enforced CCSS. The Brown Center Report found a 1.27 increase pertaining to eighth grade math tests. Any improvement is better than none. Although difficult to report, CCSS has already made positive changes in regards to educational standards. Professional development, new textbooks, designing new assessments, buying and installing new computer systems have been implemented in states who have adopted CCSS standards.

One may question what good are these new standards if the kids and teachers hate them? Well students and teachers are in the process of making a huge change in education and it is going to take some time. Learning the deeper questions can actually be encouraging to students. With this analysis students are feeling more knowledgeable and excited to share what they are learning. The information being taught is at a higher level and allows students to go above and beyond the normal standards. Students are capable of way more than the old standards stated.

It may be difficult at first for students to adopt this new way of learning but overall its potential effect has the opportunity of transforming young adults into brighter and more knowledgeable individuals. Young adults will be prepared for the expectations, college demands, and also better equipped to enter the global workforce. Challenging a student in school  has the possibility of creating a mind that does not settle for anything less than a challenge. Challenges make up the world we live in, so what better way to prepare our students than right now?

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