The Common Core State Standards Initiative, an effort to bring consistency to state expectations for learning, has come under increasing attack over the past month, threatening this important movement. The standards, and those elected officials that support them, deserve the public's support.
The Common Core State Standards were developed by leaders from the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. The new standards are designed to ensure real understanding by going deeper into fewer topics, so kids master the material instead of memorizing. At the same time, the learning is more hands-on with a focus on what students will use in life.
Furthermore, the new standards level the playing field by creating a framework for educators to teach from across the nation, so that a 4th grader in Mississippi isn't expected to learn less than a 4th grader in Massachusetts. The video below describes why common standards are so important:
Opponents are claiming that it's too expensive, too difficult, or will brainwash the minds of students in the United States.
Far too often, these critiques come out of a misunderstanding between standards and curriculum. Standards specify what students are supposed to learn, while curriculum specifies how students are expected to learn it. Under Common Core, curriculum remains a local decision to be made by the district and its educators.
The Jacksonville Public Education Fund -- along with Duval County Public Schools, the Florida Department of Education, Governor Rick Scott and others -- believe that all children deserve a chance to learn at the highest levels and succeed in the 21st Century world. Common Core is an important step in this goal.
If you agree, join the movement for Common Core by taking one of these actions:
- Sign the petition hosted by our friends at Stand for Children
- Share this blog postwith your friends and colleagues on Facebook or Twitter
- Write a Letter to the Editor about why you support Common Core
- E-mail your thanks to the Duval County School Board for sticking by the Common Core standards.
-- Trey Csar