COMMON CORE CURRICULUM Coming to a classroom near you

October 8, 2012 · 0 comments

This is posted on a CV Elementary school website.

“As a school district we are currently transitioning over to the Core Curriculum Standards. These standards have been adopted by most of the states, and were recently adopted by the State of Michigan. ”

Here is  a brief synopsis on these national standards:

What does this mean to parents?  ” Common Core curriculum”  standards is a federal program geared to  nationalize the content taught in public schools across the country and could be of concern to state leaders. The Common Core national standards effort represents a massive federal overreach into what is taught in local schools, further removing parents from the educational decision-making process, could cost 16 billion dollars over seven years just to implement.

As more details emerge about the content and quality of the Common Core national standards questions about the coherence, international competitiveness, and the college readiness level of the standards also loom. Many experts conclude that the math standards are vague and incoherent. A recent Education Next article cites concerns from Professor William McCallum, one of the three authors of Common Core’s math standards, who has said that “overall standards wouldn’t be very high” and “not up to the standards of other nations.”

His opinion was supported by Jonathon Goodman, a professor at New York University, who also raised questions about the standards from an international comparison: “The proposed Common Core standard is similar in earlier grades but has significantly lower expectations with respect to algebra and geometry than the published standards of other countries.”

Wiggins goes on to include several examples of hazy language in the standards, including “make sense of problems and persevere in solving them,” “reason abstractly and quantitatively,” and “use appropriate tools strategically.”   A recent Education Next article cites concerns from Professor William McCallum, one of the three authors of Common Core’s math standards, who has said that “overall standards wouldn’t be very high” and “not up to the standards of other nations.”

His opinion was supported by Jonathon Goodman, a professor at New York University, who also raised questions about the standards from an international comparison: “The proposed Common Core standard is similar in earlier grades but has significantly lower expectations with respect to algebra and geometry than the published standards of other countries.”

Mathematician Ze’ev Wurman, a former official in the U.S. Department of Education, also pointed out that the Common Core fails to equal other international competitors in terms of required course load for college readiness:

“The enrollment requirements of four-year state colleges overwhelmingly consist of at least three years of high school mathematics including algebra 1, algebra 2, and geometry, or beyond. Yet Common Core’s “college readiness” definition omits content typically considered part of algebra 2…they do not expect algebra to be taught in grade 8 and instead defer it to high school, reversing the most significant change in mathematics education in America in the last decade, supported by the 2008 recommendations of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel, and contrary to the practice of our international competitors.”

I am in the process of doing more research  on this topic as it relates to current Michigan curriculum standards and will post updates.  Parents, please do a search on ‘ Common Core Curriculum’ to decide for yourself if this is the right direction for our district.

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