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Understanding the 'Common Core' Educational Changes

9:02 PM, Aug 26, 2012   |    comments
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Forty five states, including North Carolina, have adopted a "Common Core" curriculum for students in grades K-12. This is a major change for the way our schools work and our children learn.

Teachers, parents, administrators and state officials worked together to create the Common Core. The federal government is not in charge of the effort. 

Here are the goals:
*Prepare all students for college or the workforce, no matter what state they live in or what school they attend.
*Set clear expectations.
*Develop textbooks and teaching materials.
*Measure student performance.

The focus is on math and language arts for now, but could expand to other subjects in the future.

The standards are detailed and involved, but here are some basics:

Language Arts
*There is no official reading list, but there is an expectation that students become familiar with classic American literature, Shakespeare and key U.S. documents.
*Students need to be able to write and speak about what they're reading in an intelligent manner.

Math
*Students need to know the basics: add, subtract, multiply and divide.
*Students need to show they understand what they're learning and build upon it.
*Demonstrate critical thinking and understand how to use math in real world situations.

You might be wondering, does this mean more tests? The answer is no. Instead, the effort should produce smarter and better tests. This is not about telling the teachers "how" to teach. Instead, it's about making sure education is consistent all over our country.

The Common Core standards are far more involved that this brief article explains. If you'd like to learn more about them visit these websites:

CoreStandards.org
Piedmont Parent: "A Common Core for Students"
North Carolina Public Schools

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