Tonawanda News

Columns

March 29, 2014

WALLACE: State should rethink Common Core

Tonawanda News — The Common Core. It’s a term that has been thrown around a lot lately in the media and by politicians and educators. 

What is it and why do we care? Well, according to its website, “the Common Core is a set of high-quality academic standards in mathematics and English language arts. These learning goals outline what a student should know and be able to do at the end of each grade. The standards were created to ensure that all students graduate from high school with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college, career, and life, regardless of where they live.” 

The Common Core Standards were created through a collaborative effort on behalf of the National Governor’s Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers. The standards were developed by stakeholders in the field, including teachers, school administrators and content experts. The final standards were released in June 2010. They have been adopted by 45 states and three territories.

In the 2012-13 school year, the Common Core was implemented in New York state.

New York’s rollout of the Common Core has been widely criticized by parents and teachers, who say it was rushed and has caused angst among students.

I agree 100 percent.

I have an 8-year-old son in third grade and the homework he has come home with has boggled his father and I on several occasions and we are both college graduates. 

When my 13-year-old son first started kindergarten in the Ken-Ton School District it struck me that not only was it a full day, but that he had the same curriculum schedule as older students. The school day consisted of gym, computer, library, lunch in the cafeteria, music, art. All of which he switched classrooms to do. 

Not to date myself, but when I went to kindergarten in the 1970s, it was only a half day and included snack and a nap in those few short hours. We learned our colors, shapes and letters in kindergarten. We weren’t expected to already know them going in. 

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