The Battle Over Common Care

The Battle Over Common Care

commoncareIn order to prepare students for beginning their desired career path, educational standards and guidelines have been developed and implemented at the government level. The Common Core State Standards details what students in grades kindergarten through 12th should know and learn in English and mathematics by the end of each grade. It was drafted by teachers and experts throughout the country in an attempt to make education consistent while focusing on the critical-thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills they believe students need to continue into higher education or enter workforce training programs.

However, there are many criticisms about this approach causing some states to opt out, repeal, or delay the adoption of the initiative. Here are the pros and cons of the Common Core State Standards Initiative with regard to better understanding the debate states are having.

Pros

  1. One of the main complaints from higher education is that students are not prepared for educational life after high school. Common Core Standard’s primary goal is to combat this with extensive assessments in math and English, thoroughly delving into writing, media and technology, reading, speaking, listening, algebra, geometry, functions, and statistics.
  2. Students will better understand what is expected from them. By having an end goal, parents and students will be able to work together if they understand what they are working towards and why.
  3. It will allow states to save funds. Previously, states controlled their own standards and assessments. Not only will the reports on standardized testing be more accurate, but by not having to develop their own unique tests, states can split the cost creating universal exams, scores, and reports.
  4. The initiative is internationally benchmarked. This means that even though the United States has fallen behind other countries in the past few years, the Common Core State Standards are comparable to other countries higher up on the list, suggesting that the ranking could rise.
  5. There will be more collaboration between teachers and education professionals. Even if a student moves with their family to another state, the teachers across the nation will be teaching the same curriculum, helping to make the learning transition smoother. Teachers will also be able to discuss lesson plans and their best practices that have proven successful because they will be on the same page.

Cons

  1. The initial transition is and will be difficult. Courses and classes cannot be put on pause, so the adjustment is tricky for students and teachers to start. Teachers may particularly feel stressed or confused because completely new lesson plans may have to be developed. Some teachers may even choose to venture down a different career path or retire rather than change their curriculum. As with many other large changes, there might not be instant results and progress will be slow.
  2. The Common Core Standards are still quite vague and broad. As more states adopt and repeal the initiative, more clarification on the specifics are still being established. However, many states feel that the standards are not only missing specifics, but they are not as difficult as their current standards.
  3. It will be costly to some states. Many old and even current textbooks will become obsolete as the materials are chosen to adopt to the Common Core Standards. Additionally, most of the assessments are done online, so many schools will have to upgrade their technology or Internet services. Both of these can be expensive, especially if it is all done at once.
  4. It will lead to standardized testing being valued even more. Many students are poor test takers when it comes to performing on high stakes exams and assessments. This could put too much pressure on those students.
  5. For students who feel more comfortable with science or social studies, these are currently not addressed in the Common Core Standards. Each individual state will still have to develop their own assessments and standards for these studies, leading to continued variation throughout the United States.