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Common Core State Standards: Varying perspectives

The Common Core State Standards, adopted by the State Department of Education in June 2010, have already been implemented in 44 states. These standards strive to improve student learning while staying relevant to the real world and reflecting the skills that students need to learn for success later on in life throughout college and their careers. The main goal of these standards is to mold generations of students to be as prepared for the future as they possibly can be. There are multiple viewpoints that surround the Common Core and the impact that they are having in the classroom.

Benefits of the CCSS
Director of Curriculum for Moore Public Schools Rick Cobb believes that these standards provide teachers with more specific information regarding the strengths and weaknesses of students. Educators will receive a large amount of feedback from various standardized tests.

"The new standards will make us think differently about how we assess student learning and how we prepare students to progress to the next level, whether that's within the school or out into the world," explained Cobb.

Many educators also believe that the strict writing standards of the CCSS will push students to improve their writing skills and therefore lead to improved state test scores. These state tests require students to think cognitively, rather than simply memorize facts and figures. They may encourage students to think at a higher level and approach the material in a more meaningful way. While some tests only prompt memorization, the CCSS promote lifelong learning.

Potential disadvantages
Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post questioned the idea of preparing students for future careers. There is really no way to predict what kind of jobs and careers elementary school students will fill in the future. Strauss explained that if we don't know what kind of technology and problems we will be dealing with years from now, it's going to be almost impossible to provide students with the proper skills that will make them ready for whatever the future holds. In an ever-changing world, it's hard to predict that.

According to Truthout.org, the method of standardized testing that is a large element of the CCSS don't allow the evaluation of complex thought. As you know, some student's intelligence cannot be properly measured by a test. With the tests, it's difficult to measure nonverbal learning. With the varying levels of student learning and comprehension, standardized testing may not allow every student to reach his or her full academic potential.

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