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Teachers: States are adopting common standards for English-language arts and math. Are you hopeful this can spark real reform?

Comments: 14

Adopting common standards is fine but to be successful among other things,add more writing to the multiple choice exams culture in our schools. Place emphaise on writing across the curriculum,class discussions, and also end the culture of one size fits all.Giving all students opportunity to excel in their area of interest and recognising that not all children will turn out to be doctors,lawyers and engineers will motivate them in their field of endeavors.The States must make it their responsibility to monitor and maintain quality Head Start programs as it is critical to students cognitive developments in their later years of schooling.

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Dr. Cobb Eshietedoho
United Teachers of Dade
Miramar, FL

It seems to me that regardless of how well-crafted the standards, what advances the profession, i.e. motivates professionals, is the regular and meaningful professional development in which they are coming together to sort through issues - together moving forward the body of knowledge...

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M. Cummings
Landover, MD

Common standards would be a good thing, kind of like a vacuum cleaner is a good thing. But the elephant in the room is still high-stakes testing and all of the unintended consequences that go with it. First remove the elephant, then vacuum.

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Tom Burger
Houston, TX

It's only with a curriculum review that we can hope to have a meaningful means of using the other pieces of strong education, assessment and pedagogy. We been talking about how to teach and test an uncertain curriculum, so it can't be a surprise to us that reform isn't necessarily effective. Everything in a school is important, but first defining the when and what we're teaching is now where it needs to be...prioritized.

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David Hochheiser
Bedford Teachers Association
Irvington, NY

The Common Core State Standards in Mathematics contain a well thought out treatment of fractions, a subject which students have found hard to understand. This along with use of an informal treatment of similar triangles to provide a solid foundation for the connection between the graph of a linear equation and a straight line should make it easier for students to learn basic algebra.

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Richard Askey
Madison, WI

In Florida we just adopted new standards for math this year, which I believe are better and allow us to teach in depth. The problem is that FCAT results are used to measure student learning and grade schools. This year and the following two years will offer invalid comparisons, like apples and oranges. It will take at least a three-year cycle for the students to learn all the prior knowledge the new test assumes they know.

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Janet Wilson
St Cloud , FL

There is a pedagogical agenda to the Common Core Math Standards. I wrote about it here: http://www.educationnews.org/education-policy-and-politics/the-pedagogical-agenda-of-common-core-math-standards/ I see an emphasis placed on inquiry-based, student-centered approaches seminars/webinars on how to implement the CC math standards. I see an emphasis on "understanding" before learning procedure. I see newspaper articles about schools implementing Common Core saying the same things in the name of teaching "critical thinking" and "conceptual thinking". I don't see the authors of the standards saying these ways are wrong.

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Barry Garelick
Morro Bay, CA

It has been tried before; NCLB, standards movement, constructivist approach... While social inequalities remain, the gap will not be dramatically reduced, I think, because perhaps the greates predictor of academic success for a child is not coming from poverty.

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Francisco Zafra
Oswego, IL

Having every teacher adopt the same core standards threatens educational diversity. Minimum standards should be set, however school districts should be able to teach for critical thinking not for a test

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Bob Clark
Farmingdale federation of teachers
Farmingdale, NY

I believe Common Core Standards are simply an opportunity for corporations to make more profits. The true joy of learning will be completely destroyed once these standards are fully in use. I have trouble understanding why any educator will accept standards that discourage reading fiction and do not encourage building background and linking to prior knowledge when teaching new concepts. None of this follows anything that we know about the way children learn and how their brains work.

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Donna Mace
Donna Mace
Green Cove Springs, FL

I am not hopeful of this reform process. I think that all of the states have really gotten away from the real issue which is teaching the students for mastery. They don't care how well these kids are doing. The curriculum keeps changing and the states keep saying that they are changing things for the better. That is not true. We have more students dropping out of school, graduating unable to read, write or do math. The BASICS. So what does that tell you about our standards. They are making them harder and harder for students not realizing that the students can't do the work. So who is getting blamed: the teachers.

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Jamarques Starling
Alexandria, LA

If standards are set for early childhood learning and parents help enforce and participate, there would not be a such a large deficit when a child enters kindergarten. Alphabets and sight words will be known. Numbers and quantities or amounts are able to be understood. All young children would leave kindergarten knowing addition and subtraction. Writing sentences and paragraphs would be the norm not the exception. If state leaders see some of the results that we see in the classroom then they will be ready to start serious reform. Yes I am hopeful.

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Lorna Thomas
Detroit Federation of Teachers
Southfield, MI

It would be nice if everyone was just on the same page. Kids that transfer from state to state are either behind or ahead. Seems like most of the ones we get are behind. It's frustrating for them and their teachers.

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Sidney McLaughlin
Tioga, TX

It will benefit everyone, if Native American Communities are helped to fully participate in the adoption and implementation of the proposed common standards. Additionally, it will benefit everyone if the preservation of Native American Languages is fully supported by everyone. It will also benefit everyone if/when the great diversity of this Great Nation is fully acknowledged, celebrated, and helped to flourish as this 21st century unfolds.

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Calsue Murray
N/A
Albuquerque, NM

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