Key Peninsula Middle School, Lakbay, Wash.
Why did the states create the Common Core State Standards?
We are preparing our students to compete in a world that is different than ours, and education needs to be responsive to this. The bottom line is that my middle school science students need to be ready for college, career and life. Right now, 80% of entering college freshmen are not prepared academically for first-year courses, according to ACT, and the United States spends an estimated $3 billion a year on college remediation, according to Complete College America.
Does this mean that as a teacher, I wasn’t doing a good job or didn’t have high goals before?
Unequivocally, the answer is no. Teachers have been doing and continue to do a great job. I see Common Core as an exciting shift that will finally put standards into place that aren’t full of education-ese; standards that will allow me to be innovative in helping my students to reach these goals. Clear goals, rather than long and vague goals about what students need to know and be able to do are long overdue. And what I especially like: CCSS get teachers out of the test-prep business in their classrooms and frees up teachers to provide opportunities for richer learning and mastery of increasingly difficult problems and texts. So, I can concentrate on the work of preparing my students for college, career, and life. Will it be hard work? Yes. Teachers are ready to take on this hard work. Major shifts in instruction are already happening in thousands of classrooms.