Common Core Confusion

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

education, classroom, school, school supplies, class, teachers, students (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

The Common Core, a set of tougher academic standards, is the most significant change to public education in decades. New York Times reporter Javier C. Hernandez talks about the new standards and how they’re affecting students. His article “Common Core, in 9-Year-Old-Eyes” explores how the confusion of Common Core standards placed Chrispin Alcindor, a model student, at the bottom of his class. Hernandez will be joined by Alcindor’s teacher, Trisha Matthew.


Javier C. Hernandez and Trisha Matthew

Comments [11]

Trisha Matthew nails it with "Good teaching is good teaching."

A national assessment should not be setup so that everyone does well. Naturally it is going to be relative.

Many of the criticisms here are not the fault of the common score itself, but with they way their districts/schools have chosen to implement them. For instance the CC does not crowd out other programs. School and district administrators determine program availability.

Mike from nyc is wrong about there not being any educators involved in the development of common core.

Jul. 17 2014 12:58 PM
Claudia Bienenfeld from Brooklyn

As one caller suggested, the standards do not take into consideration the developmental levels of young children. This is because no early childhood teachers or child development experts were included in writing the standards.

Please see this article in the Washington Post, which links to relevant documents:

Also please see Diane Ravitch's comments on her blog:

Jul. 10 2014 08:08 AM

Some of the wording for math problems that I've read in various other sites pose the problem in wording worthy of fine print in contracts.

Instead of simply stating the problem, at least some of the CC curriculum is stated a language level above the grade being tought.

Jul. 09 2014 08:54 PM
Chris from Westchester

No Child Left Behind allowed states to set the standards in their state. So what did some states do? They lowered the standards in their states so they can have more kids pass.

Common Core STANDARD is about setting a standard for what a student should know at the end of any particular grade. That's it; that's all it does. It puts our K-12 in alignment with other countries that are doing better than us in educating their children. Are their children better than ours in that we can't handle the same general standard?

Things that are working against common core standard: rushing to use the test scores to penalize teachers, common core CURRICULUM developed by the individual states that is sub-par, rushing to implement common core, rushing to implement common core across all grades at once.

The political battle over it is unfounded and has some groups creating flat out lies. To clarify, the truth is: Common Core Standard is not mandated by the Federal government but it is incentivized by Race To The Top as are other education reform initiatives at state-level.

Tell your State Education department to slow the implementation of Common Core down and try to stop them from using the test scores for teacher evaluations. Make sure there is ample assistance to students in the year that they are making the jump to common core.

For the good of our children, don't completely stop common core (or similar educational reform). We need higher standards.

Jul. 09 2014 01:25 PM
Eric from New Jersey

@ Doug: You would get the answer wrong for being too creative. Which is unfortunately one of the drawbacks of the common core.

The question should actually be 'how many tires do 6 cars have'... although in that instance you might be in trouble once you start considering spare tires :S

Jul. 09 2014 12:43 PM
Liz from Brooklyn

It's all about the money. Politically connected people get another contract. The conservatives who hate government get to slam schools again.

Jul. 09 2014 12:41 PM
irv from NYC

I was a NYC music teacher, and found the CC crowded out my music program, which was phased out by my ignoramus Principal.

Jul. 09 2014 12:36 PM
irv from NYC

I was a NYC music teacher, and found the CC crowded out my music program, which was phased out by my ignoramus Principal.

Jul. 09 2014 12:35 PM
Mike from nyc

There is no evidence that common core is beneficial. The reality is that CC allows the goals to proceed which is to deem public schools as failures. No educators were involved in the development of common core. CC was developed by business/political leaders. By standardizing curriculum it makes it easier to test and compare for punitive purposes rather than diagnostic purposes. CC narrows the curriculum and lessens the ability for the teachers to present material in a manner that allows for critical thinking.

Jul. 09 2014 12:29 PM
Doug Turner from Brooklyn

How many wheels do 6 cars have? 30. The steering wheel is a wheel.

Jul. 09 2014 12:23 PM
Bob from Huntington

Please address the fact that English language learners and ESL students with little or no proficiency in English are being made to take Common Core exams that are administered entirely in English. It would appear to be a form of discrimination.

Additionally, their teachers are being evaluated based on the very poor scores these students receive.

Jul. 09 2014 12:23 PM

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