Top 5 Common Core Myths – Busted!

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Realizing that the American education was limping behind the standards in other developed nations and that it was in dire need of a strong revamp, the Common Core State Standards were introduced in 2008. Since then, the initiative has stirred a flurry of anxiety in the education circles. While common core has come under a firestorm of criticism by many; for some, this move has pinned hopes for the sagging US education standards. With the entire hullabaloo around the subject, a number of myths have emerged.

In this blog, we’re debunking the top 5 Common Core Myths.

Myth #1: The Common Core is a brainchild of President Obama’s administration.

Fact: Though this initiative has received thumping endorsement from the Obama’s administration; however, the truth lays bare that the common core was and still is state led. In fact, the birth of this initiative took place much before Obama’s arrival on the political scene. The work teams that developed these standards did not comprise of any federal official, and the initiative was only led by state officials and standards experts across bipartisan lines. With its “Race to the Top” program and $4.3 billion competitive grant program, Obama’s administration clearly supported this initiative and set the stage perfect for states to compete aggressively for federal funds in lieu of adopting the common core.

Myth #2: The Common Core equals to a national curriculum.

Fact: The Common Core State Standards are not a national curriculum. In fact, these are a set of shared goals that lay out a framework for the specific course of study (in English and Math) and clearly define the scope and learning cycle during the academic year. The schools can adopt different curricula (tools, workbooks, etc.) to meet these standards based on the decision of local teachers, principals and others.

Myth #3: The Standards are not evidence based.

Fact: As we also stated in our previous post on Common Core,these standards are research or evidence based. The standards have been released after extensive scholarly research that embodies a quantum of evidences that shine a light on the skills needed for scintillating college and workforce performance.

In Math, the Common Core is based on the conclusions drawn from the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and the comparative analyses of standards of math education in top-performing countries. Based on this study, these standards formulate a road map to align the traditional American math curriculum to a more focused approach so as to inculcate superior critical thinking and math skills in students across all grades.

Myth #4: Core math concepts are missing or covered in the wrong grade.

Fact: The mathematical progression defined by the standards is mathematically coherent and purely evidence based. The key problem that exists today is the wide variation in the topics covered in different grades across 50 states in the US. Implementing a uniform set of state standards across all the states would call for a considerable and inevitable revamp of topics in different grade; however, it would bring them all on the same page and prepare the students for college and career from an internationally competitive perspective. Also, the Common Core Standards set a framework for each grade and comprise the minimum subset required for the grade. The students or individual teachers can always choose to supplement the standards with more/higher concepts.

Myth #5: Implementing the Common Core will need only a modest change in current teaching practices.

Fact: In a spree to prepare well in advance of adoption of common core, many states and schools conducted studies for the need-gap analysis for common core in teaching practices. Though the content apparently seems more or less similar, the professional teaching skills required for teaching as per these standards would need to be dramatically different from the current ones. The new teaching practices would call for more content knowledge and innovative instructional methods that would instill critical thinking, logical reasoning and problem-solving skills in students to attain great levels of mastery of the subject.

We hope that we could debunk some of the half-truths doing the rounds about common core. We are glad to share with you that the content of all our Splash Math apps is aligned with common core. See Apple Volume Purchase Program to avail the discount.

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