Common myths persist about the Common Core

Posted on Wednesday, 4/03/2013 12:00 pm

Everyone responds to change differently, and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) highlight this fact. Many people have embraced the CCSS with open arms, while others are skeptical of what they will mean for K-12 education.

As a result, school officials in states that have adopted the CCSS may find themselves talking to parents and community members who have heard one too many myths about the Common Core. Since misinformation has the potential to get in the way of students' progress in CCSS-aligned classrooms, educators should do what they can to keep people informed on what is true about the new standards, and what is pure fiction.

Not long after the CCSS were introduced in 2010 myths began to appear - several of which are featured on the Common Core's website.

For example, some people assume that the standards are essentially a national curriculum for American schools. According to the Common Core's website, this is not true. What the CCSS provide is a set of goals and expectations for K-12 students that will help them prepare for the future.

Similarly, some people believe that educators will be told what to teach in their classrooms. While this myth has gained traction, individuals can rest assured knowing that instructors are not receiving orders from beyond their school districts. The Common Core website states that the standards establish what teachers need to cover, but not the ways in which they deliver this information and help their students achieve what is expected of them.

Missouri is one state where some lawmakers believe the CCSS will strip away school districts' control over their curricula, the Nevada Daily Mail reported.

"That's just not accurate," David Stephens, the superintendent of the Nevada R-5 School District, told the news source. "It's just a set of standards, and Missouri has always had a common set of standards that students must master to graduate. Each school district has always had the say in what curriculum they use to meet those standards."

As school districts like Nevada R-5 come closer to their CCSS implementation deadlines, there are steps educators can take to ensure misinformed parents know the truth about the Common Core. For example, schools can host public information sessions on the standards.

Once educators are teaching according to the Common Core, they can also rely on faculty software, such as Software Answers' online GradeBook, which allows parents to view some of the lesson plans their children are exposed to at school. Seeing what their kids' teachers are covering may put some of their CCSS-related concerns to rest.

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