Stories produced by students in the Meek School of Journalism & New Media
The Oxford School District is one of many school systems to adopt the new Common Core curriculum. The program was created by The National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers in order to standardize curriculum across the majority of the country.
“About 46 states right now have chosen to adopt Common Core,” says Kristin Kallher, one of two teachers at Oxford High School that has training on how to deliver Common Core instruction.
Common Core relies on assessments and testing as the focus and that leaves parents like Andrea Getzin concerned.
“Parents are angered and discouraged about the system. Lets say that 1+1=2 and that’s just what it is, but kids have to write a paragraph as to how 1+1=2 in their head. This common standard is not allowing teachers to creep outside the standard and be creative with their teaching,” said Getzin who pulled her daughter out of public school even before Common Core came into play.
Kallher says she’s not worried that Common Core will hurt teacher creativity.
“It doesn’t really restrict from any form of teaching. It actually gives teachers room to teach however they please. There really aren’t any restrictions,” said Kallher.
There’s little doubt, though, that the curriculum will create some challenges. Drew Clinton says it will affect parents and teachers alike.
“Parents come from a completely different background, and so they’re having to learn how to do this math as well as their kids. That means teachers have to re-learn the material they have to teach their students.”
Kallher hopes the state’s education leaders will sit back and wait to see if Common Core works.
“People that are high up in education want quick fixes and they don’t want to take the time and the patience to see long-term solutions through. I’m hoping the state lawmakers wait it out and give it time to see if it’s working instead of abandoning it and spending money on something else because they want immediate results,” says Kallher.
Kallher says she is a proponent of Common Core, but believes the difference won’t be visible for another six or seven years.
By RT Cantillo