We have to work together, implement Common Core
Common Core is a set of learning standards that emphasizes higher-ordered thinking skills, such as problem solving and evaluative thinking. The standards identify a set of skills, dispositions and knowledge needed for a person to thrive in the 21st century. These skills require educators to create classroom curricula/projects that give students authentic practice in learning how to innovate, create, problem solve and evaluate. A January 2002 New York State United Teachers publication stated: “NYSUT remains committed to higher standards and helping all children achieve them.” Aligning the teaching curriculum with the written curriculum (Common Core) with the testing curriculum is sound pedagogy.
Common Core and Gov. Andrew Cuomo are under attack. Concerns include children being unduly tested, while others know their child is failing in this system. Teachers are tasked with the responsibility that their students meet the challenges of a rigorous and relevant curriculum. Many students struggle with basic literacy skills, which underlies all further learning. New regulations and changing funding sources cause taxpayers to fear lawmakers will simply raise taxes and throw money at the problem. This complex problem needs informed people who have the knowledge, skills and dispositions to work with the plan and revise it to meet the needs of their communities and students.
Attacking Common Core and Cuomo is mere distraction. Cuomo appears to have done his homework and is asking for those in power to make hard choices; change the way they problem solve. Undermining a sound plan rather than offering ways to improve it and demonizing leaders committed to resolving issues ensures that our problems will not be solved. Change causes fear. Moving forward, we need creative educators, informed citizens, courageous leaders and selfless public servants who are willing to do the work necessary to implement the Common Core.
Patricia McNally Michalek