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The Daily Dish: Common Core Creates ‘Common Ground for Education’

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May 26, 2015 03:58 pm

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The Daily Dish digs deeper into one of the day’s top news stories on K–12 education. Make sure to add High School Soup to your RSS feed for all the latest updates and follow the Alliance on Twitter at @All4Ed for more education news.


The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are rooted in the concept of engaging every student in the same rigorous curriculum in order for those students are prepared for college and career. In a blog for the Education Writers Association, The Denver Post’s Eric Gorski tells the stories of a few teachers in Colorado who see the promise in implementing the standards, writing:

“In all the political noise surrounding the Common Core and aligned tests, what is often drowned out are ground-level voices describing how they have changed classroom instruction and school life. Teachers, principals and school communities have been adjusting – often on the fly – to a dramatic shift in thinking.” 

Those educators Gorski interviewed and many more would argue that these standards are exactly what schools need to ensure all students meet the same expectations. To hear more from Colorado educators on the Common Core, watch the Alliance’s “Common Core and Equity” video series at https://all4ed.org/commoncoreequity/.

In the latest installment of the on-going Common Core Debate Series from The Hechinger Report, Jayne Ellspermann asserts that the CCSS create a ‘common ground’ for education, doing away with previous inconsistencies in public schools. Ellspermann, the principal of West Port High School in Ocala, Florida, goes on to say that the myriad topics that have distracted many from the CCSS’s mission to “establish benchmarks for student learning” should not take away from the standards’ potential.

Nancy Gardner, an English teacher at Mooresville High School in Mooresville, North Carolina, would agree. In a recent post for the Alliance’s Core of the Matter blog, Gardner writes that the CCSS promote equity in her classroom and every classroom, doing away with the notion of ‘easier’ material for students who struggle by asking all students to acquire the same, necessary skills. She writes: “The standards ensure everyone’s exposure to the same rigorous, relevant, and vertically aligned standards, thus eliminating gaps or redundancy in learning.”

Gaps in student preparedness and proficiency are being tackled by more rigorous standards such as the Common Core. A new report from the education reform organization Achieve notes that while an ‘Honesty Gap’ exists in the states’ reported numbers of proficiency in math and reading compared to those provided by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), a number of states are working to correct this by introducing more challenging and rigorous curriculum and aligned assessments that can better measure students’ college and career readiness.

The Soulsville Charter School in South Memphis, Tennessee recently implemented the CCSS after noticing poor performances from students in reading and math. The Hechinger Report’s Alan Richard examines this shift, noting the school’s decision to put “academics first” for the sake of student achievement. The school, known for its music coursework, is attempting to marry the subjects for its predominately African-American and low-income student population. NeShante Brown, executive director of Soulsville, states in the article that the school has the goal to send all of its 632 students to college, and the Common Core can help to ensure that happens.

 

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