Two states that have historically had high expectations of students, Indiana and Michigan, have experienced some political pushback on the Common Core State Standards. Teachers and local education leaders in those states have put their students' education ahead of politics and are pushing forward with implementation. Here is why in their words:
By Janet Ralph, The Daily News (MI)
June 12, 2013
"I am unable to explain the reasons for the opposition to CCSS. I know that considerable effort has been expended in our local schools to implement it. So I spent some time with Diane Brissette, assistant superintendent at Greenville Public Schools. The following information is from my conversation with her.
"CCSS and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are based on solid research on teaching and learning and on the premise that all, not just some students need to be successfully on the pathway to college and/or career readiness. This pathway is critical for students' personal success, economic success and success as citizens in a representative democracy. Who can argue with that? We want our Greenville graduates to be very well prepared to meet that challenge. Therefore, we have embraced implementation of CCSS at Greenville Public Schools. These new standards will push us to improve. They are ambitious beyond any standards we've used before.
"For the past two years, the district has been actively working on implementing these new standards. The staff at Greenville Public Schools has been focusing on the instructional shifts that are the core of both Common Core State Standards and the recently published Next Generation Science Standards Administrators and teachers in Greenville, as well as at the county and state levels, have dedicated their resources of professional knowledge, time and money to this effort. This work has taken place both during the school year and in the summer months as we update curricula and provide professional development to our staff."
Legislature makes a mistake on Common Core
By Concetta Lewis, The Detroit News
June 11, 2013
"The Common Core will allow students increased access to high quality post-secondary educational experiences, increased access to college scholarships, and better employment opportunities.
"We live in a global world, and we must start thinking hard about where our students stand in relation to their global counterparts. As students advance to post-secondary educational opportunities it is imperative that they are prepared to compete both nationally and internationally. We educators we must hold students to the highest standards possible, and the Common Core helps teachers do this.
"It takes work to improve the learning that happens in classrooms, and Michigan's Department of Education needs continued funding to do this. The department has taken many steps to ensure a smooth transition to the Common Core State Standards - like providing Q & A documents for community members to better understand the facts and the myths surrounding Common Core implementation. This work needs to continue to make an impact in our schools."
Schools move ahead with Common Core because we can't wait
By Fatima Rich, Indianapolis Star
June 5, 2013
"Despite the state's pause, many districts and schools, including mine, are proceeding with the Common Core. We know their potential for all Indiana students; our students have shown us the results in our classrooms. We believe in good teaching and we believe in the Common Core.
"The Marzano Center, a trusted non-partisan voice in education, describes switching to Common Core Standards as "a shift in the philosophical thinking about the nature of teaching and learning." Under the Common Core, students will no longer be taught to memorize by rote and to understand superficial facts without a deeper understanding applicable to college and career readiness.
"Teaching to these new standards, students learn to analyze, to generate and test hypotheses. We ask them to think like mathematicians rather than just do math. We ask them to think like writers rather than just write. We ask them to use complex cognitive skills to analyze the very challenging problems they will face as citizens in the 21st century. The Common Core is what our students need to be college and career ready."
Achieve has developed materials to help states, districts, and others understand the organization and content of the standards and the content and evidence base used to support the standards. Visit www.achieve.org/achieving-common-core.
If you find a news clip supportive of the Common Core, please send it to Chad Colby at firstname.lastname@example.org.