National and state Teachers of the Year represent the most exemplary teaching occurring in classrooms. Many current and former Teachers of the Year support the Common Core State Standards and are stepping forward to highlight that support. Here is what they have to say:
By Erin Sponaugle, the Charleston Gazette (WV)
February 8, 2014
"We fear what we do not know or understand - and unfortunately, fear is driving much of the opposition to the Common Core. It has been misstated that the Common Core State Standards are federally mandated, when in fact they have been voluntarily adopted in 45 states. The federal government hasn't, and won't, dictate what curriculum states must adopt for their classrooms. States chose the Common Core standards because their clear, rigorous expectations will elevate the performance of our students so they are globally competitive.
"Allowing more in-depth teaching, instead of having to quickly touch base on multiple topics, can create learning experiences for our students that are not only memorable but develop targeted skills to mastery." And, "If you open my classroom door and walk inside, you wouldn't see Common Core. You'd see children - 10- and 11-year-olds on the cusp of adolescence. You'd see them engaged in conversations about the fairness of the Trail of Tears, creating multimedia presentations on endangered animals and their habitats, and using restaurant menus to price the perfect evening meal (by multiplying decimals, of course). My students are engaged, they're motivated, and they're learning, and that's what the common core standards are all about-preparing our children to be confident and capable in an ever-more competitive world."
Ms. Sponaugle is the 2014 West Virginia Teacher of the Year.
By Alicia Canales, Phoenix Business Journal (AZ)
January 27, 2014
"The new standards are more rigorous than the past ones, according to Amanda McAdams, the 2011 Arizona Teacher of the Year. McAdams, also the English Language Arts and Student Government curriculum coordinator for the Glendale Union High School district, said the standards involve more critical thinking and application in all areas." And, "'Like for math, instead of memorizing and looking at problems and knowing which formula to apply, they now know why the formula is asking them to do what it's doing,' McAdams said."
By Caroline McCullen, News & Observer (NC)
January 15, 2014
"Staying firmly on the path of the strong education standards of Common Core will assure North Carolina's citizens and business community that our students and future employees are challenged in the classroom and prepared to compete in the global economy.
"If we really want to get an accurate picture of how well North Carolina students are performing compared with fellow N.C. students and those in other states, we need tests that align with the higher standards that the state has wisely adopted. I applaud the courage and commitment that education leaders have demonstrated by setting college- and career-ready standards and by introducing assessments that will provide a true picture of our how students are doing. I also thank legislative leaders, state Board of Education members and the governor for demanding high education standards for our students.
"We should also understand that implementing Common Core does not mean North Carolina is ceding any of its authority to the federal government or to a national organization. Instead, the implementation of Common Core means we are finally taking responsibility for the educational standards needed to compete for future jobs and implementing objective tests that will provide solid comparative feedback on our students' progress."
Ms. McCullen is a former National Technology Teacher of the Year.
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.