Article

Common Core Raises Expectations—and Some Ire

By Peri Kinder

March 12, 2014

Educators are currently working to create social studies and science Common Core standards that will be incorporated in the next few years.

Hales is extremely pleased with businesses supporting education, especially when it comes to funding. “There’s a fine line between taxing business to where they can’t produce and what happens for education. But I think in the next few years, especially as our population grows, if we don’t start paying more attention to this idea of funding, we’ll have trouble.”

The End Game

Because the curriculum change is drastic, a revision schedule is set up to monitor the standards, the test results and educators’ experiences to continue improving and adjusting the teaching process. Hales thinks it will take three to five years before there are measurable differences, but she is already seeing results.

“Teachers are reporting the kids are doing much better, but they’re also saying it’s pretty hard. Teachers at [the annual UEA conference] said they loved the new core but to give them more time, give them more help, give them more professional development, and give them more materials. They get why this is important.”

Hales knows kids are struggling. She understands teachers are being asked to do more with less, but she emphasizes there are many resources and opportunities available for children in low-income areas, English language learners or kids who just need a little more support. Bouchard is convinced that as the state invests in integrating the Common Core standards, more students will graduate, more students will receive college degrees and more people will enter the workforce ready to compete at a global level. He also is convinced it will take time and patience as problems are addressed and all the kinks are worked out.

“When you have 45 states agree on the standards, there’s a lot of significance behind that agreement,” Bouchard says. “We need to keep the conversation going with educators to adapt, adjust and modify, and address how we continue to improve. The Common Core standards aren’t the end result—just a foundation for a beginning.”


Information about the Common Core standard can be found at

www.corestandards.org or www.schools.utah.gov.




 

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