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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Lesson on the Common Core

From The New York Times Blog "Motherlode"
Adventures in Parenting

By Jessica Lahey
February 27, 2014

The questions I hear most often from parents about education policy have to do with the Common Core:

What is it? And why is everyone arguing about it?

Common Core State Standards have been in the works since 2009, and are now in place at public schools all over the country. The Common Core is a set of standards for students in kindergarten through 12th grade in English language arts and mathematics. Standards, here, are competencies — skills that students must master to be prepared for college by the time they graduate.


The Common Core does not dictate which books students read or how teachers should approach the instruction of algebra; it simply outlines specific skills to be mastered during a given school year. For example, third graders are to “develop an understanding of fractions as numbers.”

More specifically, they are to “Understand a fraction of 1/b as the quantity formed by 1 part when a whole is partitioned into b equal parts; understand a fraction a/b as the quantity formed by a parts of size 1/b.”

But while the description is detailed and specific, it does not dictate how, or from what text, or in what context, third graders should understand this material. That was a deliberate choice made by the people who designed the standards. Decisions about how to implement the standards are left to the states.

Why bother with all this change?

Read the rest of this article HERE.

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