State Standards and Common Core Standards: what’s the difference?

When I went home this weekend, I ended up mostly just talking education with my mom. She’s been a teacher for twenty five years and has seen a lot of changes in curriculum and in how schools educate students. Friday had been a teacher work day, filled with meetings, so my mom wanted to share with me EVERYTHING they talked about. One of the big topics of discussion was Common Core knowledge. To me, this is a little worrisome because I have never heard Common Core standards mentioned in any of my CSU classes. The thing we have been drilled and killed with is state standards. When I told my mom this she said, “Nope, it’s all about Common Core standards now.” So what’s even the difference? To me it sounds like they are just trying to make something new out of something old; just stamp a new name on it but nothing changes. So I decided to take a look at Education Week’s article, “How Big a Change are Common Core Standards?”
According to the article, “The Common Core standards represent considerable change from what states currently call for in their standards and in what they assess…[They] are also different from the standards of countries with higher student achievement, and they are different from what U.S. teachers report they are currently teaching.” Differences are due to the topics addressed and that Common Core emphasizes different cognitive skills. Specifically, that means less time to memorization and procedures and more time demonstrating understanding and analyzing. In English Language Arts, there is now a greater focus on the writing process, writing applications, and oral communication. When comparing Common Core standards to what’s set up internationally, studies show that they are about 17% compatible. The big difference is that other countries place much more emphasis on “performing procedures”.
So are the Common Core standards better than the State Standards or not? The article says it’s hard to know for sure. Common Core is a change, especially in improving “higher order cognitive demand”, but what about when it comes to topics? Regardless, Common Core is a “serious overhaul” of how states handle math and reading instruction. This article was written last year, so I’m not sure what educators are thinking now about the pros and cons to Common Core standards opposed to State Standards. I think that this is something important for us to look at as future educators. When you look up a State Standard for a school project, take a look at what Common Core standard correlates with it too.

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3 thoughts on “State Standards and Common Core Standards: what’s the difference?

  1. Thinking of this as your submitted work for the writer’s workshop (unless you have something else in mind), I think you picked a really good topic to blog about it because it affects everyone, not only future teachers like all of us, but current teachers like your mom (as well as students nationwide). So it’s important to get the word out there, especially when you’re not learning about it in any of your classes. Strangely enough, my mom has also talked to me about the Common Core standards, so I immediately knew what you were talking about and could relate to you as the writer. It was also very well written (always a plus), informative, yet short enough that I was able to read all the way through without getting distracted. You did a great job summarizing what Common Core means and how it will specifically us future English teachers by changing what we’re going to teacah.

    I was bummed that I didn’t get to read your opinion on the Common Core standards. Blogs are a very opinionated genre (sometimes to the point of rant-y), so it was strange not to read what you specifically thought about the change in standards. It left a short of disconnect between reader and writer because I don’t know what you think about it. Because of that, the post felt more like an assignment rather than blogging, and then you can lost your audience.

    Format wise, I found it more difficult to read without a complete space between each paragraph. It made the post look like one great big block of text, which can also scare off readers. And finally, when citing an article, can you add a hyperlink in case I (or your readers) would like to read the article too?

  2. For the critique, you can just read my most recent blog: “The Power of Wrongness.”

  3. For the most part I just want to second what Kayla thought about this post! I had very similar reactions, and I actually had to laugh a little when I read Kayla’s reply because our thoughts were very alike.

    I’m going to condense my feedback into this one question:

    How is this post utilizing the specific genre of the BLOG?
    As it is now, I could easily copy your writing onto a sheet of physical paper. What could you do differently to soak up all the unique things that blogging has to offer a writer?
    (I’m posing those questions for me as well… These are things we all should be thinking about!)

    Overall I have really enjoyed reading your posts this semester. I respect you as a writer and a future educator, and I especially love the dialoguing that goes on between you and your mom! That’s pretty powerful in and of itself.

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