Common Core: Growing Pains

Common Core: Growing Pains


4112145057_cbbf89361c_oIn California as well as 45 of the 50 states, Washington D.C., and 4 territories, the Common Core curriculum is being implemented. Widespread criticism of the program is aimed many directions with the strongest complaints being in the areas of teacher training and development of materials and technological improvements needed in order to implement the tests.

The basic standards of the Common Core:

  • Are aligned with college and work expectations
  • Are clear, understandable and consistent
  • Include rigorous content and application of knowledge through high-order skills
  • Build upon strengths and lessons of current state standards
  • Are informed by other top performing countries, so that all students are prepared to succeed in our global economy and society
  • Are evidence based

In 2010, California adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). By 2012, curriculum had been developed for classroom use. Locally in Silicon Valley, schools are beginning the adoption of the Common Core. Schools have abandoned the traditional STAR Test and will begin to implement CCSS testing next year.

One of the top complaints was the schools have not allocated funds or time for teacher training. According to one source, a teacher from Alum Rock Union Elementary School in San José, California, only two teachers from her school were sent for training on the Common Core. But they were not given any time to share the material with the other teachers. She said, “It was great for me, but everyone else isn’t prepared.”

Another speedbump the program has met is each individual state’s inability to allocate funds. Those states that received Race to the Top grants ($4.35 billion in funds allocated by the United States Department of Education to spur innovation and reforms in education) expect to reach program implementation sooner. But those states that did not receive the grant are still struggling.

Preparing for college and the jobs of the future is a constantly shifting plain. It is unclear if the Common Core will meet the needs of the employers of the future, especially if implementation of the standards is a decade long process.

Tell us what you think!

Jackie Norgord

Expert Community Manager at 1World Online
Jackie Norgord is the Expert Community Manager at 1World Online. She lives in Silicon Valley and holds a BA in English from University of Wisconsin and an MA-TESOL from San José State. In addition to teaching writing, she enjoys travel around the SF Bay and beyond, fine dining, and sport in the Sierras.