Regarding Mr. Maruca’s column from June 17: “What higher standards mean for the students in my classroom.” Re: Common Core.
You state: “Math instruction is no longer focused on rote memorization and the recall of facts.”
What? In math, students must know certain things: the multiplication table, or the formulas for perimeter and area. In your class, you taught and still teach math facts, or there is cause for concern.
You wrote: “We use problems that may arise in everyday life.”
Teachers have done this for a long time: How many fliers do we need? What is needed for our class party? How many buses for our field trip? You have had students solving relevant problems like these, and probably even more complex ones, for the 11 years you’ve been teaching, right?
You state: “Students are also exposed to challenging literature, informational text and poetry. All readings have a purpose ...”
Before Common Core: no challenging literature, informational text or poetry? You didn’t realize that all readings have a purpose? Once again, if you say no, there’s cause for concern.
Here’s what people really don’t like: Common Core is a top-down package. Most of the third quarter prepares for a single battery of tests used to judge schools. A district might purchase textbooks, test prep booklets and tests from Pearson, a single vendor. One thing not purchased there might be student pads, which record keystrokes. They might get those from Amplify, owned by Rupert Murdoch, now infamous for the British phone-hacking scandal.
So, local people have issues with high-stakes testing, little oversight of school evaluations, no control of their tax dollars and privacy issues regarding their children’s data. Having standards? No problem, in comparison.