Over the last several months, there has been much discussion and concern over Common Core State Standards. Media, political groups, parent groups and others have expressed varying degrees of concern or support for such standards. In a recent conversation I had with a concerned parent, I expressed to him my surprise to him that with all the attention given these standards, not a single parent or group had approached me to ask how Weber High implements or is effected by these standards. His reply to me was, “What effort have you made to inform parents of the way Weber High implements or is effected by them?” His point was valid and my efforts to inform about these standards and their effect on Weber High needed improvement. So, what exactly are the Common Core State Standards and how have they effected Weber High?
Common Core Standards, like all curriculum standards, are a broad and general guide meant to assist states, schools and individual teachers in creating a minimum standard that students should meet. Like all core curriculum standards, there are no individual lesson plans, no list of tasks to perform or knowledge individual students must have. Instead these standards offer a benchmark or recommend a level at which students should attain upon completion of a course. In other words, the Common Core Standards do not say – “All students should learn the pro’s and con’s of abortion.” They do say that all students should be able to construct an argumentative essay and clearly explain both sides of an issue. What that issue is, how the student supports, defends or attacks the issue is left up to the student, teacher, school and district to decide as appropriate for that community.