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Common confusion: a closer look at Common Core State Standards

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The daily onslaught of news coverage of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) across the nation is stirring the pot of public controversy and setting up a smoke screen in front of other critical issues in education policy that adversely affect the productivity and morale of students and teachers. Public opinion about the standards seems to be divided, and this could be due to coverage of the standards and surrounding issues that is muddled and unclear. In fact, NPR staff recognized this dilemma in its nationally syndicated radio series All Things Considered with a segment on Tuesday, March 18 entitled Q&A: A Crash Course On Common Core, posing the question and witty retort, "Confused about the Common Core State Standards? Join the club." One only needs to read a few of the many public comments to any web news articles on Common Core to realize that public opinions vary, public perspectives are based on a multitude of reasons that may or may not be the result of research based informed reasoning, and little is done on the part of the media to answer questions or clear up confusion about what the benefits or problems are in schools right now resulting from the implementation of CCSS.

NPR provided a brief Q&A of basic questions in the Tuesday broadcast to clear up basic inconsistencies about understanding of what the standards are, why they were adopted, some inaccuracies in opponent arguments, implementation issues, and how testing comes into play, and the station plans to "continue answering your questions in the coming months." Hopefully, more local media sources will begin to aid in the process of educating the public on the issues surrounding Common Core so that all stakeholders in our public education system can have more opportunities to receive quality information about these issues when communicating with and influencing local, state, and federal policy makers.

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