The common core curriculum is the new standard base curriculum that is to be implemented in most states beginning in 2014. The state of Georgia is one of them; however, none the less, controversy is in the mist on the eve of the implementation of the standards. Some of the controversy includes the lack of development for an effective curriculum and professional development for teachers and that goals for the common core may be over ambitious. Thus, the critics are saying they are being implemented too fast and will serve more so as a national experiment on school curriculum standards than a true implementation of standards for curriculum development and learning. Thus the question is, what is more important, the learning process of children or regulations and the implementation of standards on curriculum?
I believe both or all. However, it is important to be aware of the shortfalls of curriculum standards to revamp, if necessary and improve them, and not to rush to implement, for example Common Core standards in the schools for the sake of impressing constituents. We need to make sure police makers and education leaders are setting aside enough time to implement a standard with all T’s crossed and I’s dotted.
Some of the T’s crossed and I’s dotted includes having teachers professionally ready to implement curriculum standards to their students. Adopted in more than 45 states, the Common Core Standards present expectations of what educators should teach, but allow school districts and educators to decide how they should teach the content and skills needed to help students meet the high expectations mandated by common core. Researchers say professional development is helpful and influential for early childhood teachers and administrators. It helps teachers and administrators gain the knowledge, skills, and nature needed to implement early learning standards, which are very crucial if standards are to be effective.
Conversely, however, the CC standards were highly informed, including parties from the general public, teachers, parents, business leaders, states, and content area experts all weighing in on how the Common Core standards should be developed. The process of developing early learning standards should rely on expertise, stakeholder involvement and regular evaluation and review, which contributes to credibility and effectiveness.
The aim of the common core standards is to have, “fewer, clearer, higher standards,” than those originally implemented during NCLB. On the other hand, this should not take away from the importance of crossing all T’s and dotting all I’s. For example, there is a concern that certain subject areas, such as social studies and math are not being heavily and comprehensively considered within the standards. Gaps in social studies content areas and skills building, including citizenship skills, are being left out. This is not good if standards prepared goals are to prepare students for the real world, existing and performing fruitfully in society.
Since educators work with students with disabilities, there is a need to consider specifically how the student’s disabilities affect student’s involvement and progress in the general curriculum. This does not exclude the common core curriculum standard, which will also need to take into account the different learning disabilities such as autism, aligning the curriculum standards with this disability and others, making the correct accommodations for them.
However, despite some concerns over Common Core standards, some new innovative strategies are being discussed that can allow for Common Core standards to be a great initiative for schools and states in this country. For example, with Common Core in place and its emphasis on literacy, literary skills, and critical thinking, librarians and libraries will have an opportunity to assist in providing and teaching those skills to students. Libraries have always been a place, also serving as its mission, to create a society of intelligent and literate people. Meetings between schools and libraries would be a good way libraries and schools can work together; learning how to work collaboratively with one another to assist in the development of a child. In addition, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation along with the Pearson Foundation hope to take a new approach and deliver a complete kid digital curriculum aligned with the Common Core Standards. This new curriculum will embrace social media, gaming, video, and animation to engage students. This will also be an additional helpful, innovative strategy implemented by Common Core.