Many parents express concerns over the academic rigors of the Common Core State Standards. They feel that their children are expected to perform at a level that is too challenging, too soon for their age. Many of these children could perform at a higher level if they had received enrichment as preschoolers. We expect kids just to rise to the challenge. In reality, many come to school unprepared with the foundations.
Kids well prepared with preschool enrichment are ready and eager to be pushed! I see this in my daughter who has been reading since age two. She has participated since kindergarten in the Common Core State Standards implementation at her elementary school. The challenge has motivated her in a good way as she has demonstrated through her excellent standardized scores. As much as I wish for her more creative time and less structure while in school, I do see her learning a lot, and very confident and happy about going to school.
The beauty of the Common Core State Standards is that it creates both accountability for what is taught and a general standardization between schools across 45 adopting states. As a former public school teacher, standardization creates more structured planning and provides more data that shows how kids are really performing. As a parent, that data is evidence that my child is learning; and can be compared from year to year to assure that learning continues.
Preparing our teachers to effectively adopt the Common Core State Standards is essential to our children’s success. Ideally their instruction should give our children enough mastery to be able to teach others what they have learned. Makes sense! However, teachers accustom to teaching children for years to memorize and test and then move on before mastery will need time and training to change their teaching – a challenge, but not impossible, if our school systems are prepared.
The rewards will be worth it. The Common Core State Standards will push our children hard – hard enough to compete effectively in the world today. Kids who come to school well prepared with preschool enrichment will be more than ready for rigors of the Standards. However, waiting to start teaching until kindergarten is too late!
Is the Common Core State Standards too much for our children? What do you think and why?