When I talk to parents about Common Core, I highlight the emphasis that CCSS has on the students' developing skills that are transferable both within their subjects in school and also outside of the classroom. Learning content is essential, and focusing on skills needed to tackle either the unknown or to express a point of view or just a valid thought is also valuable. I also point out that the tests aligned to CCSS, such as PARCC, provide parents with a much better indicator of whether their child is on track for college and career readiness, unlike the current state exams.
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I don't believe a single parent ever asked me about the state standards of New Hampshire. I don't think a parent would ever ask me that. It is always "How is my child doing in your class?" or, "What do you think my child should focus on?" or "Could you give my child extra help?" Parents usually only care about their child, and not usually my job or its responsibilities.
Truthfully, I am not sure that most parents even are aware that things are changing in education. I have talked to a handful of parents in an effort to prepare them for the shifts that are coming, but I don't think we will experience their reactions until the testing reveals the difficulties their students are facing. I post interesting articles that pertain to parents as to how they can help their students to prepare for Common Core. Where I am exerting most of my efforts is with my students. I am preparing them in a plethora of areas, including the shift to higher lexile levels, but I am really emphasizing metacognition, work ethic, and technology skills. My 6th grade students cannot type, use Microsoft word, or search the Internet with any degree of proficiency. As a language arts teacher, I feel that I have to delve into these areas as well as teach the fine art of literature. There is so little time.
I don't value the Common Core. I value the students.
I'd respond by emphasizing that what matters most is that their children get an excellent education. Good pedagogy is not limited to this or that textbook or program, but results from an informed and intelligent application of basics. I'd say that if Common Core contains materials that help their children master the skills that they will need for the next step, then that is good. If it has weak points (and surely it does) then I'd point out that I plan to supplement from other resources (like the Teaching Channel!)
All students deserve to be successful! If all teachers align instruction to the Common Core and use Universal Design for Learning to help students achieve those goals, they will have opportunities in life they would not have otherwise. How can parents argue with that?
I stand by the Core.
I have had parents ask, but they don't know what they're asking exactly...they've just stated that they heard the new standards are controversial and are concerned. I reassure parents that our school switched to Common Core about two years ago and the students are still learning everything they need to know. We mapped the standards to Indiana Standards and make sure we cover both! :) On the K level is has been MOSTLY wording or digging a little deeper--nothing dramatic! :)
There are a lot of resistance groups budding here in Southern California against Common Core. It is surprising! I have had to defend it probably a dozen times already to non-educators. The impression out there is that Common Core takes away the imagination of the student, forces them to "think" one robotic way, and allows controversial, maybe even perverse literature and text in the curriculum. It is crazy talk!
I have been using a lot of articles I find online that defend it. It has been a hard road already. Many, many parents are educating themselves about the Common Core shift and making some noise about it. If you haven't had it happen in your area, be ready!
Sarah Brown Wessling wrote a blog post with resources and tips to help you talk to parents about the Common Core. You can find it here: https://www.teachingchannel.org/blog/2013/09/13/talking-to-parents-about-the-ccss/
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