Friday, December 06, 2013

Are some school districts misusing Common Core, rejecting the main idea that concepts should be taught in depth?

See how the issue of Common Core timelines is playing out at Chula Vista Elementary School District with new Chula Vista Educators president Manuel Yvellez.

I've been thinking about this issue, and I believe that Common Core is NOT being misused. Teachers can and should teach basic concepts in depth. They just can't go on and on for months teaching the details of a single basic concept. They have to create a broad understanding in their students of multiple basic concepts.

Common Core timelines can work is to teach basic concepts in depth by teaching the relationships between a variety of numerical conventions, such as fractions, decimals, percentages and ratios at a simple level for kids who are behind, while at the same time giving advanced students more difficult problems. It can be done. I know, because I did it for years. ALL students can benefit from review of basic concepts. Then the advanced students can be challenged by presenting more complicated problems on one side of the whiteboard, while proceeding with more basic ideas for the kids who are at or below grade level.

Comment on "Teachers can be bullied, too"
by Margaret Berry
Teaching Tolerance
3 November 2013

No one ever said teaching would be easy, but I never dreamed that with more than 27 years under my belt I would be treated like an outsider.

When I first read Common Core Standards I thought they would free me to teach my students what they needed when they needed it. I thought that with careful scaffolding and time, they would make progress. Little did I know that my school district would make Common Core more restrictive than a basal reading program. Who knew that someone with years and experience would be told, "not to worry, that mastery isn't necessary.... they will catch up next year or the next".

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