PRO: Not so ‘Common’ Views

Along with 45 other states, California will be implementing the Common Core State Standards into its curriculum by the 2014-2015 school year. Although Common Core has raised strong outcries from critics, teachers, and parents everywhere, its suggested theory is sure to benefit the upcoming generation, preparing them to become well-rounded students in the long run.

The Common Core Standards are an evidence-based U.S. initiative that standardizes the reading and math proficiencies that students are required to have in each grade from kindergarten to high school. The new standards seek to eliminate disparity between the education systems in different states by setting one standard for all the states across the nation. Based on international benchmarks and extensive research carried out by teachers, school administrators, and experts, these standards will build upon successful elements already active in many of the leading states.

The CCSS will essentially be geared toward helping students think critically about the world around them along with possessing applicable skills. Many students today use means of memorization or complete their work halfheartedly only to earn points. But that will no longer be the case. These new standards will attempt to force such students to delve into a certain topic, analyze it, and learn how to apply it outside of school. In short, mere knowledge will not guarantee an A—application and critical analysis of a topic will.

In addition, the increase of rigor in the classroom will improve college and career readiness for students. By developing students’ analytical skills beyond high school levels, students will be able to think independently and apply their skills to everyday life.

The CCSS will also make standardized test comparisons easier. By using like standards and assessments, schools in every state will be able to more effectively determine performances of students in different regions. Whereas in the past, a student labeled “proficient” in one state would not necessarily qualify as one in another state, the CCSS will now provide a way to identify a student with a consistent academic label around the country.

The Common Core will prepare American students, currently falling behind academically among top performing nations, to compete in a global society. Although Common Core encourages a single standard, it also takes the varied futures of high school students into account and does not push a cookie-cutter result for every student. Instead, the system recognizes the benefits of a uniform curriculum and will prioritize teaching students to be citizens of the world.