The new national learning tool that's being carried in classrooms across our state is getting a lot of heat. Louisiana is one of 45 states that have accepted common core standards. Many parents have been very vocal about their opposition, but one teacher is speaking out saying the parents should be concerned.
There is no question Common Core Standards are changing the environment in which kids learn. The national outline is geared toward increasing accountability and providing data that draw better comparisons among students across the country.
The standards are said to require students to think more critically rather than memorizing a list of facts. Elementary school teacher Maya Bennett says she's seen a difference.
"My classroom is completely transformed and my student's voices are actually the primary voices in the classroom. I'm merely a facilitator letting my students lead the way to discovery and understanding," said Bennett.
Not all educators and parents are on board. Some have rallied on the steps of the State Capital to voice their concerns.
"If you have national assessments, and you have state tests - several a year, how are children supposed to know what's on the test?" said Liz Gary.
Common Core calls for children to work and learn in groups. A teacher that wants to remain anonymous says while it can be a great support system among students, it's not for everyone.
"It's fine until one of them gets mad, or they're not understanding it, then they resort to their screaming and fighting, goofing off and it can just get really bad really quickly," said a concerned teacher.
The anonymous teacher says while common core sets are the bar high, it's nearly impossible for every student to achieve the same level of success at the same time.
"If you then give them tests that are at a certain level they are not necessarily going to be successful because they were already so far behind."
While some teachers and leaders back the program, they too admit there are challenges.
"There is a ton of struggle but it's a really cool learning process. I feel so respected given such rigorous standards," says Bennett.
It is those standards that have left some wondering whether the transformation is too much too soon.
The teacher that wanted to remain anonymous said "its one extreme to the other. It's going from all teacher directed to all student directed and there needs to be a balance."
Common Core also changes the way teachers are evaluated. They are graded on their lesson plans and how their students work in groups, which has some educators worried about their futures in the classroom.
For more information on Common Core standards, click here:
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