As a teacher, I’m disheartened by the rhetoric circulating about Common Core, even among those in the education community. At its best, this rhetoric is a slanted misrepresentation of a very complex dialogue; at its worst, it’s simply inaccurate. The irony is that Common Core is designed to combat this kind of circulation and acceptance of misinformation.
Far from being a prescription for what and how teachers should teach, Common Core challenges teachers to provide critical thinking opportunities for students and enhance their ability to participate in society as responsible and well-informed citizens. As we’ve seen demonstrated through years of education reform, there is no magic bullet when it comes to equipping students for academic and real world success.
Common Core isn’t perfect, but it’s the best attempt I’ve seen for preparing students to compete in a global, technology-driven economy. It will require teachers to work hard and become learners of both content and best teaching practices. It will require students to stretch their critical thinking, close reading, reasoning and self-management skills. Most importantly, it will challenge all members of society — parents, politicians, and community members — to set aside political agendas and put students at the center of the discussion.
Let’s make informed and educated decisions based on facts about how to provide a challenging, equitable education for all of our students.
Alison Wilson, Moore
Wilson teaches at Moore’s West Junior High School.