Confused About the Common Core Debate? 9 Resources to Answer Your Questions.

September 05, 2013
CATEGORIES Common Sense Resources, In the Classroom, Policy

Getting a tad confused about the raging debate over the Common Core Standards? Join the club. Where once it seemed like just common sense -- have a common curriculum across states -- the notion has suddenly become a political football. Some argue it impinges on teaching or is an overreach by government. Others say the standards represent a much needed alignment of what kids need to know and will inject some consistency across states in educational quality.

We thought it might be handy to pull together some blogs and coverage to bring you up to speed on the debate. This is hardly an exhaustive list, but it's enough to get started.

1. The basics: What are Common Core Standards? Here’s a primer from the Common Core State Standards Initiative

2. Technology and the Common Core (after all, technology is mentioned in 78 of the standards). ISTE offers an infographic on how technology can help schools maximize Common Core success. And here’s its position statement.

3. For a long, but sharp, think piece, see Arthur Camins’ “The Standard Debate: The Past Gets in Our Eyes.”

4.  From the “economic growth depends on it” side: The case for the Common Core by Chip Cherry, president and CEO of the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce in Alabama.

5. Wondering how the Pre-K set will fare? Check out this interview on Common Core and preschoolers with Karen Nemeth, author and consulting editor for NAEYC.  Common Core is the least of our worries, she says. What we should be more concerned about is developmentally appropriate education. 

6. The innovation link: CEO of Getting Smart, Tom Vander Ark, says Common Core will spur innovation in the field, in his blog post, The Conservative Case for Higher Common Standards.

7. In real estate they say “location, location, location.” In Common Core, it’s “implementation, implementation, implementation.” “Even if you believe that the standards are a ‘boon’ for schools, as the Washington Post's and USA Today's editorial boards do,” writes Mike McShane in US News and World Report, “it is important to recognize that the Common Core's ultimate success will hinge on its implementation.” His article lays out the key issues.

8. The title says it all: Harvard’s Diane Ravitch explains “Why I Cannot Support the Common Core Standards.”  

9. Still want more? You’re a glutton for punishment, but here you go. Education Week's all things Common Core website.

And on our end, we’ve heard from those of you in states that have adopted Common Core about how challenging it is to find and use resources that are aligned with the standards. So we’re working to tailor both our digital literacy and citizenship classroom curriculum and our professional development resources. In addition, check out our Top Picks lists: Math Products Aligned to the Common Core Standards and ELA Products Aligned to the Common Core Standards.