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Common Core Standards: Myths vs. Facts

With headlines every day about the new Common Core Standards being adopted by New York State, some parents are anxious about changes in their child’s classroom.  At Early Scholars, we’re concerned with provided quality private tutoring and enrichment programs, but we also want to equip our families with all the knowledge they need to successfully navigate their child’s elementary and middle school years.

Myth: Common Core is a radical approach used by only a few states.

Fact: False.  The Common Core Standards are supported by a number of educational and professional organizations and have been adopted by 45 states thus far.  New York State is expected to begin full implementation in the 2013-2014 school year.

Myth: Common Core will focus only on test preparation and deprive children of real-world knowledge.

Fact: False. One of the major “shifts” in the Common Core approach is a new emphasis on learning by reading non-fiction information from the content areas, including science, history, and mathematics.  At Early Scholars, we share this position and design our rigorous Science-Reading program around these exact principles.  By teaching children skills through real-world ideas, we can better prepare them for the demands of an increasingly complex global marketplace.

Myth: New standards means new tests for our children.

Fact: True.  As New York State begins to implement these new standards, the assessments used for all students will begin to change to align with the new standards and reflect greater content complexity.  In a recent memo issued by Deputy Commissioner Ken Sletz, the State Department of Education made clear that the state is “designing our Grades 3-8 ELA and math assessments to measure the knowledge and skills students need at each grade level to achieve college and career readiness.”

The ultimate goal in implementing the Common Core Standards is one we all share: higher rates of graduation and a better educated workforce for our future.