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Reality Check: Common Core Debate

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Xuất bản 29/06/2016
Curriculum changes could be coming to classrooms in North Carolina. Tuesday, a House panel voted to support a bill that would replace common core with a new set of education standards. Some teachers who've taught the new common core standards, for math and language arts, think they are more rigorous than previous standards. But, they say the real issue is a lack of school funding. "It's harder to go deeper and really raise the kids to the level they need to be when they're taking away the resources that we have," says 3rd Grade Teacher, Brian Randall. Anne Hardy is the Lead Elementary Literacy Coach at Asheville City Schools. She says a nationwide set of standards has some common good. "Students graduating from high school in some states just don't have the same skills and can't meet the same expectations as students from other states," says Hardy. She says common expectations help us be more competitive as a state. "I think there are legitimate concerns about implementation of common core," says Hardy. But critics argue common core creates problems for classroom instruction. Dr. Terry Stoop is the Director of Research and Education Policy Studies at the John Locke Foundation. "Mainly in the early grades, there's concerns that the common core asks students to do things that they're not cognitively able to do," he says. The concern, are the questions age appropriate for students? Administrators agree, implementing common core has been challenging. "I think that there are some valid concerns about implementation of common core," says Hardy. But teachers worry those concerns are being clouded by politics. "The conversation is not common core standards. The conversation is high stakes testing. The conversation is pulling resources, materials and teachers assistants away from classrooms. This is a slight of hand," says Randall. A Legislative Study Committee recommended replacing common core. The measure now goes to the House Budget Writing Committee for further review.