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Common Core Standards: Good or Bad?


A lot of talk is circulating about the Florida governor's recent deadline to end Common Core (Florida Standards) in our state. This is certainly big news for me, considering I teach these standards every single day in my fifth grade classroom! So many opinions are out there about Common Core, some knowing each standard deeply and some not having even read one.

First of all, I am excited about the conversation this recent news break has developed. Anytime parents, school personnel, and government officials are involved in discussing children's schooling, the aim is to move education forward. Whether we agree with the governor or not, we all share the same goal: We want to give our children the best education we can.

There is only one thing to consider when deciding if Common Core is best for kids or not. But first...

What is Common Core? The Florida Standards are statements that describe what the students should be able to accomplish in a subject area by the end of their school year.

As a teacher, I decide what to teach based on what the standards tell me the students need to learn. My goal is for all of my students to master each fifth grade standard by the end of the school year. And, of course, there is a state test to reveal how well they learned the content that these standards charge us to teach them.

There are arguments for and against Common Core. But I firmly believe keeping Common Core or doing away with Common Core is not the solution to better education. The ONLY solution to better education is the TEACHER.

Whatever standards I am given, it's HOW I TEACH THEM that makes the difference in my classroom.

The teacher holds the key to strong education. Period. I don't care if the standard is as dull as a cardboard box, my job is for education to COME ALIVE, for the brain to be engaged, and for love of learning to be ignited in my students.

Different standards don't mean better education. The teacher's delivery of those standards is what matters.

So, rest easy. No government official is going to affect my students' education. No standards can make or break my effectiveness in the classroom. Teachers, WE are the solution to our education crisis!