Here in today’s New York Times is a piece the likes of which you seldom see about the Common Core. It tells a complex story about how one New York city school is digesting the new standards, and tells it through the eyes of triplets who migrated from Haiti with their mother.
The bottom line, to my eye, is the success of the standards – if the state and the schools step up to the challenge. But others will point to how Crispin is struggling where he used to feel successful in school. I say that’s because New York (unlike New Hampshire) has bungled its Common Core rollout. But even in the face of that failure, it’s not all bad news in Brooklyn’s PS 397.
So there’s no crib sheet. This is actual journalism, so you just have to read it – and watch the great 5 minute video that goes with it. Here’s a sample to suck you in:
Under the Common Core, Haelleca’s writing had become more nuanced, and she could calculate the area of a room without flinching. But it seemed to have an opposite effect on her brothers, who were accustomed to spouting back basic facts. They improvised their way through questions that demanded critical thinking, throwing in phrases like “the author’s choice of words” and “the character’s motives,” even if the result was incoherent.
Haelleca was especially worried about Chrispin, who had soared through the earlier grades.
“When they started making things harder, he hit rock bottom,” she said. “I was like, ‘What happened to you, Chrispin?’ ”
Christopher piled on. “He became lazy,” he said.
Chrispin, who had heard the criticism many times before, smiled. “I was so smart in kindergarten,” he said. “I was even smarter than all of my friends. I was always answering questions. My teachers were amazed.”
Soon Chrispin and Christopher had no choice but to listen to Haelleca. In February, their mother disconnected the television and locked away the Xbox after discovering that Chrispin had not been doing his homework for weeks in a row. Now, with two months left before state tests, the boys would stick to a grueling regimen: long division on Saturdays, writing on weeknights. They would pass the state exams and avoid summer school, their mother mandated. They were triplets, after all, she said. They would rise together.
read the rest at Common Core, in 9-Year-Old Eyes – NYTimes.com.