There will continue to be those who oppose the Common Core standards because, in the end, they just oppose standards. But in this piece by two Cleveland teachers explains the math standards in an unusually clear and straight way. Here’s the beginning:
We, as a society, have a math phobia. We believe that some of us just can’t do math. But we are wrong.
Combined, the two of us have 50 years of experience teaching math to children in Ohio schools. Our children and grandchildren have attended Ohio schools. We have trained teachers. We have worked with researchers and other expert educators to develop and review standards, create lessons and influence policy at the state and national levels through the American Federation of Teachers and for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, which represents 80,000 educators.
We have skin in this game, and we are willing to fightto protect Common Core — not because it’s popular or unpopular, not because it’s perfect, but because it’s the right thing to do for children.
We’re tired of seeing this issue co-opted by political opportunists on both sides of the aisle. It’s time to understand what Common Core is — and is not. Common Core standards are not federal standards. They do not dictate a curriculum or a particular way of teaching. They do not mandate lessons that are developmentally inappropriate for our youngest children. They do not call for a particular assessment. They do not tell us how our teachers should be evaluated. All of that is up to state and local control.
In fact, the more experience teachers have with Common Core, the more they believe in it, found a recent survey of more than 1,600 teachers nationwide. Some 84 percent of teachers who have experienced more than one year of full implementation say they are enthusiastic about Common Core.
While politicians pontificate about programs they have never seen in action, while opponents poison the public debate with fear-mongering denunciations that defy credulity, we prefer to focus on what Common Core looks like in our most promising classrooms.