What is Common Core?

Common Core is a set of new, more challenging standards that the United States Governors and Education Commissioners have designed in order to keep the nation’s education standards more uniform. 43 states have voluntarily accepted the Common Core system in their schools. So which grades are adapting to Common Core? The new standards apply only to those who are graduating in 2018 and after. The current ninth graders (Class of 2018) do, however, get to take two Regents due to the complications involved when implementing a new system.

“I think they’re too common, they should be rarer,” said Diego Chica ’18. Most students and teachers are apprehensive about these new standards because there is so much that we don’t know about them. Although the standards are more complicated they are in place to enhance the learning of students across the United States. The goal is to help better prepare students for college and life outside of school. Lots of effort went into developing the new curriculum, implementing ideas from some of the best performing countries, including what topics should be covered for what grade level, and what way these topics can be taught so they are most coherent. Surveys and and scholarly research were done in efforts to find the best way of educating America’s youth.

English standards are being changed as well, giving students the opportunity to read both non-fiction and literary texts in the classroom as part of their “college-readiness” campaign. Regardless of what many people believe, the notion that teachers are being micromanaged is highly inaccurate. Although the guidelines are more specific, teachers are given the opportunity to teach the subjects in a way they see fit for their students. The Common Core standards are a challenge for both students and teachers and although they will take time to get used to they will hopefully change American academics for the better.