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  • Ten Resources To Support a Deeper Understanding of the Common Core State Standards

Steven Weber

Superintendent or Asst Super

Fayetteville, AR

Interests: Curriculum design and...

  • Posted 4 Years ago
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Ten Resources To Support a Deeper Understanding of the Common Core State Standards

In 2014, the Common Core State Standards are being attacked by politicians, parents, business leaders, civic organizations, and religious groups. If you are running for office, take a jab at the Common Core State Standards. It will get a good laugh from the audience and may win a few extra votes. If you are on Facebook, forward one of the hilarious visuals about Common Core Math standards and your post may go viral. Does this mean that the math standards are ridiculous or does it mean that math is being taught differently than it was when you were a child?

It is easy to make jokes about things we do not understand. How many people who claim they are ready to have a standards-burning party have read the Common Core State Standards?

Standards do not tell teachers how to teach, but they help teachers figure out the knowledge and skills their students should have. Standards also help students and parents by setting clear and realistic goals for success. Standards are a first step – a key building block – in providing our young people with a high-quality education that will prepare them for success in college and work. Standards are not the only thing that is needed for our children’s success, but they provide an accessible roadmap for our teachers, administrators, parents, and students.

Early in my career, the Arkansas Department of Education contacted me and asked me to write educational standards for K-12 social studies. When I arrived at the meeting room for one week of standards writing, with teachers from across the state, we were handed standards from Indiana, Texas, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Florida, California, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, and more. By the end of the week, I had reviewed standards from all fifty states. Some states had standards for economics in the sixth grade, while other states had the exact standard in the third grade. I remember thinking, ‘Why would each state write their own standards?’ I have observed in K-12 classrooms and there are different ability levels, but a third grader in Missouri is similar to a third grader in Michigan. When the Common Core State Standards were written and adopted across the United States, I thought it made common sense. Why would every state write similar standards in order to have bragging rights on the most rigorous or well stated standards? As an American, I want all students to graduate from high school prepared for the next level.

While you may laugh about Common Core jokes, the real joke is 50 states competing against each other to write the best standards. When our students enter the world, are they prepared to compete for jobs or do they cross the state line to discover they were prepared with watered-down standards?


The Common Core State Standards have transformed teaching and learning. Teachers may not like change, but they support change when it is in the best interests of students. The Common Core State Standards seem to be one thing that is right in education. It is easy to find Anti-Common Core articles. Anti-Common Core articles may be trending the next time you search for the Common Core. Take a moment to read one or more of the articles below to develop a deeper understanding of the Common Core State Standards. The standards may not be as bad as you thought.

The following articles address standards, college and career readiness, the role of standards in supporting teaching and learning, and the importance of common standards in the United States.

Ten Resources To Support a Deeper Understanding of the Common Core State Standards

1. Getting Curriculum Reform Right
    By Thomas Guskey

2.  What’s the Difference? Standards versus Curriculum
     By Janet Hale

3. I Hate Testing, Not Standards
    By Erik Palmer

4. The Problem is Not the Standards
    By Michael Fisher

5. From Common Core Standards to Curriculum: Five Big Ideas
    By Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins

6.  Rigor Redefined
     By Tony Wagner

7.  50 States, 50 Standards
     By Diane Ravitch

8.  The Case For Common Educational Standards
     By Jeb Bush and Joel Klein

9.  North Carolina Businesses Have Critical Need For Common Core Success
     By Jim Whitehead, President and CEO of Red Hat, Inc.

10. Common Core: An Educator’s Perspective
      By Steven Weber

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