Advantages and Disadvantages

Common Core Standards

By Grace Steck

A project as extensive and far-reaching as Common Core will have many effects, both positive and negative. It requires the cooperation of legislators, executives, school districts, and parents across the country, and without full support it will be much more difficult to implement. This level of support has not yet been reached, as the opponents are as equally vocal as the supporters.
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National Advantages

The standards were created to be on par with the education standards in other developed countries, so it will help the US education standards internationally. Also, when all of the states have been brought to the same standards, it allows more accurate comparisons between the quality of education that would be provided in each state.

State Advantages

Each state that implements the core will also be benefited by saving money on testing. Each test will cost roughly the same or lower than the cost of standardized tests now. Also, every state will save on creating and scoring the tests since the tests will be nationally integrated.

Individual Advantages

The process of training new teachers will be made easier since all teachers will be teaching the same thing, no matter where they teach. This means that they may more easily find jobs in other states. They will not have to learn to adhere to new standards, and may continue their teaching practices.

Students will also learn higher level skills at a younger age, leading to more preparation for college and for a career. The tests will not simply ask them to fill in bubbles--it will ask them to come up with a solution and defend their position. Also, the method used to track a student's progress will be based on a common scale, meaning that students will no longer be compared to their peers in order to track their progress. Also, student's who must move from state to state often will benefit because it will be easier to match what they learn from school to school.

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National Disadvantages

The standards are currently not very specific. It will require time and resources in order to hone the requirements, and in the meantime there is little guidance. Also, the government is receiving criticism for attempting to nationalize education, as some view it as an infringement on state rights.

State Disadvantages

Previously, states were in charge of setting their own education standards, meaning that some states must actually lower their standards in order to join Common Core. It will also be very expensive initially, as all tests are online and not all schools are able to provide students access to the technology required. Also, many textbooks will be rendered obsolete, and it may prove very expensive to replace all materials with those that are conducive to the new material.

Individual Disadvantages

The new testing method also means that teachers will be held accountable for their students' test results. This can be unfair to those who teach in lower income districts. This, along with the changes associated with the adoption of Common Core, has led to the resignation of many experienced teachers.

Some parents protest high-stakes testing and have their children opt out. The Common Core introduces even more testing It also includes more advanced education at very young ages, which some believe to be detrimental to children's health. There is also no method of allowing for students with special needs, which may cause problems in assessing their progress and accountability.

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Common Core State Standards introduce big changes to the way that subjects are taught and the way that students learn in the classroom. The question is, are all of these changes worth it?