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The issue of the common core state standard (CCSS) initiative is a rather controversial topic that is promoted by some people as the foundation for students’ success and resisted by others as something that impedes creative thinking and shapes barriers. This paper will provide arguments in favor of the common core.
The common core serves as a staircase, allowing students to climb the career ladder systematically. Meeting the standards, students ensure that they have sufficient knowledge and skills to contribute to their education and move to the next level. As noted by VanTassel-Baska (2015), “CCSS require students to produce evidence of learning through products that emphasize the use of higher level skills” (p. 60). In other words, the implementation of standards promotes students’ development and facilitates the enhancement of their career.
CCSS provides equality in education by offering the same tests to every student regardless of residence, race, ethnicity, etc. Avila and Moore (2012) reckon that teachers are expected to utilize CCSS to “shape the standards toward a stronger inclusion of both digital and critical literacies” (p. 29). In terms of the general nature of standards, students are likely to receive equal opportunities in developing their critical thinking and digital literacy that is especially significant in nowadays rapidly developing technology era.
The opponents of CCSS consider that tests refer to the outdated and clumsy mechanism that cannot recognize students’ potential and individual peculiarities, thus causing frustration in both teachers and students. However, it should be noted that the criteria for standards are usually revised in a constant manner (Shanahan, 2012). Nevertheless, there is the fact that many teachers remain unaware of the introduced changes. Thus, it becomes evident that the need for adequate and timely information dissemination and training turns out to be quite relevant.
New format tests
Continuing the issue of the permanent reconsideration of core common state standards, one may note the new format of tests offered to students to verify whether they are ready to move to the next level or not. For example, according to CCSS, it is recommended to replace conventional multiple-choice tests by fraction tests, where a student should drag each fraction to the correct place on the line (“Common Core State Standard Initiative (CCSS),” 2017). Such a new version of testing requires an in-depth understanding of a certain topic and prevents random answers.
Better knowledge and tools
CCSS involves a wide range of resources and instruments that may be used by students to learn one or the other topic. For instance, official websites, personal accounts, mobile applications, e-books, discussions in social networks and other online platforms, etc. provide students with convenient and advantageous tools to facilitate continuous learning. More to the point, the promotion of research and evidence-based practices also catalyzes students’ excellence in educational performance. Calkins, Ehrenworth, and Lehman (2012) claim that “CCSS emphasizes a much higher level of comprehension skills” (p. 27).
It seems that this comprehension is reached with the help of the mentioned properly designed resources and tools. All the mentioned points are likely to help students in meeting the demands of colleges and workplaces they strive to study and work at, respectively.
Rigorous preparation for real-life conditions
CCSS is built upon the previous lessons, experience, and actual situations that occurred in various workplaces. With this in mind, standards integrate the most relevant and reliable knowledge that helps students to understand their perspective work, obligations, rights, and other related issues in the course of learning. CCSS focuses primarily on students’ readiness evaluation based on their awareness of modern topics, debates, and tendencies, the discussion of which, as noted by Rothman (2012), shows that students may demonstrate their knowledge and utilize it in practice.
Creative thinking stimulation
By aligning expectations and getting communities involved, CCSS proposes the link between out-of-the-box thinking and innovation. In their practical book, Bellanca and Fogarty (2012) reflect on the three components of creative teaching and learning, namely, generation, association, and hypothesizing. The mentioned components may be used in problem-solving decision making and invention through keeping students interested in a certain topic and offering them such opportunities as idea generation, sharing, and development. The fact that well-organized guidelines for teachers support CCSS makes it even more valuable and feasible.
Parents’ role increase
Based on research regarding the progress and challenges of implementing CCSS across the US, Drake (2012) states that parents play an integral role in adoption and adherence to standards. They are key communicators and examples for their children that makes it even more critical to create appropriate collaboration between parents, educators, and students. Such an approach can be observed in the provisions of CCSS. In particular, parents are expected to make sure that their children understand demands and attempt to meet them by monitoring any improvements and weaknesses. Ultimately, parents are likely to contribute to their children’s education based on CCSS by maintaining attentive and timely interaction with both students and teachers, as appropriate.
Avila, J., & Moore, M. (2012). Critical literacy, digital literacies, and common core state standards: A workable union? Theory into Practice, 51(1), 27-33.
Bellanca, J. A., & Fogarty, R. J. (2012). How to teach thinking skills within the common core: 7 key student proficiencies of the new national standards. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
Calkins, L., Ehrenworth, M., & Lehman, C. (2012). Pathways to the common core: Accelerating achievement. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Common Core State Standard Initiative (CCSS). (2017). Web.
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Drake, S. M. (2012). Creating standards-based integrated curriculum (3rd ed.). London, UK: Corwin Press.
Rothman, R. (2012). A common core of readiness. Educational Leadership, 69(7), 10-15.
Shanahan, T. (2012). The common core ate my baby and other urban legends. Educational Leadership, 70(4), 10-16.
VanTassel-Baska, J. (2015). Arguments for and against the common core state standards. Gifted Child Today, 38(1), 60-62.