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Core Curriculum good or bad? What's your opinion? What is it?
November 16, 2013 at 11:38 AM
When my children were in public school. I wasn't too worried, they came with good grades, but now that I homeschool them,i pay more attention what the school system teaches. I hear different opinions about the Core Curriculum. Anybody have any idea what it is? Opinions?


  • TidewaterClan
    November 16, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    This is JMO, but I printed off the items for Ohio and there's nothing too exciting in the cc for us.  Most everything is common sense.  Here's an example for 3rd grade reading: 

    Key Ideas and Details

    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.2 Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.3 Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events

    I'm not linking us to cc by any means, but look through it every once in awhile, and we're honestly on track with it.  I want my girls to have everything their peers do if they go back to ps at some point, or even when they go on to college.  

    The thing I found absolutely wrong with cc is schools are focusing too much on making the 'grade' test wise and leaving out wonderful courses like science, social studies, and nature.  If they just used cc as a guideline, not as a mandate, it would be less stressful for teachers, parents, and everyone else.

  • jen2150
    by jen2150
    November 16, 2013 at 12:08 PM
    I really don't pay attention to it. My kids have their own path to take. CC is bad in my opinion because it is just another way for schools to be controlled. It is just more government involvement. I personally think schools should be controlled by parents, teachers and local government. CC allows for little to no individualization.
  • Mandallyn
    November 16, 2013 at 12:58 PM
    I'm not so much disturbed my the content of cc, but more by the application of it and how teachers are supposed to move through ideas/lessons regardless of child readiness.
    I don't find the curriculum all that bad, homeschooling gives us the chance to move at a faster pace than the class room and to build a solid understanding when more time is needed for a new idea. So I'm pretty biased because I make it my own whether it's cc or not.
  • bluerooffarm
    November 16, 2013 at 2:01 PM

     Common Core Standards are not a curriculum.  They are simply a set of standards that the schools must follow using a curriculum of their choosing that follows the standards.  That said, I am very much against the way the common core standards are being implemented in many schools.  It does not put any trust in the abilities of the teachers which (let's face it) that trust has been eroded over the past few decades by every mandate passed down from "on high" by the politicians that have not been trained to teach our children.  Common Core is supposed to raise the level of thinking by our children; however, it never addresses the foundations of those higher level thoughts.  Instead it demands that kindergarteners begin using emotions in their persuasive essays.  This is something they do need to cover, but it jumps over the steps of 1) learning that arguments need to be backed up by facts, 2) reading many arguments articulated by people who use facts well, 3) learning that some people use emotions in their arguments, 4) seeing the use of emotions in advertisements, and 5) discussing why the method is effective yet slightly less than moral using emotion to over-ride logic.  Then and only then should students try their hand at using emotional pleas in their persuasive writing.  With many of the CCS-aligned curriculums, they jump over the steps and land right on the higher level reasoning skills that cannot be implemented with a child before they reach the age of reasoning.  It is undermining their education IMO, by trying to build the building with little or no foundation.

    I am also very biased about CCS because of the manner in which our local schools decided to implement these standards.  Since the teachers are completely undercut by these standards, they decided that only the department chairs should be trusted to write the lesson/unit plans to be used in the classrooms.  So the departments chairs write the lessons and hand out huge binders with detailed (nearly scripted) instructions.  The teachers from the particular grade level or discipline meet each month and refine the lesson plans to slow the progress to that of the slowest child in the level.  This is not happening in all schools, obviously, but I think that the standards are being distorted in a vast majority of school districts in one manner or another.

  • Chasing3
    November 16, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    i agree it's not the content outlined in the standards that bothers me, (although much of it is developmentally inappropriate and essentially just too difficult for the grade levels intended - you can't just give kids harder stuff and expect that to make them smarter!)but the associated testing and dramatic increase in the amount of testing that is coming along wiht it. It is my biggest fear that the laws will change to extend the testing to homeschoolers. 

    I also really fear the data mining of test results and student information that is happening with inBloom and common core.

    I think if one researches common core and how it all got started (i.e.: no educatior helped write them, no educators nor education officials nor any governors! sit on the National Governor's Association, incredible financial backing by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other foundations that are made up of board members from the major education publishing and technology companies, how it has been lobbied in washington and pushed through by corporate interest groups, how many in those corporate interest groups are on a mission to privatize public schooling, how organizations like the NEA, NTA, AFT, NationalPTA and other associations have been paid by the Gates Foundation to advocate their support of CC...) it's sort of scary and looks very much like an attempt by private education by corporations in order to gain control of public education funds and gouge us for over-priced, untested, unproven curriculum materials and requre more and more expensive testing. These corporate education reformers have gotten it written into law via the Race To The Top so that states that don't implement CC will be denied federal education money (yes, that would be OUR taxes)

    Also instructionally, at least in the current public school setting, I think common core implementation will be pathetic and many kids will continue to do poorly if not worse. It makes me so angry that many teachers if you asked them, they'd tell you the new materials they are getting and the teach to test approach is not good teachign practice. Yet they never speak up or protest. They just go along for the ride, collect their paycheck, and rack up the years towards their federal pensions. I believe it was Michell Rhee as CHancellor of Washington DC schools who said: "Public education has nothing to do with what's best for students and everythign to do with what's best for adults."

    I think as far as CC aligned curriculum materials go - I do believe a good teacher or a good homeschooler can make them work and they can be perfectly fine -- AS LONG as you have choice and freedom to modify instruction and to make acocmodations AND if you do not have to teach to test. Clearly, almost every independent publisher is feeling pressure to say they are common core aligned since it is now a marketing strategy and could be a liability to say they are not. BUT, let's be real here - anyone can stamp common core aligned on anything. Anyone can sift through the standards and find some that apply to any piece of curriculm that is written, and there you have it - CC aligned! So CC aligned or not CC aligned doesn't make a curricula piece automatically good or bad.

    overall, I greatly fear the laws will change to absorb homeschoolers under CC testing.

  • kirbymom
    November 16, 2013 at 4:02 PM
    Well, I am probably going to be the one who gives no leeway for anything CC or CC related. In order to know the true intent of the CC, you will have to read and read tons of websites. CC goes all the way back to 2006/2007. It is not a positive in any way shape or form. Their new math "standards" are not based on facts not on theory. Example... 4x3 does not = 12, it does not matter. So long as you can show the reasonable path you took to get the answer then you get the correct answer, even though the answer is other than 12.
    Not what we should be teaching our children, in my opinion. There are many many more reasons but, this is enough for now. You might want to look up a group called Parents and Educators against Common Core Standards. They actually have facts and well founded reasons to stand against CC.
  • TidewaterClan
    November 16, 2013 at 6:39 PM
    Celia, go with the curriculum you love and don't worry about cc. Don't get anxious if you decide to use a religious curriculum like Sonlight or Abeka that isn't cc. If you go with a secular program like Harcpurt or Pearson, then don't worry that it does.

    It's your money, your effort, your time, & your choice. Last time I looked this was still a free country. ;)
  • Chasing3
    November 16, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    i don't know why I continually get myself worked up over this, but I read articles and blogs about CC daily.

    this one stuck out at me today:

  • earthlymama
    November 18, 2013 at 12:05 AM

    From everything I've seen and from speaking with a variety of public school teachers CC is horrible.  The No Child Left Behind curriculm was horrible for them as well.  Many feel that it should go back to the basics where children learned and had fun (to include actual recess on a regular basis rather than walking around the school and back in the classroom). The teachers don't have wiggle room to add to lessons therefore teaching exactly what they are given.  This is one of the reasons I opted for home schooling because I saw this was hurting my son.  He is now thriving and advancing in many ways.

  • KrissyKC
    November 18, 2013 at 1:45 AM

    From what I'm gathering, no... I am not impressed with the CC standards.   We use what we like and believe in.

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