A recent Gallup Poll reveals our nation’s teachers are divided on the Common Core State Standards. From the perspective of teachers, disgruntled from decades of changing standards, many see the recently decreased test scores and students authentically struggling on deep and meaningful tasks, and assume the worst—it must be a fault in the Common Core and the exams. These critiques have been echoed by others and represent a serious misunderstanding of what is occurring in classrooms across the United States where the Common Core standards are being implemented. The truth lies in the fact that teachers in states who have had more time and experience with the Common Core increasingly support the new standards.
From the perspective of a teacher, I see the exact opposite of what those opposed to the Common Core describe. The Common Core provides exactly what students need—high standards that are pushing educators and students to excellence every single day. I want schools that will allow all children to discover their passion, give them the tools to follow that passion and help them succeed in 21st century colleges and careers. As we have seen in Kentucky, Common Core implementation has coincided with higher performanceand greater participation on the ACT. While correlation does not prove causation, it should come as no surprise that a focus on close reading and analysis of text ultimately leads to greater college and career readiness.