There has been much talk about the Common Core over the last few years, and especially this last school year as schools across the Nation began implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Some people think they are wonderful, some people think they are terrible and still others don’t really understand them or have no opinion.
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were developed in 2010 by a bipartisan group of governors and state school officials with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. These standards have been adopted fully in 44 states across the United States in order to have consistent standards for what our children should know at each grade level across the states – consistent, strong, and clear benchmarks. The California Department of Education (CDE) describes standards as:
“Educational standards describe what students should know and be able to do in each subject in each grade. In California, the State Board of Education decides on the standards for all students, from kindergarten through high school.”
Whenever there is a significant change in education, it brings up all kinds of fears within us as parents. Fears our children will not be successful, fears of yet another new system, and the biggest fear of all – fear of change. We have found at Innovative Education Management (IEM) that information and understanding quells many of our fears. Being informed allows us to find the tools we need to best support our children. Charter schools have the additional burden of possible non-renewal if they don’t have at least 95% of their students tested using the required state assessment so it is very important that we comply with state requirements. Our charter schools’ compliance may look quite different than your neighborhood brick and mortar school, but it is still critical to enable this educational model to stay an option.
The law requires us to comply with state standards. State schools, even charter schools are required to comply with the state standards. However, IEM charter schools are designed to allow the most flexibility while meeting state standards. Our families are able to choose the materials to meet these objectives.
While these new standards and the new state assessment have been criticized heavily by both the left and the right, the reality that we are faced with as parents is that they are here for at least a while. Perhaps this is a present day example of why it is so important for us to be involved with legislative issues facing our children and advocate for them and for the schools that they are attending. As we work together – educators, parents, and parent-educators, our children will increase their capacity for success and they will become confident, well prepared young adults.
How can you be involved in current legislative issues that are impacting education? What role do you want to play in being a change agent, advocating for your children? At IEM, we strive to support parents in this journey and we would love to hear your feedback on this hot topic. Please comment below.