Common Core Standards: Good, Great, or Problematic?

As you probably know, new educational standards are in the works again. While such changes are usually greeted with accolades by the educational and parent community, the new “Common Core,” which lay out what students should know from kindergarten through 12th grade, has caused much concern.

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article called Learning Goals Spur Backlash, these standards, “which were written by a group of governors, state officials and other experts,” find not all states to be on board. Here are some of the notable problems:

  • Being an intrusion into local education decisions
  • Having children not prepared yet for the corresponding Common Core exams
  • Adding more “Informational” text to classrooms which crowds out literature
  • Causing good students to “freeze or break into tears” because they have not been fully prepared to take the new kind of tests
  • Having some parts of the math be weaker than what was required before

Down to Basics

Ever since my mother has been in the field of teaching, dating back to the 1960’s, the state of education seems to have been in the same boat about student abilities to meet educational standards… getting worse. She was always telling me at the time about how her students were just not “meeting the standards” anymore. When I went to school, she told me all of us were not “meeting the standards” in an even worse way. When my kids went to school, the problem of meeting standards got even worse. In each generation, educators, who were grappling with what to do, eventually came up with the exact same solution–raise the standards. Needless to say, I have always had my doubts about “standards.”

As a teacher myself, at all levels, including teacher education on the college level, my focus has always been on improvements for teaching. Made sense to me. My thought, odd as it may seem today, was to try to keep getting students better at “meeting the standards,” even surpassing them. Creating “new” and more difficult ones to meet never occurred to me as a solution.

May! The Month of the Mothers

In our “fast-paced” world of today, “back-to-basics” always seems to get lost. However, “Reading Writing, and Arithmetic” will always be here to stay, and we need to stay focused on them.

Now here is some “back-to-basics” for parenting. By coincidence, it just happens to be… as simple as ABC.

A – Act natural.

B – Be yourself.

C – Capture every moment you can with love.

NOTE: Starting on Mother’s Day, May 12, just for the month of May, we will be switching to a Q & A tip format.

Send in your parenting question now to, and Dr. Sally will answer it as soon as possible on Tuesday Afternoon Tea. If you would like to ask your question anonymously, please indicate that on your question.

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