Parents should support efforts to retain Common Core standards

It was great to see the op-ed on 2190 from Mike Huckins. Here’s a parent perspective if you are interested.

I would like to share my concerns about proposed state legislation to repeal the AZ College and Career Ready Standards (aka Common Core).

Our son is in fourth grade and has attended his local elementary school, in the Scottsdale School District, since kindergarten. For the majority of that time, his learning has been based on Common Core standards.

In his homework, I have seen a nice balance between things that are familiar to me, from my childhood, as well as an increased focus on critical thinking and synthesizing information, instead of simply reiterating facts.

We are also at a point today where at least a third of Arizona’s teachers began their teaching careers within the last four years. Therefore, they are only familiar with the current standards.

Proposed state legislation includes throwing out the investment our schools have made over the last four years, only to go back to much lower standards. This would require a massive new investment in training and classroom materials.

And this is just until 2017, when we would adopt another set of standards, thus requiring yet another round of administrative costs for training and materials.

Of even greater concern, how should our son be expected to succeed in school when he has built an educational foundation on one approach to learning and set of standards, only to have it fundamentally changed in middle school and then likely to be fundamentally changed again in high school?!

I am not arguing that the standards are perfect or that they don’t merit state review and/or revision. The point is current proposed legislation goes too far and will only hurt our students.

Many of the concerns I have heard about the standards are, in fact, decisions that are not dictated by the standards, but rather decisions that can be made or changed at the district level.

My challenge to readers – please don’t form your opinion or support drastic legislation regarding the education of my child based on social media posts or out-of-state think tanks.

Call your local school’s principal or find a teacher currently teaching in your local school to get the facts.

Editor’s note: Lisa Hoberg is a resident of Scottsdale.

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