Cancelling Common Core: What Do Teachers/Students Think?


Common Core is the educational curriculum especially used throughout the United States. As with any government implemented educational mandate teachers, students and parents alike all must look at both sides of what is the current norm in education and  it is no surprise that Common Core has its pros and cons. But are the cons really worth the sudden evisceration of a country wide effort to raise the educational bar? 

One standout pro includes a standardization of education throughout the United States, which would make it easier for traveling students to assimilate to other state curriculum. It has also raised a educational ideal of understanding how to compute particular subjects (as in math or English) in an objective manner rather than relying on a non-verifiable subjective judgement that simply can’t hold muster on the national level. However standardized Common Core has become, one main criticism received includes different methods of solving problem than from students’ parents learned and the shift from educational focuses to a focus on test results. Because children are coming home and asking parents to help them understand their Math homework, but the parents can’t figure it out, Common Core math has become unreliable in both the eyes of the parents and the students who look to their parents for justification of what they are learning. Common Core has become more of a frustration that is prone to an expletive filled evening instead of a family making headway together to improve their children’s educational performance.

Recently, Florida governor Ron Desantis announced a plan to replace the education system centered on Common Core with a Florida standard. The problem is: a Florida curriculum hasn’t be organized to take the place of Common Core! Based on this occurrence I went around Blake to ask what some of our students and teachers thought about the change Desantis proposed.

Kia, a freshman, told me Common Core was good because it brought critical thinking to the table; however, it also has the problem of an overabundance of testing that too many students are performing poorly in or outright failing. Similar concerns were displayed by staff; Mr. Lofsted, History department head and union rep, is optimistic that testing will be reduced if Desantis does reform the education system sans Common Core. However, Mr. Lofsted said, that he thinks Desantis’s plan is abrupt as he doesn’t actually have any plan in place for replacement. Lofsted also brought up the point that Common Core took several years to develop,  and the development of a replacement would also take that much time rather than Desantis plan to change it in a year. Principal Salters also thought the plan was carried out too abruptly with too little organization, as Desantis’s plan is very vague regarding the reform.  Principal Salters plans to meet with the district to gain an understanding alongside Mrs. Thomspon, AP of curriculum, who said she would sample the new standards so they could help teachers prepare as well.

Governor Desantis is Republican and has been accused to being a smaller version of Trump.  This is because he is a populist, listening to his voting base as a representative over being a hardliner on the Republican party agenda. This move, however smacks of both populist leanings as Common Core has not been received well by school stakeholders, and also has a bit of the Republican agenda regarding states being empowered by their own state-centric standards rather than a federalized set of standards.  

 Change will be difficult, as change is rarely easy. Mrs. Glas, Lead Teacher, and Dr. Nylund, Science department head,  agreed with other teachers and students, saying it would be hard for teachers as they’d have to change their teaching methods and lesson plans. However hard change may be, our teachers and students are hoping for the best outcome from such a seemingly chaotic action that will affect the entire state.