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What is Common Core?

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Most of us have heard about common core. We all know it's education reform sweeping the nation and even dominating the political scene. But many of us don't know exactly what it is.

Brenda Deason with the Ouachita Parish School System said Common Core instruction is more in depth than the traditional method of teaching and it is a little more difficult.

"Maybe something that is taught in eighth grade is now taught in seventh grade. Or something that was taught in ninth grade is now taught in eighth grade, so it is more rigorous," Deason said.  

Common Core was created by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, as a state led initiative.

"It is a combined effort of the states, not a federal government thing. And I agree with our governor that the federal government should not be telling Louisiana what to do with education. I think that is a local issue. But I do not think that Common Core is a push of the federal government," Deason said.     

Basically, it is a uniform set of standards that crosses state lines.

Ideally, a fifth grader in Louisiana will have the same amount of knowledge and skills as a fifth grader in Massachusetts. Each state made the decision to enter into Common Core and each state may elect to pull out.

Deason said there are many misconceptions about Common Core. She said it is not a curriculum; it is a set of standards. She said teachers, and the state, still control how students learn these standards.

Deason said many people think it's the teacher evaluation system, but it’s not. Compass evaluates teachers.

"Also PARCC is the test that Louisiana has gone in with other states to develop and to test those standards," Deason said.  

Deason said there have been issues with implementing the Common Core standards, but she said overall, to have high standards is not a bad thing. She also said, in her opinion, it would cost too much for the state to pull out now.

Louisiana actually adopted the standards in 2010 but full implementation was not until this school year.

For more in depth information on Common Core visit http www.corestandards.org or www.louisianabelieves.com.

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