Let me repeat: Common Core is NOT a curriculum. It’s a standard.
Teachers/Districts/States can choose whichever or whatever curriculum they want to use to meet the standards. I’m not making a statement about whether the standards are good or bad. I’m just saying that calling it a curriculum is misleading and incorrect.
Districts are Choosing Quality, Rigorous Curriculum
There are districts in this country that are using high quality, differentiated curriculum materials to meet, and exceed, the standards because they believe the standards are not rigorous enough. So, districts can choose any curriculum they want and increase the rigor to any degree they want as long as they don’t teach below the standard.
Political Hot Potato
As for what evils are preventing teachers from teaching; In my experience, it wouldn’t matter if it was Common Core, The Worlds Best Core, Lousy Core, Differentiated Core, High Standard Core, NCLB, or anything else you want to name it so that it becomes a political game piece. The truth is that politicians and the Federal Department of Education (DOE) , the State DOE in some states, as well as some individual districts across the country, have taken away most of the freedom schools, and teachers, used to have *without* considering the decades worth of research that indicates how students learn and how teachers should teach as their *major focus for change*.
Until schools and districts fully embrace teaching the way the brain learns, they will keep chasing their tails and fail to see growth in their students.
Common Core or Not; Are you Teaching the Way the Brain Learns?
If you are in doubt as to whether your school or district is teaching the way the brain learns, just count the number of secondary classrooms in your district whose primary mode of content delivery is lecture and whole class teaching and that solely rely on verbal linguistic methodology. If it’s even one third of what you see, then your district is not teaching the way the brain learns. Why would you expect the brain to learn if it’s not being taught correctly?
I could go on and on about this issue… but research shows that the brain doesn’t like too much information all at once, so I’ll stop now.
If you, your school, or your district is truly ready to reach students and see them grow beyond ANY state or federal standard, contact us immediately. We’ll help you adapt your methodology and your curriculum to reach ALL learners in your classrooms with proven, researched, brain-based strategies.
For more information on differentiation strategies to reach ALL learners, see Susan Fitzell’s book, Special Needs in the General Classroom, Strategies That Make It Work. Available in both print and electronic versions!
We also offer a Professional Development Kit, for all teachers, with a Graduate Credit Option!
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