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States Pressing “Pause” on Common Core
posted by: Cindy Omlin | May 13, 2013, 10:43 PM   

As state legislators continue to debate the adoption of Common Core State Standards (CCSS), teachers, students, and administrators alike are experiencing the frustration of being held in limbo. Many teachers are beginning to implement the standards nationwide, all while some states are second guessing their adoption of CCSS. 

For example, Indiana took the initiative to adopt the standards in 2010, implementing them in kindergarten and first grade classrooms. However, on Saturday, Governor Mike Pence signed a bill that "hits the pause on Common Core so Hoosiers can thoroughly evaluate which standards will best serve the interest of our kids."

While Governor Pence's concern for students' best interest is commendable, many educators are stymied by the possible change in standards. "There's no such things as a pause. It's like slamming on the brakes, real hard," said Rick Ahlgrim, one Indiana district's director of secondary education.

Similarly, John Schilawaski, a principal in Indiana, expressed concern that changing course will confuse younger students. "Education is a constant, ongoing process. To make sudden starts and stops to things always has a rippling effect. Somewhere, some child or group of children will feel the effect of uncertainty that's being caused by legislative indecision," said Schilawaski.

Indiana is not the only state affected by the pause on the Common Core. Other states include Georgia, Michigan, and North Carolina.

As the debate continues, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan urges lawmakers to encourage states to stay the course in adopting and implementing the CCSS. Like many lawmakers, Secretary Duncan believes the outcomes promised will outweigh the difficult implementation process.

As the controversy grows, it is important to note that AAE has surveyed members on this issue. Overall, while the jury is still out on the implementation process and its effect on the flexibility of curriculum, AAE members appear to be moving in the direction of support for consistent standards:

• 36% of respondents believe the CCSS will make the U.S. more competitive on a global scale. 53% believed they would have no effect, and 11% assert that CCSS will have an adverse effect on global competitiveness.
• However, 64% of survey respondents believe that CCSS will provide more consistency in the quality of education between school districts and between states.
• 48% of teachers believe CCSS implementation is running smoothly, while 41% of teachers are neutral, and 11% believe implementation in their state is going poorly.

Ninety percent of our member educators are in the process of implementing CCSS. AAE seeks to give members the opportunity to voice their views on the subject and participate in a process that will work to establish best practices for these standards. While AAE does not endorse CCSS as an organization, we support teachers and are interested in providing educators with a seat at the table.

What do you think about Indiana's decision to pause the implementation of the Common Core Standards? Do you think the standards are being pushed through too fast?
Comment below.


Originally posted by Ruthie at AAE.

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