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Evidence Reveals CCSS Materials Used in States That Refused Standards

Evidence Reveals Common Core Materials Used in States that Refused Standards

Education Week took a look at evidence that indicates even states that have not adopted the Common Core standards are using standards-aligned material in their districts and schools.

There is not much more of a controversial topic in education right now than the Common Core. As the country gets ready for the 2016 presidential election, current contenders have made it very clear where they stand on keeping or tossing the Common Core.

But while many candidates are vehemently opposed to keeping the standards, the proliferation of aligned materials throughout the country might make such an overhaul a difficult task.

"According to BetterLesson, an online lesson-sharing site founded by Teach For America alumnus Alex Grodd that provides common-core materials, about 8 percent of its U.S. traffic is from people in states that never adopted the common-core standards," Education Week said.

"In fact, some curriculum providers say as many as 1 in 12 users of their common-core-aligned materials hail from states that either never adopted or have repealed adoption of the standards."

The reasoning behind this includes a variety of reasons. Some teachers find the materials align well with the standards in their states despite not adopting Common Core. Others had hoped their state would adopt the standards and are using aligned material to expose it to their students anyway. And in some cases, the districts are the ones requiring the aligned materials to be used.

Cama Charlet, a 3rd grade teacher in Omaha, Neb., argues that Common Core standards are more of a political debate than a debate in the classroom. She says Common Core materials are typically high quality and encourage deeper thinking in students.

"'Politically, we like to label things common core and non-common core...But we're elevating our instruction, deepening student learning. I think everybody's doing that, whether you're common core or not common core," she said, according to Education Week.

Free online resources like EngageNY, a site developed to provide K-12 teachers with lessons and resources aligned with Common Core standards, are making it easier for states that have never adopted or repealed the standards to use the materials nonetheless. "The website's K-12 resources, developed and housed by New York state, have been downloaded 20 million times—and about half of the downloads came from New York. Even so, 83,000 downloads, or 0.4 percent, originated in Texas," Education Week said.

What does this mean for the future of Common Core and its potential effectiveness going forward? Certainly, as Common Core becomes a focal point of education and political conversation in the upcoming election, it's important to determine what works before tossing the standards to the wayside and starting over.

Read the full article here and comment with your thoughts below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

07/14/2015

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