I wanted to go on record as saying that I believe that the Common Core standards are beneficial to my class and for the ones after mine.
I find comfort in knowing that students in other states are learning the same things that I am. There is a large focus on the ACT, which is needed for entry into college, and I feel that the “Core 4” has prepared me for that, and I am more confident that I have the same opportunities as these other students.
For example: Let’s say a Louisiana student, who is in a school system that doesn’t use the core curriculum and who has not been taught many of the things on the ACT, makes an 18. A student in New York who has participated in the core curriculum, makes a 25. The Louisiana student will look less intelligent than the New York student. Has this been fair? No, because students in both states have been on completely different playing fields. Without the Common Core standards, it would have basically been a case of a featherweight challenging a heavyweight.
The meaning of core is the central or most important part of something. I would much rather spend my time learning things that are important and necessary for my life upon graduation as opposed to wasting my time learning less important things. I feel that critical thinking is one of those things. I need to be competitive and critical thinking affords me that advantage. Regardless of what it seems many parents may think, the core curriculum is better preparing people for college. I feel better prepared. I am better prepared because I am focusing on thinking things through, which is what will, and should, be required of me at a later date. Why not start now?
A statistic from the ACT website states that “compared to graduates who do not take use Common Core, graduates who use the Core Standards earn ACT scores that are 2.1 to 2.8 points higher.” As a student about to embark on her future, whether that be higher education or a career, I like seeing that.
I was also a student at Dutchtown High School, and before I transferred to East Ascension, I heard multiple times that EA was the “dumb” school. This statement is untrue and as a student who has been enrolled in both schools, it’s upsetting to hear.
East Ascension is just as good as Dutchtown, with teachers just as great. With the Common Core standards in place, there will be no more confusion on which school is “smarter” than the other, because we will all be following the same framework for our education.
So what if the workload is heavier? How do you think it will be in college? I guarantee a hell of a lot heavier than what everyone is complaining about now.
The Common Core standards aren’t even a curriculum, yet everyone seems to be convinced otherwise. They are a set of standards, which is one thing we need, seeing as how American students are trailing behind those in other countries.
You would think that parents wanted to send their kids into the real world as prepared as possible, but by everything I’m reading and seeing from them, it obvious that’s not the case. People tell those who support it to do research to try to sway them over to their side. To them I say, I am doing the research. I’m living with it everyday, and I support it. It’s helping turn me into the best thinker I can possibly be, and that can’t be a bad thing. You do more research. Maybe you’ll then see how it’s working.
I may be graduating in May of 2014, but I hope that Common Core is here to stay. We deserve it. I suggest finding some other issue to hate, some that matter more than how much work you think we can handle. In the meantime, talk to your kids and talk to their teachers. I think you’ll find quite a few of us think it’s working.
Reagan Payne is part of the Ascension Parish Schools Cooperative Marketing Education program, where she divides her time between on campus studies at East Ascension High School and on the job training at The Creole.