Teachers aren’t prepared to teach Common Core Standards, advocates fear. “I predict the common-core standards will fail, unless we can do massive professional development for teachers,” Hung-Hsi Wu, a professor emeritus of mathematics at Berkeley, tells Ed Week.
In Springdale, Arkansas, kindergartners still read fairy tales, but now they also learn about those stories’ countries of origin.
Their teachers have scrambled to find nonfiction texts that introduce students to the scientific method. They’ve discarded some of their old teaching practices, like focusing on the calendar to build initial numeracy skills.
The Durand, Mich., district is another early adopter. Gretchen Highfield, a 3rd grade teacher, has knit together core aspects of the standards—less rote learning, more vocabulary-building—to create an experience that continually builds pupils’ knowledge. A story on pigs becomes an opportunity, later in the day, to introduce the vocabulary word “corral,” which becomes an opportunity, still later in the day, for students to work on a math problem involving four corrals of five pigs.
Ed Week has more on the challenges of implementing the new standards.
In a USA Today story, American Federation of Teachers’ chief Randi Weingarten worries that teachers won’t get the training they need to teach the new standards well.