We are constantly told that Common Core was just a standard and “not a curriculum” That the standards are “the goal but the teachers will decide how to meet it.” Now that the standards are being implemented in Michigan schools, the “evidence” is quite the opposite. The standards ARE changing what a teacher does in the classroom.
A Detroit News article, Students find meaning in the Common Core, explains how the English standards are dictating what is done in the classroom. The teacher no longer teaches and students “discover” the meaning.
“Under Michigan’s new Common Core State Standards, instruction in English language arts has changed dramatically. Under the new standards, the text — not the teacher — takes center stage in instruction.
Students are expected to discover the details and meaning in a text — a short story, poem, essay or other work — on their own.”
“Painter, a teacher at Rochester High School, was leading second-hour Exploring Literature and her students were searching for “textual evidence” — proof they understood what they were reading and what author Kate Chopin was inferring in “The Story of an Hour.”
“You need to find the evidence,” Painter told 30 high school students as they studied a short story about a woman who feels elation at her newfound independence upon hearing her husband is dead. “There is no right or wrong answer. You need to show your understanding.
Looking for textual evidence is not something Painter would have asked her students to do every day in class more than a year ago. Under the state’s prior education standards, teachers spent much of their time explaining to students what they were reading and providing background.