Under Common Core Students “discover” text

| February 20, 2014 | Reply

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.”

In the classroom, that means there are no right or wrong answers. or what student’s “think” as they “discover” the meaning for them.  Ashley Painter, a teacher in Rochester, explained how this works in her high school English class.  From the same Detroit News article,

“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.

There is no “right or wrong” until test time.    In fact, why tests students at all?   Let them just discover the meaning of the question.  This is not an education.
We’re looking for the evidence that allowing students to teach themselves without the benefit of capable teacher providing background information on what they were reading is the best way to teach English.  But we’re not finding any.
Dr. Terrence Moore, Professor at Hillsdale College, believes that the Common Core Standards are becoming “Story Killers.”   This video is an hour long, but with  clear evidence,  Dr. Moore explains why Common Core English standards are bad news for Michigan kids.

To our Michigan teachers we support you.   Some may be okay with the Common Core but many are not.  Please read our Open Letter to Michigan teachers and let’s find ways to work together to Stop Common Core. 
(Note:  This post has been corrected.  Painter is a teacher at in Rochester High School.  Sorry for any confusion.)

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About the Author ()

Karen Braun is a writer and conference speaker on issues related education and family life. Her work has appeared in the American Thinker, Crosswalk, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, WatchDog Wire, and various other websites and magazines. She has also appeared on TV and radio venues. Along with blogging, Karen also enjoys homeschooling, running marathons, and spending time with her husband, their six children, and two grand children. For more information please contact Karen at spunkyhomeschool at gmail dot com