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Tresta Payne | moms@nrtoday.com

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March 25, 2014
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Common Core State Standards, do your own research | Moms

I was going to write a post that explained the Common Core State Standards to you in plain, simple language.

I’ve been doing some research on the standards and how they will affect our children, regardless of school setting.

I have scoured the internet and read convincing articles that portray all the evils of Common Core, articles that attempt to debunk those supposed myths, and articles full of mumbo-jumbo and legal jargon that left me – well, they just left me.

What I’ve found is that I am completely lost.

I’m completely swayed one way or the other, depending on whom I read and how they skew their points.

This is why I don’t like research. I want to talk to real people, look them in the eye, and get straightforward answers.

I don’t want to read things that require a law degree.

I don’t want to feel that everything I read has a hidden agenda or an ax to grind.

I’m tired of feeling cynical and pessimistic and slightly paranoid.

Just the facts, please.

The fact is, I want to raise children who think for themselves, and I need to do the same.

It’s a bit lazy of me to want someone else to do the research and then just tell me what’s up, but I admit that I’m there.

I’m not going to stop researching the standards because I’m frustrated or confused, though I’d like to.

I will continue because I know it’s important, and because my maxim to my children is always, “Do the hard things – that’s when you build character!” so I have to model that for them. (Have you seen this Calvin and Hobbes cartoon? It’s frame-able.)

My daughter and I were having a discussion a month or so ago about literature.

We were slightly disgruntled with some literary analysis assignment she was working on (it might be important to note that I assigned it, but that didn’t make me like it any more).

This led into a discussion about the classics and The Great Conversation that has been taking place in western literature for millennia.

The analysis assignment was somewhat like my research of Common Core – drudgery.

We just want to read good books and enjoy them, not analyze the snot out of every genre and mode and literary device the author may have used.

I was trying to be the teacher and find the reasons for analyzing literature, and what we finally agreed on is that The Great Conversation is the study of human nature and mankind's relationship with one another and with God.

The authors will write from their own worldview.

They will try to sway you.

They will write hidden meanings and deeper stories, and your job is to mine them - which requires a bit of analysis.

We learn from the past – that’s The Great Conversation – but it takes thought and time.

In the words of my daughter, not putting forth the effort in reading and understanding is being a “dead end.”

Don’t be a dead end.

In regards to the Common Core, we can learn from educational reforms of the past and we can see what is unfolding around us, but we must take the time and effort to analyze it, to ask questions and be informed.

I was going to write a post that explained the Common Core State Standards and their effect on you, but instead, I’m just going to give you some links for your own research.

Misery loves company.

Oregon Department of Education website

Common Core Standards for English Language Arts

Common Core Standards for Math

Why Does the Common Core Strike Such a Sour Note?

I’m tired of feeling cynical and pessimistic and slightly paranoid.

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The News-Review Updated May 21, 2014 03:40PM Published Apr 5, 2014 10:12AM Copyright 2014 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.