What Should Teachers Tell Parents About the Common Core?

What Should Teachers Tell Parents About the Common Core?

A recent PDK/Gallup poll found that most Americans, including more than half of public school parents, are unaware of the Common Core State Standards, which are now being implemented in the vast majority of school districts. The survey found that even respondents who knew about the standards were often confused or misinformed about them.

A PDK executive suggested that some educators’ reservations about the common standards (and how assessment results might be used) may keep them from reaching out to parents. At the same time, in some districts, teachers' efforts to give parents information about the common standards have been met with hostility owing to political factors.

In your view, what role should teachers play in informing parents about the common standards? How can they effectively help parents and other stakeholders understand why and how instruction is changing? Have competing viewpoints about the standards affected your approach to talking to parents about them?

Creating Greater Classroom Transparency Around the Common Core


Rod Powell
Mystical, dark, malevolent, ominous, pornographic. Glancing at my Twitter streams (#commoncore, #nced, #ncpol), I've seen each of these words applied to the new Common Core State Standards. But I've been teaching for 26 years, and guess what? I've embraced these standards in my classroom practice. What's the big deal? A simple question for me, I guess. I understand and work in the classroom of today. The value of these standards is crystal clear to me: They are simply things that a thinking student should be able to do. Those lacking a ground-level view of the classroom seem to be...

Helping Parents Learn About Common Standards


Jane Fung
I teach 1st grade in urban Los Angeles. My students are English-language learners. Despite language barriers and varying degrees of education, my students' parents want their children to be successful and actively seek ways to support learning at home. As a classroom teacher, I feel like I have the responsibility to inform and provide resources to help parents do that. Here are some of my favorite strategies for helping parents learn about the Common Core State Standards: Talk about the new standards face-to-face. I don't rely on a letter or memo sent home to communicate about the new...

Parent-Teacher Collaboration Key for Common Core


Alison Wright
Fortunately, it has been my experience as a classroom teacher that parents in my community trust that teachers—as well as district and state administrators—are making the best decisions possible when it comes to student learning. Personally, I have not once been questioned about the math standards or curriculum that I am teaching. That being said, since Kentucky adopted the Common Core standards three years ago, I know that there have been more questions than ever regarding the new standards and what changes are in store in terms of assessments and curriculum. When I asked a parent...

Great Expectations: What I'll Tell Parents About the Common Core


Ilana Garon
I first learned about Common Core State Standards at a professional-development seminar in the summer of 2010. At the time, the standards seemed relatively innocuous—yet another of the top-down mandates, I figured, that would be embraced momentarily as the "silver bullet" for myriad education problems before being thrown aside for the next big thing. I enjoyed the seminar, not because I thought the common core itself was so life-changing, but because I loved having the opportunity to collaborate meaningfully with my colleagues at other schools and share best practices. Some three years later, the common standards factor...

Common-Core Messaging 101: Come See My Classroom


Jessica Cuthbertson
I used to believe that my workspace was a classroom. I used to believe that my job was to teach English/language arts. And I used to believe that my primary responsibility was to teach—period. While on the surface all of these statements are technically true, I no longer hold these beliefs. Instead, I believe I work in a learning laboratory, not a classroom. I believe I teach human beings, not English/language arts. I believe my primary responsibility isn't to teach; it is to learn and facilitate the learning of others. For some, this may seem...

The opinions expressed in Teaching Ahead: A Roundtable are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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