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Navigating the Common Core – Education Next : Education Next

The debate over the Common Core State Standards Initiative has rocketed to the forefront of education policy discussions around the country. More than 3,000 stories were written about the common core in August of 2013 alone, with another 3,000-plus in September. While gallons of ink have been spilled trying to make sense of it all, there remains much confusion about where this reform is headed. Despite some potential benefits from the common core standards, to be successful the policy must navigate a field of mines, any one of which could blow the enterprise sky-high.

There is certainly value to having a common set of clear, cross-state standards, and its developers have two things absolutely right: First, common standards will clarify the brave new world of online and blended learning and the explosion of innovative and useful technology resources for students. It is of enormous help to developers to have a uniform set of standards to guide the design of their applications. When I started in education, I taught in Montgomery, Alabama, a small city in a state with much less access to customized textbooks and resources than larger and wealthier cities and states. With a common set of standards, the innovations of developers in Silicon Valley can be downloaded as easily in Alabama as in California. At least in theory, the greater, nationwide competition among developers should drive down costs and drive up quality. Lesson-sharing web sites like BetterLesson and Share My Lesson can benefit teachers from across the country, helping them separate grain from chaff.

 

Navigating the Common Core – Education Next : Education Next.

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