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Monday, February 24, 2014

Speaking Up for the Common Core

At its last meeting, the Arkansas State Board of Education heard from two students and a teacher -- all from Benton School District and all very articulate -- speaking in favor of the Common Core.

Jessica Herring, a seventh-grade English teacher shared that her favorite part of the document aligning the district's curriculum to the new standards is entitled, "What the Standards Are Not." There you find: "The standards define what all students are expected to know and be able to do, not how teachers should teach. ... A great deal is left to the discretion of teachers."

Herring values that aspect of the Common Core because, she says, teachers are the ones who best know their students needs.

Seventh graders Ethan Tallent and Blakeley Fiedler talked about the creative, hands-on lessons their teachers use to make learning come alive during Common Core instruction.

Student Fiedler pointed out that the U.S. has fallen from 1st to 17th in worldwide education rankings. "If using Common Core will help us get to where we need to be in order to be competitive with the rest of the world, then we should use it," she said. "Nothing worthwhile is ever easy."

Click on the above names to see the videos of each of the presentations. They are worth watching...and, in the midst of all the anti-Common Core ranting out there -- these remarks are definitely worth sharing!

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