Pasco 1st graders demonstrate how new “Common Core” educational standards are taught“Common Core’ stresses critical thinking
By Brendan McLaughlin
6:29 PM, May 1, 2014
TAMPA – Dayspring Academy Charter School in New Port Richey opened a first grade classroom to the media to see the new so-called “Common Core” standards in action.
The first graders and their teacher showed us the difference between the old teaching method and the new way of preparing students for the now mandatory national standards, known in our state as the Florida Core Standards.
“I wasn’t comfortable at first because I wasn’t aware of what this was all about,” said teacher Dawn Beck.
She’s now a believer and demonstrated how the old system would teach geometric shapes, for example, through rote memorization. The Florida Core requires students to understand characteristics of all shapes, well enough to make their own. Collaboration and positive feedback is part of the process.
The kids seemed to be having fun, but there’s is a backlash by those suspicious of national standards that might diminish local control.
Tea Party members routinely refer to the Common Core as a federal takeover of education.
The Foundation for Florida’s Future chaired by former Governor Jeb Bush refutes that charge. He says the standards were designed by teachers and administrators and are designed to make Florida students competitive with kids of others states and countries.
Lauren Chianese of the Foundation claims local schools will still be able to design their own way of teaching to the standards.
“We need to know how to read and pull evidence from text, multiply and divide fractions so the end goal is the same. But, how you get there is going to look very different depending on where you are, what teacher and what school,” said Chianese.