Common Core Raises The Bar

By Asif Ali ‘16 and Jeremy Shivwkumar ‘16
To help students do better in college, career, and life, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA) issued the Common Core Standards, which tend to put a lot of pressure on parents, teachers, and most importantly students in New York City.

The standards of the Common Core combine a broad amount of evidence that is based on research, surveys, assessment data, and comparison to other state standards. Teachers, students, and even parents voice their opinions about whether the Common Core is beneficial to a student’s academic behavior.

“Yes, I agree with the Common Core because you learn to do something by doing it,” said Ms. Suzanne Thomas, Assistant Principal of English Department, “sometimes you have to give up control just a bit and let your students work together in student centered activities.”

The standards analyze a student’s capability to learn and apply difficult procedures and concepts into the real world.

“Students are now being asked, not only what the effects are, but why are you doing what you are doing and how the concept can relate to the real world,” said Ms. Patricia Lazo, Assistant Principal of the Mathematics Department, “These are some of the things that are trickling down from the Common Core.”

The Common Core has impacted students in the 9th and 10th grade.

Ms. Lazo said, “The reason for that is because in order for the Integrated Algebra Regents to count, you have to take two regents exams. Unfortunately, now the same kids this year has to sit through two Geometry regents and the same kids next year are going to sit through two Trigonometry regents. This ongoing cycle is what we call the transitioning period.”

The Common Core has made it difficult for students taking different Mathematics. In fact, the same applies for the kids taking English regents.

Ms. Thomas stated, “The new format of the English regents is kind of like an AP Exam or a Global Studies regents. It contains more of writing than the previous with many DBQ’s and a couple of essays. It does not contain a listening passage anymore. Students coming into 9th and 10th grade will take this new format.”

Even though her job as an assistant principal of the department is a stepping-stone for the guidance to her fellow colleagues, Ms. Lazo has mixed feelings about the standards.

“I think the idea behind the Common Core is fantastic. Having students being able to reason and logically explain thought process is a wonderful skill,” Ms. Lazo explains.

These standards have impacted students in the 11th grade as well.

“The whole Common Core concept has just added more to the stress I already had from school,” said Ibraar Aziz ‘16, “it requires us to give in writing assignments and take tests for subjects such as gym, that students initially used to look forward to for a break in a school day. My whole education seems to be revolving around tests now and I don’t like the fact that one test decides whether I’m ‘below grade level’ or not. I feel as if I am receiving extra and unnecessary work rather than an actual education.”

According to Robert Kosinski ‘16, the common core is, “a joke which is adding stress to students who are now involved in it. It doesn’t really test the students intelligence because some of the common cores material might not be taught to some students which isn’t fair since they are the ones who have to learn it and mandate it.”

But, Ms Thomas agrees with the common core and believes the common core helps students to analyze any text and find the central ideas. Ms. Thomas also believes the common core is beneficial to anyone in any career they choose to pursue.

The basis of the creation of the Common Core is to set standards which are set by some of the top performing countries in the world. With parents, teachers, and students on the same page working together toward a shared goal, it can be assured that students will make progress each year and graduate from high school prepared to succeed in college, career and life.

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