During the past two days I have hearing about the new "Common Core Standards" and how it will allow students to reach the high standards that will make them productive citizens of our country. However, it is one thing to" reach for the stars" and another to have the means to do so. In many of our urban areas students struggle academically every day as poverty, family, and community problems interfere with student learning. In fact numerous studies have shown that family and poverty are major factors in impeding student academic achievement. Now the nation is implementing CCS in the curriculum on an unprepared student population that suffers from poverty and single or no parent households.
Simply stated CCS allow a student to go deeply into a particular topic and substitutes memorization with understanding and in theory, would improve student learning. However, for CCS to work, it will take a village. That means parent involvement, social and academic interventions, otherwise, known as wraparound services,as well as school support.Without the entire village, many students will be unable to have the tools necessary to achieve academic success. Education reformers can lay the blame on the schools with their "no excuses" argument but the reality is that without parental support and addressing the child poverty issue, the schools can only make a small impact on the child's life.
The Achilles heel for successfully implementing CCS is the lack of parental involvement and without parental participation, the necessary tool for their child to reach for those higher standards is lacking. Too many children have no academic stimulation at home. Their homes have no books, or even a quiet place to read and do homework. Instead they are texting, playing video games, hanging out in the street, or watching cartoons, Is it any wonder that under the existing and easier curriculum these children struggle academically? How do you expect them to succeed when CCS makes the curriculum more difficult without addressing the existing problems?
While CCS has a lot of promise, it can be a death sentence for students in poverty and have no parental support.