Embrace the Changes!

It seems like all we hear about from teachers recently is the changes coming to the curriculum. They are constantly telling us how many more topics there are to cover and that it’s being tackled from a different perspective than it currently is. I, unlike other students, say bring it on! I am definitely aware of problems in the current way that we are being educated.

It seems to me that when we learn a new topic, students simply memorize all the facts just to pass a test. What really matters is recalling that information later in life when it really applies. The Common Core standards aim to get students to understand and thoroughly know how to use the new topics. I think this is a great idea! The people who created these new standards obviously saw this problem and decided to do something about it. I realized this was happening a long time ago, and I am glad something is being done about it.

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Another topic that these new standards focus on is continually building on topics. The way things work now, we learn a new topic, students memorize the facts just to pass the test, and then they immediately forget it and begin to memorize the next topics. Then the next year, we will review that topic and only add on a little more. According to these new standards, students will be expected to remember what they were previously taught so that new lessons can be applied. I think this is also an amazing idea! I hate that we waste time in class reviewing things from previous years. For example, in sixth grade we learned about plant and animals cells and all of the organelles.

We learned about them again this year in sophomore biology. We did go a little more in depth than we did in sixth grade, but we still had to review it! Another good point of the standards is that teachers apply the lessons to the real world. Instead of just doing made up problems out of a text book that have no real world value, these standards emphasize using new topics in the real world. They encourage students to think critically and use the new topics in a real life scenario. This is yet again another great idea! Why waste time doing made up problems when we could be applying the lesson to where it really matters? The biggest reason for these new standards is to bridge the gap between high school and college. Previously, states had their own standards and curriculum for their students, some more rigorous than others.

That is all right except for the schools whose curriculum isn’t tough enough. When the students of those schools graduate, they may have been an all-A student but that was because their standards weren’t high enough. College grades will probably be dramatically worse than their high school grades. After the adoption of the Common Core standards, everyone will have relatively the same standards. (I say relatively because the final decision of what is taught is ultimately up to the state and school.) With the new standards, everyone will be on the same page.

I know what you’re thinking: these new standards sound really hard and challenging. Well, you’re exactly right! These new standards will be challenging, and they may be difficult at times. But in the end, it is only going to benefit us. What’s wrong with getting a better education? We as students are going to have to step it up for sure, but it is all for the better. Your opinion may differ, but I say let’s embrace the changes and work to better ourselves for the future!