Common Core: A Powerful Tool for Teachers

Damon Z. Ray, an English and history teacher in Nashville, Tennessee, for 7 years, writes about how Common Core has transformed his own classroom practices and teaching style.
I reconsidered how I approached teaching English and history to my students so that I was engaging my students in an actual pursuit of knowledge. Before, I was teaching students rote responses to simplistic questions; after this personal and professional reconsideration, I found that I needed to teach my students how to actually think through academic queries that were freed from pat answers.
Ray exclaims that “rumors of the demise of the Common Core State Standards are greatly exaggerated,” and instead challenges his colleagues to see the power and impact of Common Core and embrace the new expectations for Tennessee's students.
Meritocracy has thrust itself onto public education, but the Common Core standards are helping all of us reclaim excellence in learning. Tennessee teachers have been handed a powerful tool, and we have diligently spent time learning how to teach to these new standards. Some districts have implemented it better than others; some teachers are more open to these changes than others. We should expect there will be bumps in the road, but we owe it to our students to keep working with these standards and moving forward, because the world is no closer to being composed of multiple-choice answers and we will eventually need our students to fill in the blank.
Hanna Grace Frank
Hanna Frank was Education Post’s Social Media Manager and before that she worked with Organizing For Action, a non-profit organization that advocates for President Barack Obama’s political agenda. She wrote and edited content for the organization’s various social media platforms, including the official Barack Obama Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as BarackObama.com. Hanna attended Illinois ...

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