There has been significant debate about the Common Core, with many parents and teachers objecting to standardization of curricula and testing requirements. However, a closer look at the project’s original intent offers a better understanding of its benefits.

## Holding Students to the Highest Standards

Some opponents of Common Core believe that the revised curriculum offers students only the most basic education. However, the standards were actually developed to bring the skill level of U.S. students up to international standards.

The U.S. currently ranks in the middle of peer countries when it comes to math and science, and the goal of policymakers is to see that ranking rise. Curriculum designers benchmarked American education practices against other nations, then incorporated best practices into Common Core.

## Using Standardized Testing for Assessment

One objection to Common Core is the idea that teachers must spend classroom time preparing students for standardized testing. Because Common Core education requirements are more difficult, reaching proficiency on standardized tests is also more difficult for students. However, there is a misunderstanding about the origin of testing requirements.

Standardized testing requirements are not a result of Common Core. Instead, they were implemented by the 2002 No Child Left Behind law. This legislation required all students to participate in annual standardized testing from grades 3 to 8, with schools facing a variety of sanctions if students failed to reach proficiency. This law was recently replaced by the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act, which significantly impacts how standardized tests are used.

## Keeping the Classroom Exciting

Parents and teachers have expressed concern that students will no longer be able to enjoy innovative teaching methods created by exceptional teachers. The Common Core Standards have been misinterpreted by some to mean inflexible daily lessons plans that teachers cannot personalize.

In fact, states, school administrators and teachers retain a significant level of autonomy under the Common Core. While the project sets expectations for what students should know, it does not mandate how the information is taught. States, school administrators and teachers retain control of what goes on in classrooms.

As Common Core is implemented nationwide, parents and teachers have expressed concern that students will be unable to keep up with new educational requirements. Fortunately, support services for students have become more affordable and easier to access. Online tutoring is a popular method of providing students with one-on-one instruction at home, with experienced online tutors available to work with students to practice complex concepts.

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