From the time that they were put into place, parents, students, and even teachers have had problems with the standards, and with these problems comes strong opinions.Cassandra Myrick, mother of two students in the Helix School District is a critic of Common Core. "There should be no future to Common Core," she said.
The standards have brought about much controversy. One of the main reasons is because of the math curriculum. According to Helix Student Camryn Flerchinger, most of the math that students are taught is never needed. "Honestly, most of the time the math they teach us, I find really isn't needed much in later life," Flerchinger said.
While basic math is used by everyone in later life, many people consider a majority of the math taught (especially at the secondary level) to be useless, unless students enter very specific fields.
Many people consider one of the biggest flaws within Common Core is that the curriculum spends a majority of the time introducing new, more difficult, and abstract concepts instead of taking time to make sure that students fully understand the fundamentals of what they are being taught. Flerchinger feels that the lack of time and explanation is a crucial part of the learning process that is being overlooked. "I believe that we need to go over more than just a few question before heading on to the next topic...we need to push it farther and go slower when explaining it," she said.
One of the most discussed points when talking about Common Core is how it relates to the math of the past? When shown two standardized tests over sophomore and freshman level math, one from 1999 (before Common Core was implemented) and one from 2016 (after common core was implemented), Flerchinger and Myrick seemed to be in agreement; "The older test was easier and had clearer instructions," said Myrick, Flerchinger agreed, saying, "The older test was easy to comprehend and it was more precise."
The test from 1999 was 10 pages long and had 30 questions, while the 2016 test was 40 pages long and had 70 questions. At the root, both tests went over the same basic concepts, but the newer of the two had many added concepts and processes. It is believed by some that these added concepts should not be taught to students until they reach a college level, but others believe that it is good for students to start learning the concepts as soon as possible.
While Common Core is highly controversial, it is believed by people on both sides of the debate that something needs to change. Some say that the concept of Common Core should be kept, but how it is practiced should be changed; others say that it should be done away with completely. Those questions will be need to be addressed by the Oregon Department of Education, whose job it is to prepare all Oregon students to meet their future.