Special Report: Common Core - WNCN: News, Weather

Special Report: Common Core

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COLUMBUS, Ga. - Common Core. Those two words are some of the most controversial in education across several states where the curriculum is being implemented. In both Georgia and Alabama, they're called College and Career Readiness Standards. News 3's Education Reporter Naomi Keitt took an in-depth look at the Common Core.

"It's been pretty hard to tell how well kids have been competing in school and how well they're going to do when they get out of school," according to a Common Core video posted on www.corestandards.org.

It's this dilemma, showcased in this video on the Common Core website, that has 43 states, Washington D.C. and 4 territories moving forward with the curriculum. The standards have been controversial. Several states are trying to change or eliminate them all together. Across the Chattahoochee Valley Region, the curriculum is ramping up, but not everyone is happy about it.

Better Peters serves on the Alabama State School Board representing several counties in our area. She says parents often come ot her worried about how math is taught, primarily in elementary school. She's even shown some of the problems to her husband who is a civil engineer.

"He couldn't do the problem. It's a second grade problem. He couldn't do the problem their way," said Peters.

It includes teaching Alabama students how number correspond to quantities and how to put numbers together and take them apart. Peters says the curriculum skips over the basics and is discouraging young students in the classroom.

"We want to open doors and we want to get children off to a good start," said Peters.

Students in the 33 Muscogee County elementary schools will see some new math curriculum based on the standards this upcoming school year. Superintendent David Lewis says the new curriculum will begin to prepare students to compete nationally and globally.

"This will spiral up in the big concepts. So you'll see those big concepts taught at various grade levels all the way through with more complexity moving forward," said Superintendent Lewis.

The Muscogee County school board approved the EnVisionMath curriculum earlier this year. Elementary students will start learning the common core way in just a couple of weeks. One major concern Peters had was how teachers were taught to present the material. In Muscogee County, educators have already started training with the new curriculum and they will continue preparing into the fall. Lewis says they'll also work hard to get parents on board.

"It's going to be incumbent upon us to help parents understand that again with the end goal being globally competitive for our students, ti will look different," said Superintendent Lewis.

In Muscogee County, teachers will work with small groups of students during class time based on their needs. Superintendent Lewis says the EnVision Math curriculum aligns with Georgia standards and has a lot of materials and technology that will help students conceptualize learning.

For more information on Georgia and Alabama standards you can visit https://www.georgiastandards.org/common-core/Pages/default.aspx and https://web.alsde.edu/Home/General/alccs.aspx.

Naomi Keitt

Naomi Keitt focuses on education reporting for WRBL News 3. More>>

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