For the last few years, teachers from states that have adopted the Common Core standards, have had to adjust their teaching, get a deeper understanding of what and how to teach the standard, and do a complete overhaul of our pedagogical knowledge; there was an obvious shift that came with Common Core that was felt by teachers, students, and parents alike. A much needed one at that!
When I started teaching over a decade ago, ELA standards were grammar soiled and fiction filled. Looking back at Georgia's CRCT, the state did a disservice to our students. No wonder Georgia was at the bottom of other states when it came to education. No wonder colleges fussed about so many students not being up to par for their college classes. I, for one, fell victimized by Georgia's educational system. I graduated high school in Atlanta in 2000. I, and my high school teachers considered myself a novice writer until I entered my English course during my freshman year of college. My teacher killed my submitted writings! My papers were blood soaked with corrections and comments. I begged my professor's pardon! I knew how to write. But, after attending many tutorial sessions with her and hiring a private tutor, ironically, I realized that my writing needed work! In my defense, I wasn’t terrible compared soothers, but I wasn’t that good either. Some of the skills and concept that I was presented with in college was so new to me. Georgia’s standards dropped the ball. Some of my classmates from other states seemed more advanced while others seemed to be in the same boat as me…or worse; however, I can say that I never had to enroll in any developmental, or remedial courses. But, I always felt like my learning as a high schooler was not maximized.
With Common Core, students in return gain deeper knowledge, interact with content rich complex text regularly, and reading and writing is a shared goal in more than just the English/Language Arts class! Students don't just learn the skills, they analyze and synthesize concepts and are taught to apply their understanding in a variety of ways.
The students I teach are definitely on the right track. I am teaching students curriculum that I didn't learn about until high school and beyond. Citing textual evidence, MLA, reading complex text--there is so much more rigor than before.
So do I think my students are on the track to being college and career ready? Absolutely. If we continue to understand the curriculum and discover engaging ways to teach them, they will be more prepared than I ever was.
I hope these few words find you well!