Students speak out on the Common Core

Sep 5, 2015 by

Students discuss teaching and testing as the new standards are implemented.

The success of the Common Core standards depends on how effectively they engage students. Yet the issue of how students are responding to the standards has generally received far less attention – from researchers, policy analysts and the media – than other issues such as teacher preparation, the new Smarter Balanced assessments and the adequacy of curriculum material.

EdSource Today interviewed seven students who will be seniors in the 2015-16 school year to get their impressions of the standards. We focused in particular on their views of the Smarter Balanced assessments that they had just finished taking at the time.

The students came from six school districts and a leading charter school system that EdSource Today is tracking as a regular feature of our Common Core coverage. We chose them with help from officials at the largest school in each of the districts – Elk Grove, San Jose, Fresno, Visalia, Garden Grove and Santa Ana unified school districts – and from the Aspire Public Schools system, which comprises 35 schools in California.

These students’ perspectives are not intended to be representative in any way of California’s over 6 million public school students, but rather as a window into this still relatively unexplored dimension of Common Core implementation.

Only two of the students said they noticed much of a difference in their classrooms. The other five felt that very little, if anything, had changed beyond the online Smarter Balanced tests that they took for the first time this spring. Students all had mostly minor complaints about the tests, pertaining to small technical problems or in two cases their wish that they could have spent the time studying for their final exams.

Source: Students speak out on the Common Core | EdSource

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