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How a 9-year-old experiences Common Core

Posted By Lindsay Wagner On June 17, 2014 @ 11:48 am In Uncategorized | Comments Disabled

The New York Times had a great story this weekend [1] that took took readers into the life of a 9-year-old student who is experiencing the bumpy transition from old, weaker academic standards to the new, more rigorous Common Core State Standards.

Chrispin Alcindor is a child of Haitian immigrants attending a public school in Brooklyn who is reeling from seeing his once stellar marks in math take a nosedive thanks to a more rigorous curriculum developed in response to the Common Core.

In math, Ms. Matthew’s [Chrispin’s classroom teacher] mantra was simple: “Prove it.” It was no longer sufficient for students to memorize multiplication tables. They had to demonstrate exactly what three times five meant by shading in squares on a grid. If the topic was fractions, they would slide around neon-colored tiles on their desks until they could prove that three-quarters was the same as six-eighths. Math instruction had long been derided as inaccessible; the Common Core aimed to change that by asking students to explain their calculations and solve modern-day problems.

Taken together, the demands of the Common Core were daunting. But Ms. Matthew was persistent. In March, with a few weeks to go before the first exams, she knew exactly which students were struggling and which lacked help from their parents. She knew who needed one-on-one coaching and who was most at risk of failing and in danger of being sent to summer school. She kept a close eye on Chrispin.

Chrispin experiences test anxiety and struggles with the increased academic demands that are placed on his shoulders. Does he make progress? Is he on a path toward success? Click here to read his story [1], and hopefully the Times will follow Chrispin’s academic journey over the long haul.


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URL to article: http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2014/06/17/how-a-9-year-old-experiences-common-core/

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[1] New York Times had a great story this weekend: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/15/education/common-core-in-9-year-old-eyes.html?_r=0

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