Parents say Common Core transition has been 'frustrating' - WNCT

Parents say Common Core transition has been 'frustrating'

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Four- and 5-year-old preschool students listen to their teacher, Angie Clark, read at a Des Moines Iowa elementary school.  (AP Photo/Steve Pope) Four- and 5-year-old preschool students listen to their teacher, Angie Clark, read at a Des Moines Iowa elementary school. (AP Photo/Steve Pope)
RALEIGH, N.C. -

It's been one year since all of North Carolina's public schools began teaching the common core curriculum.

Some critics say it was a huge shock to the state's educational system, saying teachers were not prepared for the sudden shift.

Millbrook Elementary School fifth grade teacher Elizabeth Whisenant said the idea behind Common Core is simple. "Building the idea of becoming a thinker and being able to explain your reasoning, and why you know the answer is the answer."

That is the biggest difference between what students were learning before and what they're learning now. Now, students are learning to apply all of the skills developed in the classroom to their lives.

"When Common Core was rolled out, it was exactly what I was looking for as an educator because it forced my kids to be able to tell me the ‘why,'" Whisenant said. "Last year in math, it was a lot of direct instruction -- ‘Here's how you do it, copy,' ‘Here's how you do it, copy,' ‘Good, you get it,' or ‘No you don't.'

"This year you notice we spend a lot of time talking, lot of getting up talking to someone agreeing or disagreeing. That's never happened before in math."

But some parents said the transition to the Common Core curriculum was not so easy.

"Our child would come home pretty frustrated," said parent Don Murashima. "And she was trying."

Don and Cindy Murashima said the change was too abrupt and felt teachers were not properly equipped to teach it.

"I think a lot of the frustration the faculty felt was implementing this new curriculum, the children felt that as well," Murashima said.

The Civitas Institute said the problems with Common Core reaches far beyond the transition problems.

In a statement, Civitas said, "If the goal of Common Core standards is to better prepare our students for college and the work world, the recently released dismal test results for math and reading -- which include common core standards -- say we have a long, long, way to go."  

Students, however, said they didn't really mind the abrupt change.

 "It's definitely a step up, always a step up, working towards bettering yourself," explained Chapel Hill High School junior Fernando Sanchez.

"I actually really like the stuff that we're doing in our language arts class," said student Milena Wuerth.

Sanchez added, "It makes it more entertaining, not just like learning random vocab and stuff."

Eileen Park

Eileen joined WNCN after years of working as a foreign correspondent. During her time off, she enjoys relaxing with her dogs, reading, and exploring the Triangle. More>>

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