Opinion

Welcome constructive criticism on Common Core

An editorial from The Charleston Gazette

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — If you have a problem with any of West Virginia’s new education standards — those aligned with the Common Core adopted by about 40 states – here is an excellent opportunity to share specific and detailed suggestions.

What is at stake here is nothing less than the potential and future of West Virginia students. It’s not just about making school harder, which the new standards certainly do. It’s about making school more effective. West Virginia is doing this so West Virginia kids coming out of West Virginia high schools can compete with any other kids in the country.

Residents may visit wvacademicspotlight.statestandards.org to read and comment on more than 900 math and English/language arts standards for K-12. The site will collect names and other relevant identifying information. Researchers at WVU will compile recommendations, and will be able to tell whether comments come from West Virginia residents, teachers or parents, for example. The comment period runs through Sept. 30.

A series of regional public meetings to be announced later should also help parents, teachers and anyone else get answers and thread their way through the long, complex list of learning goals.

These standards were out for public comment back in 2011, but critics didn’t really gin themselves up, at least not in West Virginia, until Republicans took over the Legislature this year and tried to repeal them.

Critics have complained, falsely calling the new standards a mandate from the federal government. Some people appear to oppose them simply because President Obama praised them.

The state Department of Education bears at least some of the blame for the backlash…

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