“The US needs a single curriculum so highly mobile students won’t be behind when they move to a new school.”
“Students need to take more advanced material in the lower elementary grades if they are going to be ready later for college and careers.”
Americans have heard these sorts of arguments over and over during the past few years as supporters of the Common Core State Standards pushed to convince us that their new standards offer a great – if not the only – answer for the nation’s obviously under-performing schools. Stick to Common Core, we’ve been confidently told, and everything is going to get better.
Nowhere were such claims more frequently heard than in Kentucky. In fact, the Bluegrass State was the first to adopt the new standards under the title “Kentucky Core Academic Standards.” Kentucky was the first to realign its state testing system to the Common Core, as well.
Since the adoption in 2010, the Kentucky Board of Education has been out in front in support of Common Core, staunchly defending the standards as critical to improving the state’s schools. It was essential for every Kentucky school to comply – no exceptions!
Except now that is changing.
On June 3, 2015 the Kentucky Board of Education excused the Jefferson County Public School District’s Maupin Elementary School from having to follow the required sequence of topic presentation found in the Common Core. All of a sudden, the state with the most Common Core experience in the nation is now saying that maybe that Common Core sequence isn’t the best. Suddenly, Kentucky’s board is willing to look at something else, something that creates less stress in the early elementary school grades.
This is a sea state change for a state board that previously has gone to the hilt to protect Common Core. It will be interesting to see what happens and how children actually fare in this experiment.