The results are in from the first set of statewide tests in California, and the scores are underwhelming to say the least. If you have a child in public school in California, you are well aware that Common Core has been a controversial topic since its inception. The new teaching methods have garnered support from some parents, while other parents have been outspoken about their disapproval.
What is Common Core?
Common Core was designed to ensure that our children all receive the same education – and are held to the same standards. The curriculum is designed to better prepare children for real world scenarios and needs with a focus on four skills; Critical Thinking, Communicating, Collaboration and Creativity.
In an article from the San Francisco Chronicle author Jill Tucker describes the motivation for the new standards:
“This idea behind the Common Core standards is to help students gain a more in-depth understanding of content rather than simply memorizing facts. That means the tests demand a more analytical approach, substituting written answers and critical thinking for the multiple-choice method that California abandoned after 2013.”
Only a third of all students who took the new tests ranked as proficient at their grade level in Math. Certainly it’s no secret that Math is the most common subject for students to struggle with, but a 33% proficiency rate is cause for concern. Common Core Math is designed to help students have better critical thinking skills when it comes to math problems, however, the new standards have been met with resistance and confusion by parents and students in California.
If you have a child who is struggling to grasp the new standards, a Common Core Math Tutor can help. A tutor will be able to identify the areas that need improvement and work with your child to “fill in the gaps”. At REACH Pro Tutoring, all of our Math Tutors are credentialed teachers who are very familiar with Common Core standards. While other Tutoring Services may employ college students who are proficient in mathematics, our tutors have hands on experience in the classroom.
The test results also showed that less than half of students had a proficient score in English. Language Arts is a subject where we see students learning at different paces. An English Tutor will be able to give your student the personalized attention they need, and will help to ensure that your student is simultaneously keeping up with their classmates and common core standards.
Additionally, it has been speculated that test results may have been affected by a technological deficiency. This was the first time that students exclusively used computers to take the tests – as opposed to the time honored tradition of filling in bubbles on a form with a pencil. Children who don’t regularly have computer access at home, may have been at a disadvantage.
If you are having trouble helping your child with their homework; it’s important to know that you are not alone. We see a lot of frustrated parents who are still trying to adjust to the new Common Core Standards. There are lots of resources that are available to you.
In addition to our English Tutors and Math Tutors, REACH Pro Tutoring also provides a free resource for parents who need help assisting their kids with Common Core Homework. CommonCoreCA is a public group on Facebook that was created to assist parents and students with homework in Math and Language Arts under the new Common Core Standards. Users can post questions and receive an answer from a California Credentialed Teacher who is currently working in a classroom. We will respond to your homework question between 3PM and 9PM weekdays – prime homework hours.