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"Decoding the Common Core" with Peggy McNamara

Posted by Gretchen Adams on August 29, 2014

Peggy McNamaraIn the August/September 2014 issue of Kiwi magazine, Peggy McNamara, Chair of General Teacher Education, lent her voice to the article “Decoding the Common Core,” by Marisa LaScala. This article addressed a broad range of questions from parents about the implementation of the Common Core Standards that began in 2009, including where the standards came from, changes to expect, how standardized testing plays a role and some practical advice for parents on getting involved.

Confusion around the standards is often focused on its implementation. In response to growing concerns about high achieving schools being negatively impacted as the standards might “dumb down” their current curriculum, Peggy acknowledged quite the opposite is true.

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Peggy continued to discuss the expectations placed on children at younger and younger ages explaining this “pushing down” applies to lesson plans and standardized testing as the introduction of testing is beginning as early as kindergarten.

The article concluded with some recommendations for parents. First and foremost, ask questions. As Peggy explained, “My advice is that parents talk with the teachers.” Asking questions about the changes in curriculum, learning the child’s strengths and weaknesses and discovering ways to provide support at home are starting points for concerned parents.

Peggy McNamara is a course instructor and chair of General Teacher Education.

Bank Street offers general teacher programs in early childhood and childhood education, including a program that leads to dual certification across these ages. All of these general education programs are based in an understanding of child development, of curriculum across the subject areas, and of close observation of children.

tagged: common core, peggy mcnamara