Any reader of Eduflack knows that I am a big supporter of Common Core State Standards. As one who changed schools, districts, and states many times during my K-12 career, I experienced first hand the frustration of our former patchwork of standards and expectations, and paid the price for it.
But my experiences as a parent of two school-aged children has me appreciating how many who don’t understand the finer points of why CCSS is so important can grow so frustrated by “the standards” being the reason (or the blame) for everything we do in our classrooms.
Last month, I wrote about my personal frustration with the eduson’s second grade classroom emphasizing “coinage” in math class. In the name of the Common Core, I heard how every child needs to be able to recognize our monetary coins from both the heads and the tails position.
Now, we seem to have moved beyond the necessary coin recognition program and are focused on maps and direction. The eduson is now bringing home worksheets ensuring he knows his north from his south, his east from his west, and can properly decipher a map legend.
So it begs the question. In this era of GPS and Google Maps, is map reading really at the top of the list of what second graders need to know on their path to college and career readiness?
And if it is, are we preparing our kids for 21st century careers or 18th century ones?
After all, with a keen understanding of coinage and mapmaking, my son is well on his way to a fine career on the open seas. He could go legit, sailing for Her Majesty’s Navy, or he could even go for the big bucks and take the pirate route (following in the footsteps of the eduwife’s ancestors, actually).
Guess we will see next year. I understand that third graders might be focusing an sexton aptitude.