Local educators give their take on Common Core Standards - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Local educators give their take on Common Core Standards


Indiana Schools have been discussing what set of education standards to implement in the classroom. Many schools have started transitioning over to Common Core Standards, while still meeting Indiana Academic Standards.

Indiana schools had expected to move to what's call Common Core in 2014. Some schools have already made their transition, but now the state's full transition is on hold pending a review. It's a halt that has many local schools wondering what the classroom will look like in the future.

Lori Hochstetler is a 6th grade teacher at Middlebury Middle School. She says they're working on the transition towards using Common Core Standards. "There's some topics that are included in certain grades with Indiana that are moved to different grades under Common Core."

She says balancing both standards is difficult and she's hoping Indiana makes a total shift to Common Core. She says Common Core requires deep thinking versus the academic standards which focus on memorization. "I would hope that in my classroom if I give a problem, that each child would be able to solve it in two completely different ways which means they really understand."

Elkhart Community Schools are also trying to make the transition. Supervisor of Curriculum, Bradley Sheppard says there is always anxiety with change. "The Common core standards have introduced a new level of rigor that many teachers and students were not used to."

But he says teachers in his district are up for the challenge.

Over at South Bend Schools, Monroe Primary School principal Jill VanDriessche says they finished their transition last school year. "We're a little bit ahead of the game."

She says she supports Common Core completely. "This is big and it can be done with beautiful results, but it has to be supported."

She says the change wouldn't be so scary if it's supported by teachers and administration, but the results she sees in her school are worth the challenges. "You're seeing more engagement, more student opportunity, more choice."

Just Thursday, the speaker of the Indiana House announced members of a committee to look into Common Core. A bill passed by the legislature this year and signed by the governor requires public hearings and a cost analysis before the state can move forward.

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