Myth vs Fact 5

Myth

Common Core Is “Drill ‘Em and Kill ‘Em”

A veteran Ohio teacher created shockwaves with her announcement that she would resign from teaching because of a “drill ‘em and kill ‘em” approach from the Common Core and that the aligned assessments “are developmentally inappropriate for typical students and torture for those with special needs.” The (Elyria, Ohio) Chronicle-Telegram, Feb. 10, 2015.

Fact

The Common Core augments traditional learning techniques, like rote memorization, with multiple problem-solving methods to help develop strong critical-thinking and analysis skills, even among young students. While students will still learn multiplication tables, for example, Common Core puts a greater emphasis on the “how” and the “why.” In fact, another veteran teacher, Joanna Burt-Kinderman, published an op-ed in the The (West Virginia) Charleston Gazette in defense of Common Core math.

As for the aligned assessments not being “developmentally appropriate,” nothing could be further from the truth. The tests were designed with students in mind, and because of that, the tests that third graders will take are structured differently from the tests fifth graders or eighth graders or high school students will take. As with any academic program, the Common Core makes accommodations for special needs students.