Easing Parent Concerns Over Common Core

Last night I attended my youngest son’s first-grade open house. It was held in the school’s media center (what we used to call a library), not in the classrooms, and served as more of an explanation about the differences between kindergarten and first grade than a meet-and-greet. The open house introduced me to a first-grade teaching team wrestling with implementation of the Common Core State Standards.

First-grade teachers are implementing only the math standards this school year, a district-wide plan, from what I understand. Already, just two weeks into the year, they’ve encountered a few dramatic differences, including what math concepts are being taught when, and how best to teach these concepts after doing things differently for so long.

“Please let us know when your child is struggling with their homework, especially math,” we parents were told. “We need to know. And we expect it,” they added.

I could feel the unease around me. As a parent, former educator, and editor at The Mailbox, there was a lot I wanted to stand up and add to the discussion, both to calm parents’ uncertainty and help the teacher team with their job.

Have you encountered pushback or concern from parents over the new common core standards? Share your ideas for explaining it to parents.

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