Let's Talk Standards

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Picture of Christina Suarez Christina Suarez is a social studies teacher at Lake Region Union High School in the Orleans Central Supervisory Union. She serves on the State's Professional Learning Network, and is a Professional Learning Community Leader at the district and local level. Christina also reviews and submits resources for the SBAC Digital Library and Student Achievement Partners.

Fortunately, as a younger teacher, I feel I have experienced the instructional shifts for most of my career. David Liben, a member of Student Achievement Partners, consulted at our school, so my students and I have been focused on complex text, vocabulary, and text dependent questions for a number of years now. Not only were these shifts founded in research, but are really a reflection of the constructivist learning method as supported by John Dewey and the University of Vermont's Education Program.

The Common Core ensures that ALL students are experiencing real life non-fictional texts... these sorts of texts are key to anticipatory navigation of the adult world. It encourages students to become more involved in the deeper social, economic, political and scientific issues that these sorts of texts engage. These standards provide students with the opportunity to dig in and argue instead of regurgitate facts. In terms of expectations for my students, they are going to have to read higher level texts. Students need to be able to comprehend and analyze real life texts, not just text books.

When talking to parents about the Common Core, I talk about how it is actually more of what ALL students need to be functional adults, not just to pass a standardized test, or move on to the next grade via a test score, but to experience real life reading, writing, and mathematical tasks. Kids need this sort of experience in order to be able to function in the marketplace, both as a consumer and producer, as well as a participant in a democratic society.

Page Last Updated on July 8, 2014