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March 18, 2014

Common Core Jolts Prospective Teachers

by James Goodman, Staff writer - March 16, 2014

 

Rochester, NY -  Jolene Walter learned about the shortcomings of Common Core the hard way. Walter, a graduate student at the University of Rochester Warner School of Education, had to try to implement these educational standards last fall as a third-grade student teacher at School 33 in the City School District.

But the detailed lesson plans that Walter used left many of the third graders — and herself — frustrated."It was so much material jam-packed into each lesson. You'd have to rush through everything to get through," said Walter, 23.

Just as K-12 students are struggling with the Common Core, so are some of the local college students being trained as teachers.

Many, like Walter, come to the profession full of idealism — wanting to make a difference in the lives of the students they teach. But they feel that they have to spend too much time getting students ready for the tests that measure the success of the Common Core and teacher performance.

Although a Rochester school official who helps oversee the Common Core said that teachers have flexibility in their lesson plans, the new standards are a source of frustration echoed by other student teachers.

Local colleges are integrating Common Core concepts into their programs for training college students to become teachers — a task that takes on added importance since the City School District estimates that 75 percent of its 3,208 teachers at the end of last year were trained at Rochester area colleges.

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