Letter: Common Core is worth every effort

If the changes that won unanimous Board of If the changes that won unanimous Board of Regents approval Monday, Oct. 20, 2014, win final approval from the Regents in January as scheduled, they would first take effect with teenagers who entered ninth grade in 2011 and are due to graduate in June 2015. Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

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I watch with some bewilderment as a great debate rages on about the Common Core [" 'Opt-out' gets in," News, May 27]. As teachers, we are three years into implementing it in our classrooms. We suddenly find ourselves in a conversation that often does not take into account what the Common Core standards look like in our schools.

Allow me to share the view from inside.

As a librarian and professional development coordinator in East Moriches, I have been lucky enough to witness a smart implementation of the Common Core. My colleagues feel more guided and supported than ever before. Gone are the days of racing to finish the textbook before June. Now, we can finally dig in and pursue a deeper understanding of the most critical skills students will need for success.

Common Core's focus on building critical problem-solving skills has empowered me to put lessons in the hands of my students. With my support, they become more invested in the topics, open up to discussion, and have come to rely on teamwork as a source of learning. Research projects and assignments have been transformed from a collection of facts to a synthesis of information.

I hope that every teacher can come to appreciate the value and opportunity of the Common Core. This is hard work, and we cannot underestimate the value of support, development and resources for educators throughout the implementation of these strong academic standards.

Common Core is worth every effort.

Emily Peterson, Center Moriches

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