10 Dec

Iowa Shows Positive Progress on Common Core

After joining in the developmental process of establishing what the Common Core standards should be, Iowa had no qualms adopting them upon release in 2010. It was a move that has since proven to be an effective tool in helping the students of the state exceed their previous academic scores.

 

Federal Fears

Like virtually all other states, such success hasn’t saved Iowa from the vitriol of hate groups. Certain parents see the Common Core as a Federal takeover, allowing the government to come in and control a system that has traditionally always been controlled by the state. These anti-Core groups are also of the belief that the standards are aligned to the lowest levels of performance, making them extremely detrimental to the students in the state.

However, both of these claims are easily dismissed. Iowa, and many other states across the US, came together back in 2009 to develop these standards as a way of fostering a future set of students that would be able to compete scholastically on a global level both up until 12th grade and beyond. It was never something states have been forced to accept. In fact, there are number of states that never adopted the Core in the first place. Combine this with the fact that every school can teach the standards however they want and you have proof that the government is not trying to dominate state education and a set of standards that align to the highest ideals of achievement.

 

Going Forward

With the Core finally fully implemented for the 2014-15 school year, results are finally starting to come in. According to the 2015 National Report Card, Iowa has remained stationary, neither decreasing or increasing even with the Core being used. This has proven to be promising, though, as usually states undergo what’s known as an implementation dip – a decrease in performance during the early years of transitioning to a new program. In addition, though Iowa scores remained steady, these scores placed the state well above the national average, hinting at a promising future.

That being the case, it still hasn’t decreased frustrations felt by parents. Many have turned to social media outlets to complain about having a hard time helping their children with homework. Educators are quick to snap back that it’s because the Core uses methods not taught when the parents were in school and that if parents really want to help their children, they’ll teach the little ones how to adapt and succeed instead of throwing a tantrum when things become challenging.

All in all, Iowa has proven to be yet another state that has successfully brought in the Common Core with little to no major opposition. Because of this, teachers and students alike are beginning to reap the benefits of providing students with actual academic challenges.