Since Common Core launched in the United States in 2009, it has additionally launched a great deal of debate about whether or not it works. Today, 40 states have adopted Common Cure standards, and thousands of teachers are evaluated based on the scores of their students on standardized tests. The point of Common Core in the U.S. was to raise the standards for children who have been falling behind many other developed nations around the world in a variety of topics. While teachers may argue between the merits and the downfalls of Common Core, the argument becomes even more personal for special needs students and their parents.
Most special needs students are required to take standardized tests at the end of the year just as their peers do. While students who have IEPs may be given some help, such as additional time to take the test or someone to read the questions to them, students who struggle but who do not have IEPs receive no additional help. Many teachers feel that standardized tests are hugely unfair as ways to determine how their special education students are doing.
On the other hand, some teachers believe that the standards in Common Core push their special education students just enough to help them succeed in school. They feel that because the standard is kept high throughout school, students are prepared for high standards later in life. These teachers feel that students just need the right type of motivation when learning Common Core curriculum. For example, they may need to learn concepts in a more hands-on approach as compared to their peers.
For some parents, however, this concept baffles them. They feel that teachers and school administrators who insist that their challenged child reach certain federally-mandated standards are destroying their children’s motivation to learn. They believe that their children are much less likely to succeed at standardized testing than their peers are and that they will lose their motivation for success in school by constantly feeling as if they cannot succeed.