ND Community Discusses Common Core Education Standards - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

ND Community Discusses Common Core Education Standards

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The debate over national Common Core education standards in North Dakota continues.

Supporters of the program say it provides students with consistency.

But, opponents say it doesn't work for all children.

Corina Cappabianca has the story.

North Dakota schools began implementing Common Core Math and English standards this fall.

Supporters say the new national standards help students moving from state to state adjust more easily.

"The basic expectation of what that student should know, it makes sense to have at least regional if not national standards," says NDDPI Director of Academic Standards Ryan Townsend.

So far 44 other states have adopted Common Core standards.

But-- Indiana got rid of its Common Core standards in March.

And some North Dakota parents say the new standards aren't working for their children.

Matt Schramm with Stop Common Core North Dakota says he would like to see more localized and individualized standards.

"With this program it's shooting right down the middle so if one of them excels at a subject or not they're still teaching towards the middle," says Bismarck parent Matt Schramm.

But state education director, Ryan Townsend says teachers can exceed the standards.

The standards aren't the ceiling. They're the floor so if a teacher wants to go above and beyond a standard that's of course acceptable.

Townsend says that while some local school districts are working on standards based grading-- it is not a requirement of Common Core.

He says overall the new standards are more rigorous to improve education.

"We want them to be ready when they leave high school for whatever that is whether it's the Military or college or a career or one of our economies here in the state we want kids that are ready for that next step and I think these standards help prepare them for that," says Townsend.

Bismarck mother Stacey Castleman says that while she believes there should be standards, the focus on being college and career ready has given her younger children more to learn and less time for hands on activities.

"Because they don't understand that they start to feel stressed and they start to feel like they're not smart and they lose interest in trying to figure things out. Just that expectation really kind of puts them down," says Bismarck mother Stacey Castleman.

A state assessment aligned to the new standards will not be administered until next spring.

Townsend says teachers in North Dakota are not evaluated for the performance of their students.

Corina Cappabianca. KX News.

Townsend says North Dakota did not receive federal funding for adopting Common Core.

Parents are able to opt their children out of the assessment.

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