Many issues were connected to the Common Core rollout, including the lack of input from educators of what the curriculum is, the demand to teach curriculum modules that have not even been written yet, the fact that their current year’s module of instruction was received less than 24 hours before the school year started and the incompleteness of the modules which also had some glaring errors.
“We received Common Core Curriculum a mere few days before school started,” said Marilyn Chase, who has been a kindergarten teacher in the Phoenix School District for more than 20 years. “There [were] over 500 pages of documents and instruction of lessons to review before school started, in a far-from-adequate time frame to be prepared to give our students the best instruction and learning experience possible.
“There are 180 lessons and there are 180 days of school,” Chase said. “This leaves no time for testing of materials, to review of concepts or to properly ensure students understand lessons before using it as the building block or basis for the next concept. The modules’ worksheets for the students are filled with many mistakes. Often the grammar is incorrect, instructions have too many parts or steps for young learners, [there are] missing answers for the correct response to questions [or] directions are unclear due to content errors showing a clear lack of editing. For example, a worksheet with several trees with several different amounts of apples in each of the trees asks the students to, ‘Count the apples in each tree. Circle the number.’ This would be a great counting exercise for my kindergartners to start to identify their written numbers, except there are no numbers on the work sheet for them to circle, it is just trees with apples in them. Sometimes errors happen, I can understand that. If it was one out of several work sheets it would not be that troubling. Sadly, this type of problem is the norm instead of the exception.”