By Max Hrenda
Although students and teachers don’t always see eye-to-eye on every issue, when the new school year begins in Carter County, both will take their first steps into a new era of education.
On Aug. 12, the Carter County Schools system will open under the auspices of Tennessee’s adaptation of the Common Core State Standard Initiative.
While it has received its share of criticism from members of government, business, education, and the general public, for CCS reading coach Brooke Shanks, the initiative will perform a basic, yet integral, function.
“It puts the ‘why’ back in education,” Shanks said. “With the old curriculum, we took the ‘why’ out. When kids would ask why, (the answer) would be, ‘Because that’s just the way it is.’ (Common Core) gives the kids a chance to go deeper into the understanding.”
Eric Glover, associate professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at East Tennessee State University, expanded on this idea, saying that the Common Core initiative represents a shift, not in the information that is taught, but in the method by which that information is taught.
“The previous focus on standards was memorization,” Glover said. “Common Core gets away from that and gets to higher-order thinking and skills.”