When I first asked an educator friend to explain the Common Core standards to me, she said, “It boils down to agreements on what kids should learn and when.” Sounded simple to me.
The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-based set of educational standards covering what children should learn in math and English language arts at specific points in K-12 education and tests that match the standards. The Common Core initiative tells parents that this effort focuses on critical thinking and problem-solving skills necessary for entering college or the workforce and sets the U.S. in line with other top-performing countries.
Yet support for the Common Core is slipping, and states like my own now have heated debates about whether to repeal standards after already spending millions on implementation. As it becomes increasingly politicized, the apparent simplicity of the Common Core is giving way to a more complex web of implementation, partisan wrangling and, of course, money.
In this midst of all this lies a central question of interest to those committed to scholastic journalism: What will the Common Core mean for media education in high schools? We’ll tackle the controversy, the questions and, most importantly, the potential solutions in this EducationShift special series.
Have a suggestion for this series? Let us know.
Love or Hate the Common Core, Journalism Education is a Clear Fit, by Erica Salkin
Journalism May Be Common Core’s New English, by Candace Perkins Bowen
Journalism Education and the 4 Cs of Skills-Based Standards, by Sarah Nichols
A Student’s Perspective on High School Journalism in California, by Jackson Brook
Q&A on Preparing for the Common Core through Video, by Meagan Doll
More Than Yearbooks or Newspapers: High School Journalism Is About the Process, by Adam Maksl and Meagan Fromm
5 Great Media Literacy Programs and How to Assess Their Impact, by Katie Donnelly
Kathleen Bartzen Culver (@kbculver) is an assistant professor in the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, teaching and researching at the intersection of ethics and digital media practices. Culver also serves as associate director of the Center for Journalism Ethics and education curator for PBS MediaShift.