Articulating why the Common Core State Standards are such a big change for mathematics can be challenging, especially if your audience is unfamiliar with them, like parents and other non-educators. After all, isn’t it just changing the standards? Fellow educators also feel the stress, but may have trouble stating exactly why that is. How do you describe what is so different?
The major changes seem to fall into five categories which form the acronym SPARCK. Looking at each category, you get a better sense of why this is such a big deal.
To be clear, I am a strong supporter of the Common Core State Standards. I believe they represent a large step forward for mathematics education in the United States. If educators are feeling stressed out over this change, it is rightfully so. However, with time and support, this will get easier for all.