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Do the Common Core State Standards mean more homework for students?


If students attend school in states that have adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), it is likely most of their parents understand that change is coming to the classroom. With the implementation of the CCSS will come instruction that aims to be clear, consistent and rigorous enough to prepare pupils for what will be expected of them when they enter college or the workforce.

Of course, if lessons are to become more rigorous once the CCSS are fully implemented, some parents may be wondering if that also means their children will be expected to complete more homework. While schools across the country are still transitioning to the Common Core, it appears that students at some institutions will indeed be expected to work harder in order to acquire essential skills and knowledge.

Hard work ahead of some Wisconsin students
If high school students in the School District of Wisconsin Dells think the work they are doing right now is challenging, than they should be prepared for even more rigorous instruction in the years ahead. According to the Wisconsin Dells Events, the District's high school curriculum will undergo a number of changes, including the elimination of courses like honors English and mass media. New classes, such as AP language and composition, as well as two levels of honors English, will be introduced.

"The thing I'll say about Common Core is I think it's the most phenomenal thing I've worked with since I've been here," Michael Michalsky, an English teacher at the high school, told the news source. "I'm excited about it. Let's ramp things up."

However, as teachers like Michalsky ramp up instruction, students will also be expected to step up to the plate and meet the academic challenges laid out by the CCSS. Michalsky said the changes to the high school's courses will require students to work harder and complete homework assignments.

For Dells students, homework will not only help them better understand new concepts, but also prepare them for college. Graduates of the high school have said their lack of homework assignments made the transition from secondary school to college something of a challenge.

Tomorrow's challenges call for tougher instruction today
Florida, like Wisconsin, has adopted the CCSS. This means that students who attend classes in the Sunshine State's Lake County Schools district can expect more challenging instruction and homework in the not-too-distant future, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

"The traditional model is no longer enough to meet the challenges that we face," Susan Moxley, the district's superintendent, told the news outlet. "The role of the teacher has changed from keeper-of-all-knowledge to facilitator for learning, problem-solving and creating."

Over the next two years, district officials expect to have all of their 2,600 instructors trained so they can teach according to the CCSS. Currently, Lake County kindergartners and first-graders are being taught Common Core-aligned lessons. Once the Standards are fully implemented, students should be learning at a rate that is at least two grade levels ahead of what they are used to.

"It's going to look different," Kevin Baird, chairman of the Common Core Institute, told the news source in regards to the instructional changes parents can expect to see. "You're going to be like, 'I didn't learn it that way.' Well, you know, the world's kind of changed. We have to learn it a different way."

Whether or not school districts decide to pile more homework onto their students, any concerned parents should remember that more assignments could mean greater success for their children once they graduate from high school and begin the next stage of their life.