Common Core Standards Create Greater Room for Creativity and Flexibility – They Don’t Limit It

In a letter published by the Knoxville News Sentinel, Tennessee high-school student Michael Waldrop alleges Common Core Standards “limit flexibility in the classroom” and diminish “the value of a fine-arts education.” By forcing teachers into “rigid parameters,” Waldrop contends that Common Core State Standards impede educators’ ability to adjust their lessons to meet student needs.

Contrary to Waldrop’s claim, educators continue to strongly support implementation of Common Core State Standards—largely because of the flexibility, creativity and control the standards afford them.

Last spring, more than 20 State Teachers of the Year—including Karen Vogelsang, Tennessee’s 2015 Teacher of the Year—wrote that Common Core does not “force teachers into a rigid model for classroom instruction.” “

“In fact, under the common core, teachers have greater flexibility to design their classroom lessons—and can, for the first time, take advantage of the best practices from great teachers in other states,” the letter states.

Last fall, Mike Lerchenfeldt, a Michigan Educator Voice Fellow, explained the Common Core provides educators “the freedom to be flexible and creative in their instruction” and “encourage students to develop their critical thinking skills in order to obtain deeper levels of understanding.”

In a memo last summer, Karen Nussle notes that misleading information has created misperceptions about the Common Core, but recent polling continues to demonstrate that parents and the public support high, comparable education standards that fully prepare students for college and careers.