Learning the meaning of standards: A Parent’s point of view

By Cheryl Coleman

The world of education is forever changing. How students are learning today is completely different from how I learned as a child. The new standards provide a way for teachers to measure student progress throughout the school year, a consistency across classrooms and ensure that students are on the pathway to success in their academic careers.

I found it difficult to support my child at home because I did not fully understand the new standards until I learned more about the curriculum being taught in her classroom. Becoming knowledgeable about the standards allowed me to understand what my child was learning and provide support with her homework and the skills she needed in English Language Arts, Reading, Science, and Mathematics at each grade level so she can be prepared to succeed in life.

I never really thought about learning the connection between what my children were learning in the classroom and how it compared to what others are learning in other states. Learning about state education plans through ESSA helped to connect the dots for me. I was able to see what I am helping other parents to see and understand-standards and assessments are critical for our students and for us. Understanding that connection is something so amazingly powerful that it almost feels freeing.

Learning about standards also helped me understand how my child’s progress/assessments are measured to ensure students are on track for college and career readiness, and I know what is required of her as a student. It is important to be on the same page of the teachers and school administrators because at the end of the day we are all working toward the same goal – a high-quality education, and if I don’t understand a concept at home I know I can look up what standards they are learning and resources/games that can help her.

When it comes to educating our children, does it really matter what side of the political aisle you’re on? Fighting to ensure our students are learning at a high level should be the only battle that we’re in…together.