New York -- Christopher Boney is a parent who believes in education equity.
"I believe that all children should have an opportunity to learn on an even playing field, so that's why I support the common core," said Boney.
That even playing field is a key characteristic of Common Core. The Common Core State Standards Initiative has been adopted by more than 40 states, setting minimum standards in mathematics and English language arts and literacy. Its website points out that previous state education standards "varied widely from state to state," and Common Core is intended to foster collaboration among states on policies and standards. Students from kindergarten through 12th grade are tested at the end of each year.
But not all parents are on board. "Personally I think it isn't fun for him. Because he comes home and looks exhausted," said Mary Holder whose six-year-old son Jaden is in second grade at a public school in Brooklyn. Like many parents, she is concerned about the pressures Common Core is putting on her children at such a young age.
"Sometimes I feel like tearing up because I'm like 'you're not even in college yet,''' said Holder of her son when she sees the look of frustration on his face while he is doing homework.
Boney's 10-year-old son, Jeremiah, however, has had a completely different reaction to Common Core.
"When I am studying I think it's fun, and while it's fun we are learning things," said the fifth grader who goes to the same school as Jaden.
Jeremiah says his teacher's lessons in class prepared him well for the tests, and his father believes it would be beneficial to look beyond the standards toward the end result.
"The children are learning how to be prepared for the workforce, the new technology age. So I think it's going to help them a lot in that area," Boney said.
International companies like IBM are throwing their full support behind Common Core, in hopes that the standard will better prepare students to be a part of their workforce.
Stan Litow, President of IBM International Foundation says a lot of companies--not just IBM-- recognize the fact that too few young people who come out of school have the math, writing, and communications skills to thrive in modern companies.
"The skill levels are always going to change so if you've got somebody with a foundation of skill that will allow them to improve and increase their skills, then they are going to be able to meet whatever the needs are in the workplace," said Litow.
Boney feels that Common Core will enable the classroom to give his son both an academic and a professional education, though he grants that it can't do everything. He said, "I don't expect any kind of Common Core curriculum on how to be a young man, and grow up to be a strong, productive, grown man, that's my job as a father."
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