Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (AACF) is releasing three documents aimed at helping low-income parents understand Common Core State Standards (Common Core). The documents are written in family-friendly language that is more easily understood by non-education professionals. One of our partner organizations in this work, the Arkansas Public Policy Panel, will be using the materials in meetings with parent groups in small communities around the state. This work is being supported by the Southern Education Foundation in Atlanta.
This first of our three-document series is a four-page guide for parents that answers some of the questions that we are hearing in different communities. For example, the guide explains the difference between standards and curriculum by giving some simple examples. It shows actual comparisons of the literacy and math standards under the Common Core State Standards and the current state standards-the Arkansas Curriculum Framework. We provide this information in simple, non-technical language for those of us who don’t work with these issues every day. AACF points out that if Common Core is going to be fair for low-income students, it will be important to hold school officials’ feet to the fire to make sure they provide struggling students with programs they need to be successful.