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Sample Critical Thinking Paper on U.S. Common Core State Standards Initiative

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Sample Critical Thinking Paper on U.S. Common Core State Standards Initiative

A common core state standard is a method that is used in the United States of America to test students (Frenkel, 2013). The method seeks to bring diversity in the curriculum by putting standards that every student should know and be able to do it personally. The common core standards cover education topics such as English and literature, sciences, technical subjects, and mathematics. Three quarters of the US region has adopted the initiative. The method is argued to be an improvement of curricula in different nations and states. Some people oppose the standards doubting the effect of the method.

            “The development of the initiative began in 2009” (Garfunkel, 2013). The National Governors Association (NGA) sponsors the standardization initiative. In 2009, NGA chose a group of scholars to review and improve the standards. The objective of the initiative is to provide standards for teachers and learners on what to teach and study. The initiative allows the parents to support the learners in the units covered in the curriculum. “SusanPimentel, one of the scholars that developed the initiative advanced the initiative in units of math and English –literature” (Garfunkel, 2010). Furthermore, “the standards are applied in a way that reflect and show the real world, relevant in the wisdom, and tactics that young generations require to excel in colleges and life endeavors” (Garfunkel, 2010). The mission of the initiative is to ensure the American students can comfortably fit in the competitive economy and career lines. “The chief state school officer controls and license the education department in different states that adapt the standards” (Garfunkel, 2010). The initiative guides the education curriculum from the lowest grade upwards.


English Language Arts standards

            The English language and arts standards are designed to improve student’s communication and interaction with one another. “In this category, students study history, reading, and writing” (Feinstein, 2003). In addition, the students learn business, technology, and technical subjects to understand the Americaneconomy.


            The complexity and level of reading are expected to increase in each level as students climb the ladder of education. The initiative allows the learners to improve their abilities by not restricting the materials peopleread. The flexibility of the information and accessibility of reading materials helps students to gain new ideas, methods and have a broader concept of life and literature. The common literature availed to all state students include folk stories, Shakespeare novels, and Americanliterature. Individual states and the education officers provide the extra reading materials. The teachers in every district and state are given the freedom of choosing the curriculum and reading resources to use. Furthermore, they are guided and samples that are issued to teachers, students, and parent to prepare in advance.


            The writing standards are based on logical argumentation supported by facts, reasoning and claims. The writing should be concise and state the major facts only. The writing skills should incorporate student ideas and opinion considering the standard rules. In each grade, the level of writing should increase and students should be able to write all types of essays in readiness for college and career life. The student should conduct research and consult teachers to improve on writing. The writing is supposed to be argumentative and analytical instead of descriptive. There are samples that help student write and improve on skills.

Listening and Speaking

            Listening and speaking are regarded as a constituent of basic education. The students are expected to deliver concrete information and ideas through interacting with others and speaking. The standards stress on study groups and one-on-one communication to improve and develop courage in speaking. The group discussion gives every student a chance to speak and allow others to listen; this helps in both listening and speaking skills.


            The initiative provides vocabulary instructions where the students combine efforts and work in groups to research the meaning and use of words to aid them in composing and proper structuring of sentences and paragraphs. The rules of the standards expect all students to use formallanguagein their daily speaking and writing. The skills should state the students thought and free from errors. The language is an important tool in student learning since it is applied in other fields. The initiative grading the competence of language in each grade of learning.

Media and Technology

                “The standard also ensures student familiarize with media arts and technology” (Frenkel, 2013). In the current era, every student is required to have knowledge of machines and modern gadgets. The unit is included in the class to learn communication of music, arts, and technology.



Mathematics Standards

            The mathematics standards imposed are to help students to think logically and critically. American mathematics is criticizedthat it is more concentrated and more difficult than in other nations. The initiative help the students learn how to practice doing mathematics and familiarize with content used in mathematics unit.

Mathematical Practice

            The initiative standards stress that students should be taught how to practice doing mathematics. The mathematical practice should include familiarizing with mathematical problems to solve them, reasoning in a creative way, justifying the mathematical answers, use the necessary tools in mathematics, make proper use of tools, and look for similarities in mathematical problems. The practices are taught in educational level with increased intensity in each grade. The students are advised to work in groups and help each other learn the pattern of mathematical quiz and the way of answering each problem.

Mathematical Content

            The nature of mathematics varies in each grade. In kindergarten, the content of mathematics is easy including basic mathematical operations. The nature of mathematics is arrangedin clusters for every level and junior schools. Students who are aged 6-13 are taught primary mathematics such as number, geometry, statistics, and probability. Thenature of mathematics expands in juniorschool. The students are taught advanced mathematics such as algebraic equations, functions, geometry, and statistics. The standard help students learn the basic functions first, then advancing to more advance mathematics that require solid reasoning and creativity.


Comparison and Contrast

            The comparison of education in the United States and other countries is the money spent per student to facilitate education. Students in United States, Norway, and Switzerland spend more money on every student to enable equity and similar chance of success. The students are supported in daycare; learn similarcurriculum, tested in the same way to enable the students to pass. “The main difference between the US and other nations is education inequality” (Lareau, 2003). “The white minority students do not reach the highest level of education as compared to their white counterparts” (Feinstein, 2003). The difference in financial stability between the whites and the minority continues to affect the education system in the United States. The common core curriculum faces stagnant results in education due to educational inequality. The contrast and similarities vary across all the states in the US.




Feinstein, L. (2003). Inequality in the early cognitive development of British children in the 1970             cohort.Economica.70 (277).Pp. 73-97.

Frenkel, E. (2013). “Republicans Should Love Common Core”. The Wall Street Journal.23 (5).     Pp. 34-45.

Garfunkel, S., A. (2010). “The National Standards Train: You Need to Buy Your Ticket”.The       UMAP Journal.31 (4). Pp. 277–280.

Lareau, A. (2003). Unequal childhoods: Class, race, and family life. University of California         Press: Berkley




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