Common Core Standards For Parents For Dummies

Wiley publishing

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) have become such a controversy that it can be difficult to tell the truth from the fiction when trying to understand what this massive educational reform is really all about.  I purchased this book while I was working as an in-classroom tutor to help prepare me for the shift to the new standards. I am really glad I had this book, not only for my tutoring job but also to help me understand what is happening in my daughter's school.

There is a lot of information available for free on the internet from government, school, and various advocacy groups about CCSS. For the layperson, which is most parents, the information is either too specific and full of educational teacher jargon to be understandable by a parent or it lacks any depth at all. For those familiar with the "for Dummies" series, this is the type of topic that Dummies books cover with just enough detail and facts to bring the reader up to a working level knowledge of the topic.

The first few Chapters of the book explain what standards are, what CCSS is, the historical background in the creation of CCSS, and how parents can support their children school success.The advice given to parents is mostly of the sound, tried and true support that involved parents have done for years. There is a lot of advice like providing reading material at home, providing a space to complete work, and communicating with teachers if your child is struggling.

While this advice isn't new and earth shattering, it is more important than ever for parents with CCSS being put into place. For this reason, it is worthwhile to cover support and involvement strategies for parents in this book.

The next section of the book explains the standards themselves for elementary and secondary level students.

This general overview gives parents an idea of exactly what their children will be covering at each grade level. CCSS are different standards than what many parents grew up with. It can be difficult for parents to know what is normal and what is expected at each grade level since so much has changed.  

The final section of the book includes tips for parents and an appendix with resource list to find out more about CCSS. Here the reader will find more advice for supporting their child's education, and web resources about CCSS.  Most of the resources listed are either written for educators and policy makers and full of educational jargon. Fortunately, more of that jargon is understandable after reading the book.

Who Needs A Book About CCSS for Parents?

Really, not every parent is going to need a book explaining the CCSS to them. If you are a parent who is suddenly baffled by your child school work and really want to know the logic behind the change, this book can help. Parents who are involved in decision making with their local schools, whether on advisory councils, school boards, or volunteer tutors will benefit from reading a book on the standards that is accessible to parents.

School support professionals who find themselves in the midst of a clear change and need more information on CCSS will benefit. This book would be a great addition to a parent resource library.

Teachers and school administrators would not find much personal use for this book. Most professional level educators have received much more advanced training on CCSS already. The brief overviews provided in this book would be of little use for someone who needs in-depth detail to teach to the standards on a daily basis. Teachers who are looking for ways to explain the standards to parents or the general public may want to use the book to get ideas on how to help parents support their students.

Publication Date: March 2014

Publisher's Website

Disclosure: Author purchased the book with her own personal funds.

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