By Renee Smith | J&R Tutoring Academy of Indiana

Renee_blog-photo_72dpiAre you reading all the articles, editorials, op-eds, and miscellaneous commentaries about educational standards in Indiana? Totally confused? Well, join the club!!

I am in the business of tutoring children. To be the best help for students that I can be, I want to make sure that our instructional materials complement the curriculum in the schools.

One day the prevailing opinion is that Common Core Standards need to go; the next day these Standards are the best going! Which is the better path? (Cue the question marks!)

Although I have a personal opinion, I do not believe it is relevant to the discussion.  What is relevant is only what is in the best interest of the children. At this point I don’t think anyone truly knows.

I have copies of the previous standards for Indiana and the Common Core Standards.  If you suffer from insomnia, then I heartily recommend both for your bedtime reading pleasure.

My undergraduate degree was in English and I’d like to think I am an accomplished reader. I’ve read and taught Shakespeare, Molière, and Dostoyevsky, and they all made more sense than educational standards!!

Those of you with school age children probably don’t receive the emails that regularly make the Internet rounds among those of us a “little” older! My generation and my parents’ grew up riding bikes not wearing helmets, played baseball and kickball in vacant lots with no adult supervision and survived; we drank water from hoses and ate fresh tomatoes right off the vine – after we washed them with the hose!

Not only did we survive, but we went to the moon, made computers a regular part of daily lives, invented the microwave, and many more modern conveniences too numerous to mention!

We didn’t have the never ending list of standards. We went to school. We were expected to behave and learn. If we failed, we were held back. If we got in trouble, we got in more trouble when we got home.

What’s the point in this journey down memory lane? Teachers are in the classroom to teach your children. And the vast majority of them are doing a great job. The standards debate makes them as crazy as the rest of us. For years they taught with one set of standards, and then were told to change to new ones. Now they don’t know what will happen next.

Should we be concerned about the debate? Yes.

Do we need to need to take a side and go to war?  No.

The most important action to take is pay attention to your child’s progress, support the teachers, and if your child needs additional instruction, get some help.