Common Core and STEM Bring Opportunity and Challenge to Students

Significant changes in the US education system have impacted the way students are taught, tested, and evaluated. The adoption of the Common Core State Standards and STEM means that students must adapt to new types of assignments, question types, and grading criteria. Reading and writing assignments have become far more analytical. Emphasis is placed on presentation and support of ideas. Further, all major standardized tests—PARCC, Smarter Balanced, PLAN, ACT, PSAT, SAT—are now fully aligned to these same standards. In them, students are asked to answer questions involving data, analysis, purpose, strategy, intent, success, and evidence.

The overhauled SAT Essay requires students to write an analytical essay in which they evaluate an author’s strategy, bias, purpose, and success in making and supporting a thesis. Science and social studies-based questions are found in the math sections, and the writing section contains data tables, graphs and charts. Needless to say, worksheets alone are no longer effective in helping student master these skills. For better or for worse, the long nights of memorizing multiplication tables are gone, replaced by assignments that require critical thinking, analytical reading, analytical writing, research, presentation, and debate skills.

Chyten’s mission is to help students succeed under these newly established educational guidelines. Evaluations, GPA, test scores and other heretofore quantitatively derived measures of success now hinge on several factors other than mid terms and finals. For example, in class, speaking up, not out, is an important grading factor. Expressing one’s self skillfully through writing and analyzing the works of others are also critically important skills. The formerly math- and science-free zones of history and social studies are now replete with graphs, charts, mean, median, mode, interpolation, and extrapolation.

Chyten SAT and ACT classes featuring Mastering the ACT and Mastering the SAT are fully inclusive of these new strategies and styles. Further, your local Chyten center may feature afterschool and weekend programs that build up comfort level and skills needed across the educational spectrum, to help your child succeed in the new era of US education.

For more information about offerings in your area, please click here to contact your local Chyten Education Center