In general, Common Core is trying to guide students toward careers after graduation.
The goal is to standardize benchmarks for students in schools across the state and country. Common Core spells out what students should know and when they should learn it across all grade levels.
"We know that in order to give our students a level playing field, we have to deepen their understanding and their knowledge," Nowviskie said. "It shouldn't matter what their zip code is; they should get an education just as good as anyone else does."
When the Common Core initiative was launched in 2009, it went largely unnoticed beyond the education community. But recently, it has sparked criticism from conservatives who see the effort to standardize as a push for nationalization of education.
A new group, West Virginians Against Common Core, has cropped up, led by state Sen. Donna Boley, R-Pleasants. The group had an audience with the state Board of Education during its regular meeting last week.
Boley said she takes issue with the top-down approach. Instead, she says, West Virginia should be focusing on homegrown solutions that are specific to its schoolchildren.
"I was truly disappointed when I saw that my granddaughter would be learning like this," Boley said.
State education officials have continued to defend Common Core and to tout the local involvement in tweaking the standards to fit West Virginia's needs.
"We believe that the West Virginia Next Generation Content Standards and Objectives are clear and straightforward," Gayle Manchin, vice president of the state Board of Education, said in a statement.
"These standards were developed by West Virginia teachers. The standards will equip students with the necessary skills to compete with their peers from across the globe."
And complaints about Common Core have mainly been in the political sphere. Educators say their conversations about the new standards have been largely positive.
"I haven't heard any complaints in any of the training sessions I've been to," said Rochelle Williams, a teacher at Poca Elementary School.
Williams has been to plenty of training sessions related to Common Core. She has been fully trained in the new standards and was at the recent training session at Buffalo High School as an instructor.
She said the teachers she has dealt with have been largely removed from the political debate, instead focusing on student learning and the shifts they need to make in their classrooms as they implement the new standards.
"I hear no negative things, nothing from inside the trenches," she said. "I think teachers are happy to do this for the kids, to try to help them build skills this way."
Contact writer Shay Maunz at shay.ma...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4886.
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