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Critical thinking hallmark of Common Core class

By By PHILIP ELLIOTT

MIDDLETOWN, Del. (AP) — Remembering the plot of a short story is no longer good enough in teacher Amy Lawson's fifth-grade classroom — or in the majority of American classrooms.

Today's students are being asked to think more critically. For example, what might a character say in an email to a friend.

The new Common Core State Standards are bringing major change to classrooms in the District of Columbia and the 45 states that have adopted them.

The standards require students to do more than memorize facts. Students now must connect the dots and apply critical thinking.

It's what experts call higher-order thinking.

Teachers say it's preparing students for life after high school.

The standards are not without controversy.

Critics say they are too hard, too rushed and too intrusive.

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