Bismarck teachers are enthusiastically voicing their approval of the new Common Core standards for teaching English, the Bismarck Tribune reports.

Bismarck's new, more rigorous standards are keeping BHS English teacher Amanda Peterson's students "more engaged in their studies." Peterson explains:

They have allowed us to bring in more nonfiction selections that help us better understand, better critically analyze the literature we are reading... Being able to make connections between the text and between real life and the news and the world around them and seeing how those patterns have continued over time is something I find incredibly important and valuable.

Peterson elaborates that the curriculum no longer focuses on mundane details within a story's plot, such as the color of cars or clothing, or what certain characters were holding their hands in certain passages. Instead it focuses on sharpening the students' skills in analysis and interpretation.

Meagan Sharp, a teacher at Simle Middle School has equal praise for the new standards:

Students love it; they are engaged... The connections that they make between the characters is deeper than I have ever seen since I started teaching.