Join The Discussion: Common Core

Background: The Washington Post (see link below) recently described how the new Common Core Standards for K-12 schools came to be adopted in 43 states.  Financed largely by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Common Core is a set of uniform academic standards in English and math replacing the  uneven patchwork quilt that left the standards up to each state. Proponents say Common Core will better prepare students for success in college and career and opponents says education policy should be left to state and local governments. Read more here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/how-bill-gates-pulled-off-the-swift-common-core-revolution/2014/06/07/a830e32e-ec34-11e3-9f5c-9075d5508f0a_story.html

Do you support the Common Core Initiative?

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Do you think teachers have had adequate preparation to teach the new standards?

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One Response to Join The Discussion: Common Core

  1. Katrina Foster June 20, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

    The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) has come under tremendous scrutiny over the past year as more states begin implementation and students participate in the PARCC field tests. In the Baltimore City Public School district, we have been transitioning towards full implementation of the Common Core over the past 2 years. Both teachers and school administrators have participated in professional development sessions, piloted new curricula aligned to the standards, and engaged in conversations with families and community stakeholders to help prepare them for the shift. So, comparatively speaking, we are far along the continuum of Common Core readiness. With that said, there are still looming challenges ahead of us. Our students, (especially in upper elementary and middle school), are having difficulty meeting the level of rigor expected from them due to the increased complexity of the tasks they have to complete. For example, third graders are now expected to master skills and concepts that were previously taught in the fourth grade. Teachers are challenged to differentiate their instruction in order to close the even wider gap that this chasm has created in their classroom. As a school leader, I am bombarded with products and supplementary materials that are branded as being “Aligned to Common Core Standards”, but do not have any research based evidence attached to it. Too often, the education pendulum shifts so frequently that we don’t have opportunity to be thoughtful and methodical as we develop the capacity to shift and adjust. Any systemic change takes time, so I hope that we have time and patience to explore the CCSS with safe practice.

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