In this article Common Core State Standards: What It Means for American Education (April 30, 2013) from The Future of Common Core: A TakePart Series with Peg Tyre, she examines how the controversial Common Core standards will impact American education. You can explore with her the sweeping new goals of the initiative, how teachers are preparing for the changeover--and what's causing critics to sound the alarm.
Helpful Tip: Scroll to the bottom of this page and read all four parts of this series:
What did you pick up from this series? What do the Common Core standards mean to your school? Are the goals too high? Will it reduce the achievement gap or just make it wider? Are you ready for the change?
Justina, this is a wonderful resource! I'm working my way through the 4 part series. What surprises me is the variety of opinions the Common Core is creating. Did it surprise you that some of the states are actually trying to "get out of" their agreement to support the standards? I think the use of nonfiction text will help students, not only in reading for information, but because they will expand their personal knowledge through their reading. Change is taking place, ready or not. Hopefully states will provide educators with useful professional development, often times that is the missing piece when starting something new.
I think these articles really point to the two biggest worries from educators in classrooms each day:
1) Testing tied to funding could be the biggest mistake with the national assessments.
2) The achievement or opportunity gap could widen esp if class sizes increase and special needs services decline.
Teachers will need even more energy and time to adequately prepare curriculum! Thanks, Dixie
We all hope that this will work. In theory CC would narrow achievement or opportunity gap but in practice, quien sabe? Example, communism, any one? It is certain that money being spent on new text books will not be available for teachers' salary. There is only one pie, how people choose to cut it shows their color.
I plan to go back and read through all of the resources suggested in your post Justina. Thank you for sharing them...
I think this quote from CCSS author David Coleman-“Read like a detective and write like a conscientious investigative reporter.” (source "Bringing the Common Core to Life") sums up the expectations for ELA-if we are going deeper into text, reading to look for answers that are contained within the text and requiring more work (of students) to explain that thinking through conversation and in writing, then we are doing right by our students.
Additionally, the formal balance of reading both fiction and informational text is a step in the way of the future. We know that future careers (whether attending college or going straight to career after high school) will require much more reading of informational text so doing this can also greatly help our students. The other change that will be helpful to the ELA teachers in 6-12 grades will be that all disciplines are working together to incorporate reading and writing in their content areas. The ELA teachers will no longer being doing it alone.
All of this being said, as a teacher, I personally think the best way to start understanding the standards is to dig in with a buddy (*I personally have done this) and start asking yourself questions to build your knowledge. Spend some time deconstructing the standards and say-what does this really mean? what's the best way for me to accomplish this? How will I know if students got it? No one can "give" you that-it's something you have to do to prepare yourself in how to teach. This is not easy-digging in and getting dirty over the work is the best way to do it. And don't wait...now is the time!
By the way, I don't agree that testing the heck out of students is the way to acknowledge their understanding of the work and the learning they need to do. I shudder at knowing that many states are now tying teacher evaluation to the test results (Ohio being one of them). It's unfortunate that law-makers aren't hearing enough from their constituents that measuring accountability with moving targets is not how we should thinking...and I am disappointed at the ridiculous amount of money that states are being asked to spend on purchasing the assessments...
"A new report from the Center on Education Policy (CEP) finds that states are actively working to implement the Common Core State Standards through planning, professional development, and technical assistance, although many adopting states said they are struggling to find enough resources and manpower to implement the new standards effectively." See "Admins predict changes in rigor, instruction under Common Core" published in eClassroom News August 8, 2013.
The article suggests that all the states surveyed agree that the Common Core Standards will increase student achievement because these standards are more rigorous than previous standards.
How do you think the Common Core Standards measure up to previous standards? Will your students learn more from curriculum that supports the Common Core Standards versus previous curricula?
I think from what I've read previously the Common Core Standards will increase reading and writing in the students' daily lives and the reading of informational texts. The students will have chances to actually use the higher levels of thinking-reasoning, problem solving, analyzing, and synthesizing.
Problems that exist are states teaching to only pass test after test but after losing many students.