Making Connections

“The Best Resources For Talking To Parents About The Common Core Standards”
September 28, 2013, 3:47 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

“The Best Resources For Talking To Parents About The Common Core Standards”.

My correspondent in France, who teaches English as a World Language to his French-speaking middle schoolers, sent me a link to Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day (see ) saying it was one of the best resources for his English lessons.  I chose the seventh link on his list to find an article about the Common Core Standards from Northwest Education. The article is from an excellent series that provides the answers to the basic questions we all asked when the concept of creating nationwide learning standards was raised, once again, five years ago.  It was a question that had been proposed repeatedly in the past, but which was repeatedly beaten down in earlier eras due to the rights of the individual states to direct their own public education as established by the Constitution.  In the Civil Rights Era of the sixties, the need for standards became more and more apparent.  If all Americans had the right to a free education, that education needed to be equitable to all across the states.  For centuries it had not been equitable for all.

We have finally arrived and agreed, at least 48 of us states, to adopt these Common Core State Standards (CCSS).  The states which have not adopted them, have had to produce their own standards, albeit they were required to show the same rigor and approximate progression of standards as those in the CCSS.  While realigning curriculums, units of study, lesson plans and all the accompaniments for educating our students has been a long road – on which we still tread – it is a good road, in my opinion.  With the CCSS, we educators can be confident that we are guiding our students to make inroads into the content and thinking skills that will prepare them to be contributing citizens and leaders in a global society.  Following is the essence of the article linked above.  If you have time, read the whole article.

What are the Common Core Standards? The CommonCoreState Standards (CCSS) are a coherent progression of learning expectations in English lan­guage arts and mathematics designed to prepare K–12 students for college and career success. 

How were they developed?

 The CCSS effort was launched in June 2009, through a partnership of the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association working together with parents, teachers, school adminis­trators, and experts from across the country. National and international research, evidence, and standards—including standards from countries that are often recognized for high-quality education—informed devel­opment of the CCSS.

What are the benefits:

No matter where a student lives, the same standards will be required at that student’s current grade level..  They emphasize literacy skills across the curriculum.  Basic shifts or changes from previous standards incude:

Reading: Text complexity and growth of comprehension

-Writing: Text types, responding to many types of reading, and research

-Speaking and listening: Flexible communication and collaboration for a variety of   situations, not just for formal presentations

-Language: Conventions (grammar) and vocabulary and effective use of language, i.e., using the right language at the right time

The article gives clear examples of a history standard and a math standard and what would be expected to meet each.

How will students be assessed?

Smarter Balanced Assessments Consortium (SBAC) or Partnership for the Assess­ment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), both aligned to the CCSS, to be implemented beginning 2014-15  (See my BlogRoll – first item Oregon Scoring Guide – we will be using SBAC)

What can parents do to prepare to help their children?

    • Create a study group with other parents, community members, or school staff to examine the new standards. Ask questions.

• Be involved in site council, parent-teacher association, or other committees, and ask your school administrators and teachers how they will prepare to teach to the standards and how they will measure student progress toward meeting the standards. Ask how parents and community members can provide regular feedback and support.

• Attend school board meetings and ask whether policies will be developed to support schools in this work.

• Talk with business and community leaders about the need for high goals and clear expectations for our children’s education.

    • Talk to your children about the importance of graduating from high school ready for college and career success. Discuss how the stan­dards will be used to guide teaching and learning K-12.

In summary, according to the article:

 The CommonCoreState Standards:

Are aligned with college and work expectations;

Are clear, understandable, and consistent;

Include rigorous content and application of knowl­edge through high-order skills;

Build on strengths and lessons of current state standards;

• Are informed by other top-performing countries so that all students are prepared to succeed in a global economy and soci­ety; and

• Are evidence-based.

Source: http://www.corestan­


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