Common core standards-what do you think?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by TamiJ, May 11, 2011.

  1. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    The other thread got me wondering what you guys think of the common core standards. Do you think it's a good idea, bad idea? I am curious because we use standards from the US. I am wondering if this would be a good thing for our school to adopt. But, I want to hear from all of you first before I make any suggestions to the school.
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    CCCS are a good idea for schools who don't have rigorous curriculum...for my area, they establish a shared 'floor'. We took those standards and ADDED to them.
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I think that we need to have common core standards that every state, district, and school must adopt as a minimum. If a school, district, or state wants to add to those standards, I think that's great, as long as those minimum standards are being met.
     
  5. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Are the common core standards pretty minimal? I am on their website, and to be honest, I can't figure out what they are for the life of me. I saw one standard for K & 1... I am confused...
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    There are separate standards for each grade in the LA standards:
    http://www.corestandards.org/assets/CCSSI_ELA Standards.pdf
     
  7. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Thanks. I think I was looking at it incorrectly. Well, to me it looks like the standards have been skimmed down, or perhaps that's incorrect. I am combing through it slowly, but I guess I am just not used to looking at the standards in this format.
     
  8. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    We currently use the Aero standards, which I can't stand. This is new as of this year for us. My grade level virtually has zero standards. Most of my standards say, "students should be able to...by the end of second grade." So, what do we do to get there in First grade? I don't want to offend anyone by suggesting the Common Core Standards, but I do think it looks like a better choice than what we currently are using. So far, my school has positively responded to every single suggestion/proposal I have submitted. But, I always worry I will unintentionally offend someone.
     
  9. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I'm about to submit my proposal....Any last minute objections????
     
  10. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I'm in a state that refused to adopt them, so I wonder if that will put our kids behind at all when it comes to national rankings, etc. I was disappointed we didn't jump in on those.

    .
     
  11. Securis

    Securis Cohort

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    They do not include an arts component so why should I care whether my state adopts them or not? Well, in fact, MS is probably going to adopt these standards but I glanced over them and couldn't see how they change anything for me so I quit reading.
     
  12. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Tami---I would suggest it! They are a documented used by most states in the US.

    I do like that they are more minimal than our current standards. I feel that some of my students (especially my lower students) just cannot master the number of standards that we currently have in sixth grade. Having fewer standards to really focus on with these kids will hopefully give them the time to truly master them instead of being retaught each year.
     
  13. MrsLilHen

    MrsLilHen Comrade

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  14. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Thanks you guys. I really appreciate all the feedback. I did send an email to my coordinator, who obviously has to get changes like this approved from way above, but it looks much better than our Aero standards.
     
  15. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Very interesting article, and I'm inclined to agree with much of it.

    When it comes down to it kids nation-wide regardless of what grade they're in have to master certain skills. I'm assuming 1st graders will learn to read and write. So will they still be teaching phonics in first grade? And, I honestly don't know because I haven't read that much of the Core yet.

    What are the big private schools going to focus on?
     
  16. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I think the article is correct as far as how we reach our students, and how we test them. But, I don't see anything wrong with national standards. My goal for my 1st graders is that they reach fluency by the end of the year, and that they love reading (last part is my personal goal), but the way I go about it with each student might differ. I do think standards are a very good thing and a necessity. It assures that we have a goal in mind, that we are actively working to teach our students in specific areas and skills. Without standards, I as a teacher can teach my kids anything I want, which might not necessarily prepare them for 2nd grade (depending on what the 2nd grade teacher decides to do, and that might change from year to year). So, standards help us determine the goals, and keeps us accountable. But, the standards alone don't dictate what I do in the classroom with my students to reach those goals. The issue lies more with the curriculum (including every source I use to effect student learning, as well as the activities I have my students engage in) used to attain the goals, and the testing that determine if those goals were met. So, standards, in my opinion, are a great thing, and I see nothing wrong with national standards, but national standards does not mean every student learns the same, and that I do not modify learning and assessing based on student needs. This is where our expertise comes in.
     
  17. KatherineParr

    KatherineParr Comrade

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    I'm not a fan of standards in general, but I accept that they exist.

    However, anyone who wants to see national standards in history should be aware that the last time they attempted to create a national standard it was a total bloodbath. Standards in American history are extremely controversial.
     
  18. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    What is the purpose of common core standards? That is the question we really need to be focusing on.

    Not to pick on Mississippi, but it has state standards that include language arts, math, science, history etc. Are we to believe their standards are not set up to have children learn to read, write, and do math. But consistenly they fall behind on achieving even their lower than other state state standards.

    I just find it interesting that the idea is if there is a common core standards that all of a sudden schools will magically learn to reach the students they are failing miserably. That is truly an insane notion.

    Now, I disagree with common core standards because education is the right of the states, not the federal government. I wish they would get their nose out of it.
     
  19. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    The standards alone will not make the difference. Success happens in the classroom with the learning activities and curriculum. The standards do not dictate how the curriculum is taught, it instead establishes a goal of what students should be able to do at each grade level.

    As far as the federal government, states do not have to adopt these standards.
     
  20. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    These sound a bit like our National Curriculum. This seems like a good idea as long as it is about education. sadly in the UK the politicians use it to make direct comparidsons between schools using league tables! Guess what? schools in leafy middle class suberbs do better than those in inner city hell holes! Schools that select their students by ability do better than those that don't! Then once they have you in a table they use a big stick to beat the schools at the bottom regardless of their intake!
     
  21. kstar03

    kstar03 Companion

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    I wanted to jump into the conversation.... I am very nervous about the CCS because my school, being urban and low performing, is now going to follow the CCS to the extreme. What this means is transitioning from teaching novels along with informational texts, poetry, etc to just informational texts. Yes, just. I understand the importance and value of informational texts, but to limit and even wipe out the reading of novels is criminal. I'll keep you guys posted as we get closer to the roll out of our new benchmark planners this summer.
     
  22. JustMe

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    All I know is that it's going to be a lot of work sorting through the standards. They seem to be much, much more challenging than what our students are used to learning.
     
  23. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    The common core standards has a whole section for teaching fiction. So, just teaching informational texts would be contradictory to the common core standards.
     
  24. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    On year at an Army Family Action Plan conference where participants select, develop and vote on issues that matter to them, there was a teen group that out of about 30 issues for them to vote on, stood up and presented that their number one selected voted on issue was for there to be some kind of national standard for instruction. They went on to explain the hardships that they have endured as military kids with having different classes thrown out because they weren't accepted at the new school or being behind because they weren't taught something at the old school. As a teacher, I recognize the inherent issues that come with trying to make things nationally standardized but every time I think of any points to debate and whether or not I think it may work or not, all I can think of is this group of students who bravely spent a week developing their proposal and standing in front of a crowd of people to explain an issue they felt was of upmost importance to them. They could have picked any issue, but they selected one involving their education and their argument was well thought out and very thought-provoking.
     
  25. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    kstar, I agree with mopar that your school wouldn't be following CCS is they removed fiction. There are two categories for reading—literature and informational text. What I will say, though, is that many schools are moving away from teaching novels in favor of shorter pieces or passages. I don't like that, but I have certainly observed this practice.
     
  26. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Amen. There are 78 benchmarks for LA in 7th grade in FL.
     
  27. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    There are more reading standards for us now. And they're deeper and more involved.
     
  28. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    I just read the new CA Common Core ELA Standards. I prefer them to our previous CA State Standards. I really like the way that 9/10 and 11/12 are aligned into tables so I compare the 2 levels. I teach SPEd 9/10 and 11/12 mixed grade classes, so this will make my planning less of a nightmare. It's true that "stories" are mentioned - not novels. But, I actually like having "permission" to use a variety of fictional texts:
    adventure stories, historical, fiction, mysteries, myths,
    science fiction, realistic fiction,allegories, parodies, satire, and
    graphic novels.
     
  29. MissAmy

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    I just attended a training at my local coop about the common core. The purpose of it was to better prepare our children for the work force and real world where they will be exposed to informational text much of the time. It will not totally be non-fiction. There are less common core standards than most states' frameworks because they expect us to teach at a much deeper level so the students actually understand the concepts instead of memorizing the shortcuts and moving along so fast to "cover" the rest of the frameworks. Since we haven't seen the testing that will come from these new frameworks it's hard to tell how effective it will be. I liked our state's frameworks but, I could see where these would be very beneficial to our kiddos. Especially those that move around a lot from school to school. I expect to see fabulous text books produced within the next couple years because they will be aligned to the common core standards, which is was adopted by the majority of the United States now. I'm excited to actually have a text book that is aligned to my frameworks instead of CA or TX (no offense intended - they are just the largest textbook purchasers).
     
  30. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    The problem has rarely been the standards but most often the implementation of whatever standards there are.

    End result, read, write, and do math. That is the bare bones of what society expects from school and students aren't achieving this in many cases. Every state has standards that require these skills to be taught and expected the students will master them. Society hopes for more. They hope that students will learn science and history, etc. But they aren't even learning the basics in many cases regardless of decent standards already in place.

    It is really irrelevant what the standard says when you have teachers saying that looking at the text while the teacher reads and quizzing them after a long discussion about what the teacher just read meant is in any way indicative of the STUDENT READING AND COMPREHENDING the material. Until this type of garbage is stopped in the classrooms (and yes it happens in many of them) the actual standard is irrelevant.

    It isn't the standards that are the problem. I don't care how common or how core they are, it all comes down to implementation and what is allowed to continue in the classroom in terms of "faking it".
     
  31. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    My goal is to implement much of this informational reading through research or the use of science and social studies.
     
  32. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I just got around to looking at these, and I like them. I think, at least for high school, the parts I've looked at are better and more practical than what we have now. I'm interested to see how our state remakes our curriculum to match these new standards. I love that there are literacy standards in social studies and science. I've only looked at the math and ELA standards so far, but what I've seen looks promising. I'm anxious to see what kind of training we get in this over the next few years before we implement in 2014.
     
  33. mkate

    mkate Comrade

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    We have these in Spain-- they would correspond to the "Assessment Criteria" of our official curriculum. The official curriculum is specified as a set of minimum teaching requirements that must be met in any school in the country. The Autonomous Regions (like states) then further develop the curriculum for their region, and each school then adapts it to the school, but the minimums must be met in all cases. The curriculum is vague/general enough that there is a lot of room for adaptation while still meeting the standards. Though here they use textbooks for every subject, even in elementary, so it ends up being fairly similar across the board (though different texts do vary.)

    For us there are mandated standards in language arts, foreign language, science/social studies, phys ed, arts (including music and fine arts), and math, from elementary on up, so even if students were not meeting math and reading goals, schools would not be allowed to eliminate any of the subject areas.

    As far as I'm aware, no punitive measures are taken if schools aren't doing well-- I'm sure there is some provision for action of some sort to be taken, but I've never heard about this happening so i don't know what that might be.
     
  34. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    My kid the library technician/sci fi geek will tell anyone who asks - and a few people who don't - that one of the great novels of the decade is the Webcomic Digger. And I'm not sure she isn't right.
     
  35. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Well, I guess I never did give everyone an update, but it looks like we will use the CCS next year, so I am pleased about that.
     
  36. smtownEngteach

    smtownEngteach Rookie

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    The school that I am starting at this year is adopting the core standards. The state as a whole is in the process of making this transition. I have been working with the cores over the summer and I personally like them. In Missouri, we have used the GLEs for many years now and I find that the Core standards are more streamlined. I am going to a conference with my mentor teacher at the end of this month where we will learn how to use the Core Standards in developing our curriculum. I'll let you all know how it goes.:thumb:
     

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