Common Core Standards 101 / These Times are a-Changing!

Greetings!  While school in Georgia and many other states have started, many schools in the northeast will begin in a few weeks.  Like many students, I also start having those restless nights waiting to get started… those in education are fortunate enough because we have a beginning, a middle, and an end in our job cycle each year.  It’s always exciting when a new beginning starts.

The state of Georgia has recently implemented the Common Core Standards.  The Common Core Standards have been adopted by 45 states and three American territories (http://www.corestandards.org/in-the-states).  What’s the big deal about Common Core?  It’s the first time where EVERYBODY is truly working together to share ideas and thoughts.  Everybody would include teacher unions, administrator associations, and their respective departments of education.  This all may sound silly, but this really is unprecedented, especially in states like New Jersey and Georgia where defiance and agreeing to disagree has been the cornerstone of some people’s existence.

The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort  provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare our children for college and the workforce. The first draft was sent to schools, colleges, educational professionals, and everybody else you can think in the world of education, most importantly students. Following their feedback, the draft standards were opened for public comment, receiving nearly 10,000 responses.

The standards are informed by the highest, most effective models from states across the country and countries around the world, and provide teachers and parents with a common understanding of what students are expected to learn. Consistent standards will provide appropriate benchmarks for all students, regardless of where they live. These standards define the knowledge and skills students should have within their K-12 education careers so that they will graduate high school able to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing academic college courses and in workforce training programs.

These 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 upon strengths and lessons of current state standards;
  • Are informed by other top performing countries, so that all students are prepared to succeed in our global economy and society; and
  • Are evidence-based.

You can read more about the Common Core Standards by visiting: http://www.corestandards.org/the-standards

I am excited for this change not only for the consistency that is going to arise, but because there will also be a consistent way to navigate the new standards in place.  The map:

Image

(c) FEA / NJPSA – P. Wright

Now, let’s be real for a second.  This will not happen overnight, nor should it.  This will take some time to “unpack” them, allowing educators and administrators to really understand what one should be teaching and learning.

It’s going to be  great year.  Finally, the bell of consistency has rang!!!

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