A forum for discussing what's working -- and what isn't -- in standards and assessments.

How about Common Core Standards?

Anthony Cody Science Coach and mentor, Oakland, California

The draft Common Core Standards have been released.

The article in the New York times states:
"Supporters of the project led by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers hope the lists of things kids should learn at each grade level will replace a patchwork of systems across the country."

"The effort is expected to lead to standardization of textbooks and testing and make learning easier for students who move from state to state."

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/03/10/us/AP-US-Schools-Standards.html

What do YOU think? Will this make life easier for teachers and students? Or make for even more emphasis on tests?

Comments (7)

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STEM Consultant at the Orange County Department of Education, California

Common Core Standards Discussion in Southern CA

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Hi There!

In Orange County (CA) we have a GREAT Conference to discuss the CA expectations from the Common Core Standards with Dr. Bill Daggett!

The Sessions are August 11, 2010 and more information and registration is available at Orange County Department of Education

All are welcome but seats are limited!

Can't wait to see more discussion on this!

Retired: Grades 4 to 12, specializing in curriculum development

If you need a standard for

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If you need a standard for teaching the Addition Facts, go to the freedown site at www.123math.ca

Learning Specialist: Technology for Stratford Hall

There is a complaint, which I

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There is a complaint, which I have not investigated to know if it is valid or not, that the common core standards have essentially been developed by textbook companies in order to reduce their operating costs (they can spend less time developing their textbooks and workbooks).

I am worried a bit about the increase in standardization overall, as I see top-down control of the school system to be a bit of a problem in terms of individual teacher innovation, and the ability of schools to respond flexibly to the needs of students.

Student teacher from England studying in WV

I believe there are positives

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I believe there are positives and negatives to allowing our students to be aware of the standards they are required to meet. Giving them an attainable goal can provide a certain amount of motivation to complete the work and to a desirable quality. Moreover, knowing the standards they are required to meet may clear up an ambiguity of the class or its content.
In my education, in particular the ITSE NETS standards were not followed in England. I believe looking back that similar standards were present at the time but as a student I was never made aware of them.
In conclusion, taking all things into account, I believe it would be best for the students to not be aware of their specific standards. They come under too much pressure to deliver as it is with national testing and final grades. This would add another unnecessary stressor to their education which could have detrimental effects.

Teacher Trainer, International Teacher Education Program, Kingdom of Tonga

PROCESS VS CONTENT

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I think that national core standards are basically a good idea, but we have to be careful about the amount of content we expect students to master within one school year, and we have to focus on the processes by which students will master content. Core standards will never be a magic bullet, but we will be able to better measure ourselves as teachers and schools, if we all use the same measuring tool.

Educator and School Counselor / Trinidad School District #1

Standards encourage factory model

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My experience with standards is that they have (unwittingly, perhaps) helped to entrench the old factory model of education wherein all students are taught and somehow expected to learn the same things at the same rate. This flies in the face of reality. Grade level benchmarks often encourage teachers to neglect the needs of those who have already mastered the benchmarks, as well as those who are nowhere near ready to learn the material.

In a given 8th grade class, for example, it is not unusual to find students who read at the second grade level next to students who read at the twelfth grade level. Rather than encourage the personalization necessary to meet these students' needs, standards and benchmarks risk focusing efforts on slightly above average performance for the average student. Differentiation often serves as a mere bandage on a bleeding system.

Are standards unwittingly creating a system that guarantees mediocrity? Look at your district's scores, and note how many advanced students slip into mere proficiency as they move through the years, while many so-called "unsatisfactory" students don't seem to raise their assessment scores. Are standards working in your schools? Will the common core nationalize a failing system?

Host and Co-Creator of Virtual Science University

Standardized Instruction Chokes Innovative Instruction

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Quote:

There is a complaint, which I have not investigated to know if it is valid or not, that the common core standards have essentially been developed by textbook companies in order to reduce their operating costs (they can spend less time developing their textbooks and workbooks).

I am worried a bit about the increase in standardization overall, as I see top-down control of the school system to be a bit of a problem in terms of individual teacher innovation, and the ability of schools to respond flexibly to the needs of students.

I have been a victim of this. Standardized instruction that legislators in Austin, Texas have legislated, choke the innovation of teachers like myself and others. Since 1997, when I left the Friday Night Light's School, Odessa Permian High school known worldwide as MOJO, I have been choked by just about every administrator I worked under to keep me in sync under Texas standards. This is why Texas is ranked 37th in the nation in Science Education. We have people in Austin, Texas who know very little about innovative Science Education. After retiring from the Texas Public School System, I partnered with childhood friend Arnulfo Tarin Carrasco MD, putting together an online Biology Course "Virtual Science University" which to this day has received over two and half million visitors from all over the world. If I would have continued to listened to the "Have Nots" of Texas legislators and our Texas Governor, I would be sinking in boredom and burnout and short changing those students who have been empowered by visiting my online website, Virtual Science University and listening to my live "eduTaining lectures mixed with music and humor!
Paul O. Briones
Host and Co-Developer of Virtual Science University

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