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Feelin’ good about Common Core

September 14, 2013

Last week in science class my ninth-grader was assigned to develop a test to measure the absorbency of paper towels, including a few store brands plus whatever they put in the school bathrooms*, and then to write a procedure on how to perform the test. It fit right into the lesson. The teacher selected hjs procedure as a good example to read for the class.

Is this the big deal about teaching informational writing? I remember having to write procedures for every lab in my 7th grade lab notebook. It’s just how science is done.

Common Core? Bring it on.

* the school bathroom brand failed miserably

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  1. John Young
    September 18, 2013 at 10:26 am

    that story makes you feel good about the common core? I’m pretty sure that example is not the concern over information writing. Just guessing though.

  2. John Young
    September 19, 2013 at 7:37 am

    Why do they have to KEEP refuting the origin of CCSS?

    State schools superintendent touts Common Core standards

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    Lillian Lowery

    Photo By JENNIFER ALLARD
    Lillian Lowery

    Maryland State Superintendent Lillian Lowery, left, and Talbot County Public Schools Interim Superintendent Kelly Griffith welcome parents to an open forum to discuss the new Common Core standards.

    Posted: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 12:15 am

    By JENNIFER ALLARD Special to Bay Times

    EASTON — According to Maryland State Superintendent of Schools Lillian Lowery, the introduction of Common Core State Standards to schools’ curriculum will change the way educators, students, parents and the community as a whole see, understand and use education.

    In a Sept. 10 forum at Easton High School, Lowery, Talbot County Public Schools Interim Superintendent Kelly Griffith, Maryland Parent Teacher Association President Ray Leone and Talbot County Teacher of the Year 2012-13 Katie White, each spoke on the benefits and challenges that lie ahead for area schools as they, along with 45 other states and the District of Columbia, bring new education standards to the classroom.

    One of the most important changes will focus on the integration of concepts and skills for students to prepare them for a successful future outside the classroom, Lowery said.

    “Common Core State Standards do not dictate curriculum,” Lowery said. “Rather, they provide benchmarks for success at each grade level in English language arts and mathematics to ensure that our students are college and career ready and prepared to succeed in their futures. These standards will help set them on that path. Teachers and schools will continue to create lesson plans and individualize their instruction for the needs of their students using these benchmarks.”

    Lowery outlined 10 little-known or most commonly misunderstood aspects of Common Core, including its main goal of college and workforce readiness for all students, its basis in state-led, not federal, development, its use as a concept rather than a curriculum, the co-introduction of new, better assessments to match Common Core precepts, its focus on teaching students 21st-century skills, their place in college and workplace expectations, and its creation of a consistent platform of learning for students no matter where they live.

    Perhaps the most dramatic change parents can expect to see in the standards will come in the way English language arts (ELA) and mathematics are presented to students, Lowery said.

    According to the Maryland State Department of Education, in ELA, students will read more complex nonfiction and fiction texts. They will learn to create written arguments using evidence from multiple texts and to gather evidence to defend their opinions.

    In middle and high school, students will apply their literacy skills to mathematics, science, social studies, and technical subjects — learning to read and write well in all subjects.

    In mathematics, students will develop a foundation of mathematical skills and learning from kindergarten through 12th grade, giving them the building blocks to understand why and how math works in the real world. Students will still memorize math facts, but they will also be asked to show their understanding by explaining in writing how they solved math problems.

    Some parents present expressed concern that adopting new standards implied that the state curriculum and teaching methods that have been in place up to the present were inadequate, a direct contradiction to Maryland’s place as the highest-ranking in nationwide schools and education for five years running. Parents said they were worried Common Core Standards might be attempting to fix what was not broken.

    But Lowery assured the audience, made up of parents, educators and community members from all over the Eastern Shore, that Common Core was pushing Maryland’s students higher with more efficient and internationally-competitive objectives that would prepare them for a continually, and quickly, evolving future.

    Griffith said the ultimate goal of implementing the new standards was growth. “We also are implementing a teacher/principal evaluation system and all of those teachers are geared toward writing ‘Student Learning Objectives,’” Griffith said. “(Teachers) are right now doing pre-assessments on their students to see where (in the learning objectives) they are, because the goal of the teacher/principal evaluation and the goal of the school district is student growth, no matter where they have been.

    “We want to make sure that students are growing no matter (at what level) they begin and throughout the year … and we want to challenge them where we can.”

  3. John Young
    September 21, 2013 at 7:03 pm

  4. September 24, 2013 at 8:38 am

    FYI – TFA DE is now on the Town Square blog rotation

    http://townsquaredelaware.com/2013/09/23/walking-the-halls/

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