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"The new standards are tougher!" Teacher on Common Core English Standards

"The new standards are tougher!" Teacher on Common Core English Standards | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it

Hazlett says one of the biggest changes with the new Common Core English standards is a greater emphasis on non-fiction material.

 

“It used to be maybe 20-30 percent of our teaching was non-fiction and now it’s 50 [percent] or more,” she says. “That’s a huge difference.”

 

The new standards are tougher than Ohio’s old standards, Hazlett says, and they require students to analyze writing more deeply.


Via Mel Riddile
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

Many students will be more motivated to learn when they are reading informational text--authentic, publised text that teaches about the real and current world. Granted, that's not all kids need to know, but to nurture a culture of learners, we must become a world of readers.

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Rising to the Challenge | Achieve

Rising to the Challenge | Achieve | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it

Washington, D.C. – December 17, 2014 - A new national survey released by Achieve – Rising to the Challenge: Are High School Graduates Prepared for College and Work? – shows that approximately 50% of recent high school graduates report gaps in preparation for life after high school.  

“Recent high school graduates are telling us that they left high school unprepared for the expectations they faced in college or in the work place,” said Sandy Boyd, chief operating officer of Achieve. “Policymakers should take note and create an environment where college and career ready standards—which all states now have—are translated into high expectations for all students. Until states set gradation policies that match their academic standards and support rigorous instruction, too many recent graduates will continue to feel underprepared for their next steps.”

The survey, which is a follow-up to an earlier survey conducted by Achieve in 2004, found that the perceived rigor of high school is largely unchanged in the past decade.

“The results show us that there continue to be shortcomings in the educational expectations for students, with real consequences when they confront the demands of college or work after high school,” said Geoff Garin, president of Hart Research Associates, which conducted the survey in partnership with Public Opinion Strategies. “Only one in four recent graduates reports that their high school set high academic expectations, which is the same scenario we found ten years ago. Many students are able to easily obtain a high school diploma, but too many find themselves unprepared once they arrive in college or in the working world.”

Most recent high school graduates say they experience a lack of preparedness in at least one subject.

  • 49% of college students and 43% of non-students report large gaps in one or more subject areas.
  • 83% of college students and 81% of non-students report at least some gaps in one or more subject areas.
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Common Core math experts say teachers need to stop using shortcuts and math ‘tricks’

Common Core math experts say teachers need to stop using shortcuts and math ‘tricks’ | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it
Think back to your elementary school math classes. Were you told to think of a greater-than sign as Pac-Man or to cross-multiply when dividing fractions? You weren’t alone. Tricks to help kids get t
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

Again, a math reference on an ELA site...but this is so important. Whenever I'm asked to speak about the math standards, this is part of my standard talk: the easily remembered mnemonics did not teach me how math works, they only reminded me a memorized process in order to get through the problem. Effective in the short run--disabling over the longterm.

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Kit Kats vs Snickers to teach argument/opinion writing

Kit Kats vs Snickers to teach argument/opinion writing | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it
Here's an idea for motivating students to research and then design an argument--use candy bars. I did this with a group of sixth grade students. There were two teams of four students and each team ...
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

Great idea and resources cited, too. I used to have my high school students write arguments on the cars they wanted to purchase or drive when they turned sixteen--their research came from Consumer Reports. The performance task was always successful...girls and boys both look forward to getting their  license and the freedom that comes with that. But, for younger kids, I like the candy idea.

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2015: The year of curriculum-based reform? | The Thomas B. Fordham Institute

2015: The year of curriculum-based reform? | The Thomas B. Fordham Institute | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it

Some of ed reform’s leading lights finally see that what kids learn makes a difference." Robert Pondiscio


"In short, curriculum’s day as the neglected stepchild of education reform seems to be coming to an end. More and more of the country’s savviest practitioners are beginning to realize that structural reform is one important lever, but instructional reform is equally powerful—and instructional reform isn’t just about the instructors. It’s at least as much about the content they impart to their young charges....."

Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

Standards alone will not win the achievement battles--we must design curriculum that addresses the needs of our local districts and perhaps in some cases, our local schools, in order meet the divers needs of all students. While politicians and well-meaning but misinformed parents wage war against a quality set of standards, local educators are working to design curriculum and assessment pieces to meet learners' needs--this is where the energy needs to be placed.

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The Common-Core Standards' Undemocratic Push

The Common-Core Standards' Undemocratic Push | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it

"Today, Americans retain much of the sentiment about local schools they had in Tocqueville's day. But, increasingly, parents and taxpayers view the public schools as an unresponsive bureaucracy carrying out edicts from distant capitals. Today, we are dealing with a deteriorating situation in a declining institution, namely widespread ineffective instruction in the public schools.

The Common Core State Standards have come to the fore precisely at a time when civically active individuals care much more than they usually do about exit, voice, and loyalty. But the common core has denied voice and tried to block exit.


"The common core's designers have taken the existing bureaucracy and increased its centralization and uniformity. By creating the common-core content standards behind closed doors, the authors increased the alienation of the public from schools as institutions worthy of loyalty. The general public had no voice in creating or adopting the common core...."

Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

The author of this editorial holds an opinion in total opposition to mine. Local schools have always had and will continue to have local control over curriculum even with Common Core. However, schools have not had local control over standards for more than thirty years--obviously not a limitation of the Common Core. Moreover, parents have long been frustrated with local schools systems whether or not they feel loyalty to them. I served on a school board in the 1990s and that was because I was frustrated then...and let me tell you, plenty of parents came to us frustrated. Frankly, I don't know of a school board member who chooses to serve because the school is doing such a good job--I would venture nearly all serve because they believe they have something to offer that would improve the school as a whole institution.


AS to the writing of standards, I know of teachers whose names appeared on our pre-Common Core state standards and they didn't feel any more a part of the writing of those "local" standards than do they of the Common Core standards. Some people are up-in-arms because the standards weren't conceived in their backyard but even those standards or policies that are developed at a state level are far from local and have been distanced from local for decades.

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Will test-based teacher evaluations derail the Common Core? - The Hechinger Report

Will test-based teacher evaluations derail the Common Core? - The Hechinger Report | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it
GREAT NECK, N.Y. — On Sept. 2, the day her principal shared each teacher’s annual evaluation, Sheri Lederman came home from work and announced to her husband that she was ready to quit. In the span of one year, Lederman’s score dropped 13 percentage points, suddenly demoting her from an effective teacher to an ineffective …
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

I stand as a proponent of the Common Core, but I never anticipated nor do I espouse the use of standardized assessment in the measurement of teacher performance. As I have shared on this site and others, statisticians do not see the use of such data as reliable and valid sources for teacher metrics. 

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How to Reinvent Bilingual Education for the Kids Who Need It Most

How to Reinvent Bilingual Education for the Kids Who Need It Most | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it
One afternoon last fall, I watched as a group of Hispanic middle school students trained to become the best Spanish-language spellers in America. Their thick practice packet for the fourth annual National Spanish Spelling Bee began with examples of the easiest words students might expect to encounter in the bee’s...
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

I sat in on some powerful Common Core ELA Standards in a dual language class last week and convinced we need more opportunities such as those for kids!

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Why Reading Strategies Usually Don't Help the Better Readers

Why Reading Strategies Usually Don't Help the Better Readers | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it
Yes, we should teach reading comprehension strategies, even to good readers. But we should do so in an environment that emphasizes the value of knowledge and understanding, and that requires students to confront genuine intellectual challenges. Those disciplinary literacy strategies touted in my last entry seem to have motivation built in: trying to connect the graphics and the prose in science to figure out how a process works; or judging the veracity of multiple documents in history; or determining which protagonist an author is most sympathetic to in literature tend to be more purposeful and intellectually engaging than turning headers into questions or summarizing the author’s message.

Via Deb Gardner
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New York school beats the odds by “going rogue” on Common Core - The Hechinger Report

New York school beats the odds by “going rogue” on Common Core - The Hechinger Report | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it
GAINESVILLE, N.Y. — More than a dozen third-graders were doing squats on a snowy Monday morning, followed by punches and push-ups, but they weren’t in gym class — this was math. They counted in unison by threes, then by fours, fives and sixes to the tune of “Oh My Darling Clementine.” “On Thursday we’re going …
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

The article speaks about learning about the Common Core and then teaching to the standards and not the test. The results: improved student achievement (the data admittedly stated in the article are limited) Comments always interest me. The comments following this success story are Debbie Downers--of course. Common Core opposition cannot tolerate any success stories related to the standards and therein lies the rub. There are many ways to make and meet success--but continual debasing of change and adaptation is not among them.

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Why Tennessee Should Stay the Course on Common Core - EdCentral

Why Tennessee Should Stay the Course on Common Core - EdCentral | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it
It’s time for Tennessee to put politics aside and stay the Common Core course while listening to what types of supports teachers need to do so effectively.
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Common Core Repeal, The Day After

Common Core Repeal, The Day After | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it
What do the Common Core State Standards have in common with congressional Democrats and the Chicago Cubs? They all had a really rough year. Of the 45
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

Unbelievable! Legislatures and governors turning their back on the Common Core while ACT, SAT, and nearly every other testing company and educational publishers realigns their assessments and their very college and career ready standards to the Common Core, where are the renegade states to go? More importantly, what are their teachers and students supposed to learn?

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Venture Capitalists Are Poised to ‘Disrupt’ Everything About the Education Market

Venture Capitalists Are Poised to ‘Disrupt’ Everything About the Education Market | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it
Venture capitalists and for-profit firms are salivating over the exploding $788.7 billion market in K-12 education. What does this mean for public school students?
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

Yes, I'm posting this article under the topic Common Core but I am not blaming the standards. The fact is, we are a capitalistic nation and people like to make money on the backs and brains of others. But the basic theories of capitalism are related to free and open trade and the growth of innovation. However, in education we are seeing a something of the opposite: a growth in the marketplace alongside a slide in the classroom. The products (charter schools, textbooks, assessments) are making promises without delivery.

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Rage Against the Common Core

Rage Against the Common Core | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it

"Although the Obama administration didn’t craft the standards, it weighed in heavily, using some of the $4.35 billion from the Race to the Top program to encourage states to adopt not only the Common Core (in itself, a good thing) but also frequent, high-stakes testing (which is deeply unpopular). The mishandled rollout turned a conversation about pedagogy into an ideological and partisan debate over high-stakes testing. The misconception that standards and testing are identical has become widespread.


"At least four states that adopted the Common Core have opted out. Republican governors who initially backed the standards condemn them as 'shameless government overreach.'

"Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, a Republican and a onetime supporter of the Common Core, sued his own state and the United States Department of Education to block the standards from taking effect. When Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, recently announced his decision to “actively explore” a 2016 run for the White House, he ran into a buzz saw of opposition because of his embrace of the Common Core."

Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

Like Larry Ferlazzo's 9th prediction for Common Core in 2015, I too anticipate that the Common Core backlash will wear itself out in the coming months, but I also predict it will take no prisoners as it moves into the backdrop of educational reform in America.

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High Achievers, Tracking, and the Common Core

High Achievers, Tracking, and the Common Core | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it

Tom Loveless discusses the danger that the Common Core will hold back gifted math students in disadvantaged schools even as the parents of suburban students rally to demand accelerated options....


"A curriculum controversy is roiling schools in the San Francisco Bay Area.  In the past few months, parents in the San Mateo-Foster City School District, located just south of San Francisco International Airport, voiced concerns over changes to the middle school math program. The changes were brought about by the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).  Under previous policies, most eighth graders in the district took algebra I.  Some very sharp math students, who had already completed algebra I in seventh grade, took geometry in eighth grade. The new CCSS-aligned math program will reduce eighth grade enrollments in algebra I and eliminate geometry altogether as a middle school course. 

Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

Tracking has always been an issue...and what constitutes tracking is argued among many or even most. In reading this article, what is defined as tracking is surely not the kind of tracking my high school engaged in when I first started teaching in 1987. See what you think...

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Testing Scuffles Persist, Cast Doubt on Common-Core Assessments

Testing Scuffles Persist, Cast Doubt on Common-Core Assessments | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it
Assessment continues its uphill push for support, with recent outcroppings of opposition in Arizona, Indiana and Chicago.
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

Of course...and they will continue.

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Common Core State Standards aren't so easy to replace | The Thomas B. Fordham Institute

Editor's note: This post was originally published in a slightly different form as an op-ed in the Washington PostIt was subsequently republished in the Denver PostTampa Bay TimesSalt Lake TribuneTampa TribunePhiladelphia InquirerCommercial AppealPost and CourierPost-StandardNews TribuneNews Journaland Capital Times.


"Crying “Dump it!” might be good politics. But any high standards will look a lot like Common Core." Michael J. Petrilli and Michael Brickman

Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

Yes, this has appeared in a number of publications probably because the point is well-taken.

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The missing link between standards and instruction | The Thomas B. Fordham Institute

Previously, I posted about the perils of applying standards-driven instruction to reading classrooms. The point was that reading standards typically don’t articulate the content that students need to learn to become good readers; they merely list the skills and habits exhibited by already good readers....


"[D]evelopers need the time and space to carefully cull resources; to write problems and questions; to make decisions about how best to scaffold and sequence those resources; and to provide guidance about differentiation, about the prerequisite knowledge and skills needed to achieve mastery, and about how best to assess student learning.


"Of course, curriculum development alone won’t bridge the gap between standards and student learning. Teachers need to take coherent curriculum and adapt programs and resources to meet the needs of the students they teach. But adapting existing programs is a far cry from developing from scratch something entirely new.


"We have had a long and worthy debate over the need to have rigorous standards in every state. But it would be an enormous mistake to assume that the adoption and defense of these rigorous standards is the end point. The next step must be to ensure that the selection of these strong standards is followed by the selection of strong curricula. Only then will we ensure that students receive the strong instruction they deserve."

Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

Exactly! Standards are the backbone on which the body of instruction relies for integrity and continuity while curricula are the organs give life to learning.

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Implementing the Common Core State Standards: The Role of the School Leader Action Brief | Achieve

Implementing the Common Core State Standards: The Role of the School Leader Action Brief | Achieve | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it

These Action Briefs for school leaders are a starting point, designed to increase awareness of the standards, create a sense of urgency around their implementation, and provide these stakeholders — who are faced with dramatically increased expectations in the context of fewer resources — with a deeper understanding of the standards and their role in implementing the standards. Achieve, in partnership with College Summit, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and the National Association of Elementary School Principals, released this with support from MetLife Foundation.


Via Mel Riddile
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Surveying the Common-Core Chatter: How Will the Standards Fare in 2015?

Surveying the Common-Core Chatter: How Will the Standards Fare in 2015? | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it
Will the Common Core State Standards survive despite opposition rhetoric, or was 2014 just the start of growing backlash to the standards?
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ReadWorks Now Offers Poems and Question Sets for K-12 Classrooms

ReadWorks Now Offers Poems and Question Sets for K-12 Classrooms | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it

ReadWorks is a free service that I have been recommending for about a year now. It provides teachers with hundreds of lesson plans and more than two thousand reading non-fiction and fiction passages aligned to Common Core standards. Recently, ReadWorks expanded again. The latest expansion includes poems and question sets. The collection is organized by grade level. In the collection you will find poems by Frost, Dickinson, Stevenson, and other notable poets. 



Via Deb Gardner
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Hattie, Problem-based Learning & Performance Tasks | Partner in Education

Hattie, Problem-based Learning & Performance Tasks | Partner in Education | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it

As the calendar turns the page and another year begins, what better time to simultaneously reflect and anticipate. What can you do to improve the teaching and learning environment in your classroom? No matter how masterful your teaching, how enthused your instruction, and how engaged your students, there is always room for improvement. One way to think about constructive change in tomorrow’s lesson is through personal reflection coupled with research.

Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

The Common Core cries for performance-based learning. Proficiency of the reading standards cannot be demonstrated without performance: writing or speaking of some nature. But teachers should not limit student performance to 5-paragraph essays, short answer response, or PowerPoint presentations. Performance should be authentic representations of disciplinary products. Teachers, be creative. Your model of creativity will inspire the students around you. 

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Exploring Imagery Through Beowulf

Exploring Imagery Through Beowulf | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it
Great lessons ideas for teaching middle school students with the ELA Common Core Standards. This video shows lessons that teach students to write narratives with descriptive details, provide an objective summary of the text and analyze how elements of a text interact.
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

A good lesson but I was surprised to see Beowulf taught in seventh grade. Those of use who teach high school know it to be a canonical Brit Lit text. On the other hand, Katie Novak is not teaching this lesson for the same purposes as a Brit Lit teacher would approach the epic poem. Be sure and scroll through the comments where Katie offers some additional instructional materials.  

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Harvard Education Publishing Group - Home

Harvard Education Publishing Group - Home | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it

Myth #1 The Common Core State Standards are a national curriculum.

Myth #2 The Common Core State Standards are an Obama administration initiative.

Myth #3 The Common Core standards represent a modest change from current practice.

Myth #4 States cannot implement the Common Core standards in the current budget climate.

Myth #5 The Common Core State Standards will transform schools.

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Michael J. Petrilli and Michael Brickman: Common Core's test for states - Memphis Commercial Appeal

Michael J. Petrilli and Michael Brickman: Common Core's test for states - Memphis Commercial Appeal | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it
If our fellow Republicans move to embrace standards that are even higher than Common Core, they’d better have a realistic plan for putting them in place.
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The Man Behind Common Core Math

The Man Behind Common Core Math | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it
The Common Core math standards were largely written by a physics professor working part time in his garage. Now they're in use by tens of millions of students nationwide.
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:
A interesting article that humanizes the people & processes involved in writing the Common Core State Standards.
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