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.
LAS CRUCES >> The Common Core State Standards are not just changing how and what New Mexico educators teach their students.
Professors in the College of Education have changed their lesson plans and class structures in response to the new standards, providing future teachers with insight into how to implement Common Core in real-world classrooms, educators said.
"We're all part of the same system," NMSU assistant professor Jamie Baker said of the college's changes. "... It would be foolish to think we act in isolation."
"The Common Core Standards in Mathematics stress the importance of conceptual understanding as a key component of mathematical expertise. Alas, in my experience, many math teachers do not understanding."
Being helped to generalize from one’s specific knowledge is key to genuine understanding.
What is Conceptual Understanding?
knowing that multiplying two negative numbers yields a positive result is not the same thing as understanding why it is true.
…knowledge of procedures is no guarantee of conceptual understanding
"students demonstrate understanding of –
1) which mathematical ideas are key, and why they are important
2) which ideas are useful in a particular context for problem solving
3) why and how key ideas aid in problem solving, by reminding us of the systematic nature of mathematics (and the need to work on a higher logical plane in problem solving situations)
4) how an idea or procedure is mathematically defensible – why we and they are justified in using it
5) how to flexibly adapt previous experience to new transfer problems."
"Instruction for it (conceptual understanding) has to be different than the learning of basic skills and facts." - Dan Willingham
Education Superintendent John White says a continued push to try to keep Louisiana from using tests associated with the Common Core education standards are creating 'a state of chaos' for public school teachers.
"The Common Core standards are good. We need time to implement them, and we need to implement them without threatening school districts or teachers. Our children are smart; let's give them the chance to show us."
Excerpted from an article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer by Patrick O'Donnell on April 17, 2014
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The new Common Coretests coming to Ohio next year will force students to answer questions in ways they have never faced before on state tests.
Mel Riddile's insight:
Thoughts for Principals:
“A lot of people don’t understand how fundamentally different the work is that these standards require,” said Michael Casserly, executive director of the organization representing the country’s largest urban districts. “It appears that a lot of our kids are not adequately prepared for the kinds of complex problem-solving response that they’re being asked for.”
“We will have do to a great deal in changing how we think about instruction in the classroom.” - Eric Gordon, CEO, Cleveland Schools
Two areas of concern:
Students not knowing how to solve problems involving multiple steps,
OLYMPIA, Wash. — April 24, 2014 —Member states of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium reached a significant milestone this week as 2 million students completed either a full English language arts or mathematics Field Test. Launched on March 25, the Field Test is a practice run that allows teachers and students to gain experience with computerized assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards. This effort is one of the largest in history, with more than 3 million students expected to participate through June 6.
Each Smarter Balanced state individually determined how schools and students would be selected to take the Field Test. In some states, a representative sample of students will participate—10 percent of students for each subject area. In others, the Field Test will be administered more broadly. In five states—California, Connecticut, Idaho, Montana, and South Dakota—all or nearly all students in the tested grades are participating in the Field Test. Because questions may be revised or dropped after Field Test responses are analyzed, students will not receive scores.
Mel Riddile's insight:
I recently spoke with two separate groups of school leaders whose students had or were engaged in the SBAC field tests. Their comments ranged from favorable to highly favorable. Other than the expected technology glitches like the occasional need to re-login and some audio issues, the field tests went smoothly. Several principals indicated that their students were much more favorable to the online assessments than they had expected. Some shared that the students enjoyed the process and actually learned from the assessment.
Our education reform debate needs to stay grounded in reality.
"States developed the standards: There is no way to tell the story of the Common Core without starting with this fact: Governors and chief state school officers developed and launched the initiative that led to the creation of the standards we have today. Along the way, the effort grew to include 48 states, not all of which ultimately adopted them. This effort was aimed at elevating the quality of our standards as a nation."
"Good instruction will be the only way to truly prepare students for the assessments. Memorization, drill and test-taking strategies will no longer siphon time from instruction. As students work through well-constructed problems, they are asked to draw upon what they’ve learned and apply it to solve problems."
Under a compromise worked out by legislative leaders, Tennessee would halt its transition to the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers test for one year. This avoids a delay in both the exam and further implementation of the education standards for two years, which the House passed earlier this year.
Aligned to the Common Core State Standards, the forthcoming tests from two nonprofit state assessment consortia—the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers—have the potential to improve student mastery.