The Common Core State Standards provide an opportunity to realize systemic change and ensure that American students are held to the same high expectations in mathematics and literacy as their global peers — regardless of state or zip code.
When I taught sixth grade, I used to have to teach 127 unique math standards or topics. Now I’d be able to focus on 27 standards, giving me the time needed to make sure all of my students understood the underlying concepts.
Does research show that adding more informational text will improve student achievement?
No, not directly. No one has done a study to examine the learning results when students read different proportions of different kinds of text. The idea that students should get more experience reading informational text is based on the following commonsense notions:
Because people read more informational texts in college and the workplace, it's important to become proficient with these texts.
Strong evidence shows the differences between informational and literary texts as well as in the cognitive processes we use to read such texts (Otto, 1982; Weaver & Kintsch, 1991), so it follows that reading literary texts will not necessarily improve one's ability to handle informational texts.
Students have much less experience reading informational text, which means less opportunity to learn how to read such texts well.
People usually get better at what they practice, so if students had more chances to read informational text, they might improve their abilities in this area.
"...many readers’ histories can be charted according to the series they passed through. And these readers share an important commonality. While some series may may linger longer than others, they are all eventually overshadowed by other series and titles. The series that students move on to generally tend to become more sophisticated."
The Common Core standards, which 45 states and Washington, D.C., have adopted, could be the cure to United States’ mediocre math scores on PISA.
At least that’s a conclusion in an assessment of the latest American scores on the international testof 15-year-olds in 65 nations, whose results were released this week. The 10-page analysis was prepared by the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development; its education administrator, Andreas Schleicher is a big fan of the Common Core.
Then there’s David Conley. His life’s work has been to research college readiness and related policy issues. For decades he's asked, "What does it take to make students succeed in college?" A renowned policy analyst and researcher, David is Professorof educational policy and leadership at the University of Oregon and the CEO and CSO of the educational policy group, Educational Policy Improvement Center.
Mel Riddile's insight:
Conley's latest book, Getting Ready for College, Careers, and the Common Core (2013) describes how he believes we can help students acquire the research skills they will need to navigate an increasingly crowded, complicated, and confusing web of information so they will succeed in college and in their careers.
Mel Riddile of the National Association of Secondary School Principals, details five essential school wide conditions for the Common Core State Standards that will fundamentally shift the way principals lead schools.
Mel Riddile's insight:
Principal leadership matters--perhaps now more than ever before. As much as the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are changing instructional practice in the classroom, we must acknowledge that student learning under CCSS requires a schoolwide transformation that transcends individual classrooms and requires the dedicated, continual attention of the principal. Consider how these five essential schoolwide conditions for CCSS will fundamentally shift the way principals go about leading schools.
"The Common Core standards are only the what. They describe what students should know and be able to do at each grade level. They're not the how. How the standards are taught, what happens in classrooms, that's the curriculum."
"This article focuses on the unit of study as an inquiry-based instructional framework supporting students’ development as writers in single-subject areas or across disciplines. As teacher educators, we collaborate with teachers and students in a variety of middle grades settings, and we have found this framework works well for a diverse range of learners, enhancing their motivation, engagement, and growth as writers. In addition, a unit of study approach to teaching writing can help students meet the new Common Core State Standards for writing."
"A New York Times editorial on December 6 called for improved math instruction, calling the current system “broken.” Although I agree we could be doing a better job of teaching math, the...
Mel Riddile's insight:
"Most American teachers—like most American adults, including me--don’t have a deep conceptual understanding of math. They are a product of the system we are trying to change. You cannot teach what you don’t know."
What should students, teachers, parents, and policy-makers look for in the emerging reform of high school mathematics? From our perspective—as mathematicians, teachers, statisticians, teacher educators, and curriculum developers with extensive experience in school mathematics innovation—there are at least four key elements of the Common Core program that provide a basis for productive change in U. S. high school mathematics:
"Here's how Oklahoma Governor Fallin describes what she's doing through her executive order: "The executive order I signed today makes it clear that neither the Obama Administration nor any subsequent administration will have a hand in developing the Oklahoma Academic Standards. No data will be collected that jeopardizes the privacy of our children. Finally, these standards will not jeopardize the right of every parent to home school their children and educate them as they see fit."
"Hidden in all the OECD (PISA) data, there's also some very good news. In three states – Massachusetts, Florida and Connecticut – enough students took the exam to measure state specific performance on the international level. Only three educational systems worldwide statistically outperformed Massachusetts in reading, and only six in science and nine in math. If all students in the United States were performing at the level of high-schoolers in Massachusetts, our country would be at the top of the pack among peer nations.