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Common Core: School leaders worry about transition to a new, more rigorous curriculum

Common Core: School leaders worry about transition to a new, more rigorous curriculum | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

The three-year transition to a more challenging K-12 curriculum in math and English language arts has just begun, but some school officials worry the state isn't moving fast enough.

 

The Common Core Standards will:

 

1. be more rigorous

 

2. demand higher-order thinking

 

3. introduce some concepts at an earlier age.

 

4. Allow for interstate comparisons.

 

- "South Dakota will get its best look yet at how its students stack up against much of the rest of the country."

 

"An investment we can't affort not to fund."

 

- Harrisburg Superintendent Jim Holbeck said teachers will need a lot of time to align their lessons to Common Core. That’s going to require professional development during the summer, he said, and teachers will have to be paid for that time.

“This is an investment we can’t afford not to fund,” he said.

But for now, school districts are planning to bear much of the costs on their own.

 

Transition creates gaps in instruction


- The tricky thing about moving to Common Core will be the transition years.

 

- When the new standards are implemented and a key math concept moves from second grade to first grade, what happens to that year’s second-graders?

 

- "Gap Map" - In Sioux Falls, committees of educators are assembling a “gap map,” which will identify the lessons students will miss if nothing is done. Next, they’ll create mini-units for the affected teachers to use during the transition.

 

Testing Challenges

 

Testing students during the transition presents its own challenges.

South Dakota is part of a 30-state consortium developing new assessments they hope will be ready for 2015. In the interim, students will continue to take the Dakota-STEP.

 

That means that until at least 2014, students will be tested and schools held accountable based on the state’s old math standards. But many school districts will have the new standards in place well before then.

 

The state will embed the Dakota-STEP with 20 questions from Common Core, but those questions will not count for school accountability.

 

“Even though Dakota-STEP will continue to be administered right up until 2015, teachers will be teaching the new K-12 Common Core state math standards starting next year in 2012,” McAdaragh said.

 

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College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders
The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) supporting school leaders in helping all students become college and career-ready and to succeed in post-secondary education and training
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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 | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | 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.

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5 Steps to Preparing Students to Succeed on the New Common Core-Aligned Tests

5 Steps to Preparing Students to Succeed on the New Common Core-Aligned Tests | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

Reading tests do not measure question-answering skills. Old-style test prep won't work!


By Tim Shanahan

  • Reading comprehension tests do not measure question-answering skills, but instead estimate how well students can read particular kinds of texts with understanding.
  • PARCC and SBAC are pointedly avoiding making claims that their assessments will reveal whether students are meeting particular standards, but instead provide an overall estimate of reading comprehension.
  • Reading comprehension tests measure how well students read texts, not how well they execute particular reading skills.
  • So, item analysis is not an effective strategy for improving reading comprehension. 
  • PARCC and SBAC tests are, won't they be able to provide specific diagnostic information.
5 Steps to making students sophisticated and powerful readers:


  1. Have students read extensively within instruction.
  2. Have students read increasing amounts of text without guidance or support.
  3. Make sure the texts are rich in content and sufficiently challenging.
  4. Have students explain their answers and provide text evidence supporting their claims.
  5. Engage students in writing about text, not just in replying to multiple-choice questions.


Mel Riddile's insight:
  1. Good instruction and literacy instruction are one in the same.
  2. Reading increasingly complex text, with appropriate support, improves reading comprehension.
  3. Writing about what you read improves reading comprehension.
  4. Students cannot become better readers by listening to teachers talk.
  5. Reading and writing should be purposeful and teachers should hold students accountable for gaining knowledge and understanding from what they are asked to read.
  6. Students writing should be persuasive in nature and they should be asked to make claims and provide supporting evidence from text.
  7. Teacher constructed assessments should use fewer multiple-choice items and should require students to read and write about the text.
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Common Core can help overcome math anxiety and "our society's math phobia"

Common Core can help overcome math anxiety and "our society's math phobia" | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Our society's math phobia is all the more reason to take a closer look at Common Core in Ohio and to preserve it, to help our children learn, write Alice Gill and Linda Gojak.
Mel Riddile's insight:

"we are willing to fight to protect Common Core — not because it's popular or unpopular, not because it's perfect, but because it's the right thing to do for children. "

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Engaging All Students in Common Core Math

Engaging All Students in Common Core Math | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
In this video series, see four teachers who are committed to making sure all of their students succeed in high school math.
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New Math Standards a Hurdle for Some Texas Students and Teachers

New Math Standards a Hurdle for Some Texas Students and Teachers | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
More rigorous math curriculum is in use in Texas elementary and middle schools, and students are required to learn some concepts up to two years sooner.


New Math Standards Pose Problems For Some Texas Students And Teachers.

The New York Times (12/12, Smith, Subscription Publication) reports on the “challenging” transition to new math education standards in Texas, which have accelerated some material by as much as two years with a greater focus on the concepts underlying mathematical operations. The piece features criticisms of age-appropriateness levied by teachers and concerned parents alike. The piece also features concerns that math test scores are used in school accountability scores, while some teachers are having trouble preparing to teach the new material.

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Quick Reference Guides to the Next Generation Science Standards

Quick Reference Guides to the Next Generation Science Standards | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

NTSA


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Why the Common Core can help students learn mathematics more deeply

Why the Common Core can help students learn mathematics more deeply | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

"Traditionally, mathematics instruction has focused largely, if not exclusively, on procedural fluency. The idea was to ensure that students could perform basic calculations quickly and easily, perhaps in under five seconds, as Jack Severt did with the subtraction problem. To enable students to attain fluency, teachers assigned sets of problems so that students could increase their proficiency in solving them quickly. Word problems that presented real-world situations were included too, but these tended to be textual versions of number problems; fluent students could easily identify the structure of the problem and plug in the appropriate numbers."

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Consortium Begins Common-Core Tests in Some Districts

Consortium Begins Common-Core Tests in Some Districts | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
One multistate testing consortium—the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers—is giving tests this fall to 30,000 secondary students.


Consortium Begins Administration Of First Common Core Exams.

The Education Week (12/10, Gewertz) reports the first common-core standardized tests are “making their debut this month” as some students will be given exam developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers this fall to students in several states. Other students will take the exam in the spring, including tests developed by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. Currently, 30,000 students will take the exam this month, with more than 5 million expected to take the PARCC exam during the 2014-2015 school year.

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Common Core has state's teacher support

West Virginia Teachers Back New State Standards.

The Charleston (WV) Daily Mail (12/8, Speciale), noting plans by some state lawmakers to “challenge use of the controversial Common Core standards” before West Virginia’s legislature reconvenes next month, reports on teachers’ claims that backtracking would “hinder hard-fought progress in the classroom.” State Sen. Donna Boley (R) said the writing of West Virginia’s Next Generation Content Standards was “outsourced” to organizations funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – a claim disputed by Teresa Hammond, a state Education Department math and science coordinator who helped retooled the standards. Hammond still remembers going through the standards and vetting each objective. “The old standards were more about what teachers were responsible for doing, and the new ones focus on what children need to understand,” Hammond said.

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PARCC for Parents - A brief presentation to parents

PARCC for Parents - A brief presentation to parents | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Still confused about what exactly the PARCC test is? This presentation is for you!

Via Darren Burris
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30,000 students in 6 states take first official administration of the Common Core exam this month

30,000 students in 6 states take first official administration of the Common Core exam this month | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
30,000 students in six states are sitting for the first official administration of the exam this month


After years of development and field testing and controversy, the new Common Core test known as PARCC is going prime time. Some 30,000 students in six states are sitting for the first official administration of the exam this month, the vanguard of some 5 million students who will take the PARCC later in the school year.

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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' | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | 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 the right answers to difficult problems have long been a staple of American math education. But if Common Core supporters have their …
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Jason Zimba explains how the #CCSS really were developed and what the math standards really say.

As one of the lead writers of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, I begin by explaining what the standards are, what they are not, and how they were developed. Then I detail some ways in which the standards differ from previous state standards. Finally, I describe some of the developments I have seen in the implementation of the standards and the key developments I would like to see in the future. 


http://scholarworks.umb.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1661&context=nejpp

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"Sobering Results" as Students Fall Short on Common-Core Test

"Sobering Results" as Students Fall Short on Common-Core Test | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

The ACT's Aspire, designed to reflect the common core, has produced its first round of statewide results. In nearly every grade and both subjects, more than half of Alabama's students fall below the cut points that connote being on track for success in college, according to local news media reports. The tests in reading and math were given to Alabama students in grades 3-8 for the first time last school year. The state chose that new suite of assessments when it dropped out of the federally funded assessment consortia. 

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New standardized tests spark educator concerns

New standardized tests spark educator concerns | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
In less than three months, public school students statewide will take a new standardized test.


New standardized tests spark educator concerns throughout state

Common Core learning curriculum for students in kindergarten through 12th grade has been adopted by several states, including Illinois, is here.
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State Finds Majority Of Old Standards In Common Core

State Finds Majority Of Old Standards In Common Core | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
West Virginia Finds Majority Of Old Standards In Common Core.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting (12/12, Marra) reports that the West Virginia Board of Education found that the state’s Next Generation Standards (a version of Common Core) overlapped with prior English standards by 80% and math standards by 73%. Changes noted between the old 21 Century standards and the new Common Core system dealt mainly with the age-appropriate progression of material between grades. The findings prompted remarks from Common Core opponents acknowledging misconceptions and calls for openness to the findings.

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Before and After: The Math Shifts in Common Core-Aligned Assessments

Before and After: The Math Shifts in Common Core-Aligned Assessments | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
A set of examples illustrating what the math Shifts look like in CCSS-aligned assessment
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Educator dispel myths about national standards

Educator dispel myths about national standards | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

WORCESTER, MA


Sponsored by The Research Bureau and moderated by school Superintendent Melinda J. Boone, the forum featured Richard Bisk, math professor at Worcester State University; Phyllis Goldstein, Worcester public schools' English language arts liaison; and Mr. Chester. 

While the Common Core standards were adopted by Massachusetts in 2010, the state is facing more change as it pilots a test — the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers — that was designed to assess what students learn under Common Core and which could replace the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System exams in 2016.

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Teaching Text Structures for Non-Fiction Reading - YouTube

This video shows you how to teach students to identify text structures in non-fiction or informational reading. Research shows that when students learn to identify text structures, they understand and retain the material better. To download the graphic organizers shown in this video and read more about the research supporting the explicit teaching of text structures, go to http://www.cultofpedagogy.com/text-st...


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10 Important Tips for Successful Close Reading

December, 2014
Close reading is definitely a "survival skill" particularly in a world drowned in information. Close reading is all about reading differently, it is reading for deep understanding through paying attention to what others would normally oversight. Being a close reader entails focus and dedication to your reading material. It empowers readers to delve deeper into the latent meanings of text searching for cues that make the reading  a totally different experience,  one that resembles the detective work. Close reading is also about critical reading, reading that does not take things at face value but rather investigates for what is hidden between the lines.

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Educators question future progress if state backs away from Common Core - The Hechinger Report

Educators question future progress if state backs away from Common Core - The Hechinger Report | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

JACKSON, Miss. 


Mississippi Educators Say Tossing Standards Would Threaten Future Progress.

The Hechinger Report (12/7, Skinner, Mader) cites educators “across Mississippi” as saying their “already-lagging state will ‘move backwards’” if Gov. Phil Bryant and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves eliminate Common Core standards and create new ones. Recent remarks by both officials attacking the standards, which Mississippi chose to adopt in 2010, with most other states, “angered” Rhea Williams-Bishop, executive director of the nonprofit Mississippi Center for Education Innovation, who said public education “should not be ‘politicized’ in this way.”

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Thinking Notes: A Strategy to Encourage Close Reading | Teaching Channel

Thinking Notes: A Strategy to Encourage Close Reading | Teaching Channel | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
By making Thinking Notes, or metacognative markers, consistent between students when they are reading, you prepare them for a better discussion of the text. Watch how to use this simple strategy to help your students better understand texts.
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Math Teachers Supporting the Common Core State Standards

"The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) is committed to helping educators interpret and understand the Common Core State Standards. The Council supports educators’ efforts to develop and put in place the associated comprehensive and coherent school, district, and state systems of instruction and assessment. Instruction and assessment that are aligned with these standards must be rooted in and promote principles of access and equity. When properly implemented, the Common State Standards will support all students’ access to, and success in, high-quality mathematics programs. Such programs lead to knowledge of mathematics content and reasoning skills that enable students to apply mathematics effectively in a myriad of careers and in everyday life."

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We Actually Do Have to Teach Everyone

We Actually Do Have to Teach Everyone | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

"The English Language Arts (ELA) Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for speaking, listening, reading, and writing present a framework that places literacy within content-area learning. These new rigorous expectations for what students know and can do are meant to complement the knowledge demands within a subject area. Accordingly, these standards emphasize a shared responsibility for advancing students’ literacy proficiencies across subject areas. However, improvements in literacy instruction and performance at scale are unlikely without the creation of a strong, visible, transparent common culture of literacy practice. This has proven to be a key challenge in American high schools."

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Teachers Advocate to Alter Class Schedules to Fit Common Core Instruction

Teachers Advocate to Alter Class Schedules to Fit Common Core Instruction | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
In order to fit in Common Core instruction, teachers across the U.S. are advocating to alter or lengthen class schedules in order to help their students.
Mel Riddile's insight:

Educators in Pennsylvania, California, and Delaware "are calling for a restructuring of the school day so that students spend more time in each class. Instead of the typical class period of about 45 minutes, schools are lengthening classes to upwards of 90 minutes to cover all the material and allow teachers to change the way they teach to meet the new requirements," said an article on TheHechingerReport.com. - 

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