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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 | Common Core State 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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Common Core State Standards for School Leaders
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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 State 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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More states are taking middle-of-the-road approaches toward the #CommonCore

More states are taking middle-of-the-road approaches toward the #CommonCore | Common Core State Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Revising Common Core could calm many concerns and still lead to high standards, one expert says.


"These types of bills, Smarick says, could lead to the best outcome for the Common Core initiative in the long-run."

Mel Riddile's insight:

States always had the option of adding up to 15% to the Standards, but many chose to adopt the CCSS as is. Now, they are doing the right thing by personalizing the Standards to the needs of students in their states.

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Computer errors invalidate writing exam scores

Computer errors invalidate writing exam scores | Common Core State Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Students taking new online tests faced a number of glitches, including being kicked offline mid-test.
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Common Core has been tougher to implement than anyone imagined! | Peabody Reflector

Common Core has been tougher to implement than anyone imagined! | Peabody Reflector | Common Core State Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

Peabody of Vanderbilt U. professors reflect on the Common Core


"Most agree the idea of standardized learning across the states is a lofty, yet necessary goal. How to accomplish that is another question. At Peabody, opinions on Common Core are as mixed as elsewhere in American society."

Mel Riddile's insight:

" The ultimate outcome remains to be seen, but the focus on teaching students to move beyond memorization to thinking independently and creatively is a positive step—at least in theory, according to Marcy Singer-Gabella, professor of the practice of education and associate chair of the Department of Teaching and Learning."

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Washington Post on What is the Common Core? Here’s what you need to know about it.

Washington Post on What is the Common Core? Here’s what you need to know about it. | Common Core State Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

"Common Core is a set of education standards -- for English and math -- that were adopted in 2010. Forty-five states and the District of Columbia decided to follow the new guidelines. Alaska, Nebraska, Texas and Virginia opted out, while Minnesota decided to only adopt the English standards (with others perhaps joining them soon). These states began implementing the standards last year.

The standards haven't created national curricula -- state and local educators are still in charge of that. Instead, they establish benchmarks that make it easier to compare how students are doing across state lines, and to make sure students across the country are learning the same essentials."

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What is "computer adaptive"?: How PARCC and SBAC differ

What is "computer adaptive"?: How PARCC and SBAC differ | Common Core State Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

"The two assessments have one key difference: SBAC tests are computer adaptive, meaning the technology “customizes assessment to each student,” explains King. At the beginning of the test, all students start with questions of medium difficulty, which “get a little more or less difficult until the test hones in on the student’s knowledge level.” PARCC tests are “fixed,” meaning that all students will get similar questions.

This distinction points out another difference: Computer adaptive testing requires technology. SBAC assessments must be taken on internet-connected technological devices, while PARCC tests can be offered both on devices and on paper."

Mel Riddile's insight:

Who benefits from "computer adaptive" testing?


Some experts contend that "computer adaptive testing is especially helpful for struggling students. “In fixed testing, you learn a lot about what the struggling student doesn’t know how to do, but not very much about what the struggling student does know how to do.”

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States' shift on Common Core could usher in education chaos

States' shift on Common Core could usher in education chaos | Common Core State Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Here’s a suggestion for something to include in Wisconsin-specific education standards for Wisconsin children: By the end of first grade, children will know that two Badgers plus two Badgers equals four Badgers. You want Indiana-specific standards for Indiana kids? By the end of first grade, children will know that two Hoosiers plus two Hoosiers equals four Hoosiers. North Carolina standards for North Carolina kids? You got it—two Tar Heels plus two Tar Heels equals four Tar Heels.
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How Will Educators Prepare?

How Will Educators Prepare? | Common Core State Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

As state policymakers continue to grapple with Common Core State Standards (CCSS) decisions and debate which tests will be used to assess students’ progress with the new standards, educators face moving targets as they plan for the 2014–15 school year.

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Why Do Americans Stink at Math? The 'say-do' gap

Why Do Americans Stink at Math? The 'say-do' gap | Common Core State Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
The Common Core should finally improve math education. The problem is that no one has taught the teachers how to teach it.
Mel Riddile's insight:

We don't need more ideas. Implementation is the key! We simply need to implement what we already know with fidelity.


" The trouble always starts when teachers are told to put innovative ideas into practice without much guidance on how to do it. In the hands of unprepared teachers, the reforms turn to nonsense, perplexing students more than helping them."

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Common Core repeal: educators concerned students will fall even further behind

Common Core repeal: educators concerned students will fall even further behind | Common Core State Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) With the Legislature's repeal of tough, new English and math standards known as Common Core, education leaders said they're concerned Oklahoma students will fall further behind their counterparts in more than 40 state which have implemented the standards. 

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Finding the Gold Standard of Common Standards Implementation

Finding the Gold Standard of Common Standards Implementation | Common Core State Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
In North Carolina's Iredell-Statesville school district, teachers report a smooth implementation of the standards now being targeted for review by the state legislature.
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Florida counts down to new Common Core standards, exams

Florida counts down to new Common Core standards, exams | Common Core State Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
For the past year The Hechinger Report and StateImpact Florida have taken you into two schools to hear what preparations for Florida’s new Common Core-based standards sound like. The standards outline what students should know in math and language arts. When classes start this fall every grade in every Florida public school will use them. …
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Common Core Aligned Writing Rubrics

Common Core Aligned Writing Rubrics | Common Core State Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
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"Learning to read well and do complicated math should be a shared expectation, not a dicey political dispute."

"Learning to read well and do complicated math should be a shared expectation, not a dicey political dispute." | Common Core State Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

"Learning to read well and do complicated math should be a shared expectation, not a dicey political dispute. The Common Core standards for what students should know at each grade level — not just the facts, but how to think critically — will help prepare our nation for fierce global competition.

Wisconsin is already spending $23 million to implement new tests tied to the Common Core standards. Walker previously agreed to spend millions so the tests could begin next spring. Educators have spent tens of thousands of hours preparing for the more rigorous benchmarks, adjusting curriculums and teaching methods."

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Report Backs Computer-Based Testing for Students

Report Backs Computer-Based Testing for Students | Common Core State Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Fourth graders can adequately demonstrate their writing ability on computer-based tests, says a new study by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, clearing the way for more testing in technological formats and raising questions about an uneven playing field for students.
Mel Riddile's insight:
  • Fourth graders can adequately demonstrate their writing ability on computer-based tests.
  • Students in wealthier districts handle computer-based testing with greater ease than pupils in poor districts.
  • "There is an advantage for the child who word-processes every single day versus the child who uses a computer once a week in computer lab,"
  • the utilization of computers for testing by states will continue to accelerate with the implementation of Common Core aligned assessments
  • 33 states were using some form of online testing
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What A Common Core Lesson Sounds Like In A 10th-Grade English Class

What A Common Core Lesson Sounds Like In A 10th-Grade English Class | Common Core State Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
The Common Core State Standards in literacy and math have generated lots of attention and controversy, but what do they look and sound like in a classroom?
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Maryland to use much harder #CommonCore #PARCC tests for high school graduation requirement

Maryland to use much harder #CommonCore #PARCC tests for high school graduation requirement | Common Core State Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Starting next year, students will face tougher requirements to graduate from Maryland's public high schools.
Mel Riddile's insight:

Maryland is wise to "phase in" the assessments.


The tests, generally given by the time students finish the 10th grade, will be phased in starting with this fall's rising freshmen and sophomores.

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Common Core draws support from former governors

Common Core draws support from former governors | Common Core State Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

MLive (7/24) reports that former Michigan Gov. John Engler (R), former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue (R), and former Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas (R) released a set of online videos Wednesday in support of the Common Core Standards, noting that the videos were released by the Collaborative for Student Success.


The videos stress that the Common Core is “a state, not federal, effort.”

Mel Riddile's insight:

The videos were released by the  Collaborative for Student Success, a group supporting the standards and backed by the Gates Foundation, feature Engler along with former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue and former Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas.


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​Online Common Core Testing Poses Challenge for Schools

​Online Common Core Testing Poses Challenge for Schools | Common Core State Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

"Common Core does make technology a priority for many schools."


“the field test was an opportunity not only in helping us gather the information we needed on how well the test questions were performing, but also an opportunity for schools to do a full practice run of administering an online assessment.”

Mel Riddile's insight:

Online testing "will require significant administrative preparation from schools"


..."especially for those with less technology in the classroom."


“It’s certainly spurring us to improve our technology, but how quickly can we really do this?”


Note: "online assessments can test technological savviness in addition to academic concepts."

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Close reading: A revolution delayed

Close reading: A revolution delayed | Common Core State Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
For all of the talk about how different reading instruction is meant to be in the Common Core era, and for all of the hand wringing over the critical “instructional shifts” embedded in the new literacy standards, a glimpse at the world of classroom implementation reveals that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
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School leaders, math anxiety is negatively impacting the math achievement of your students!

School leaders, math anxiety is negatively impacting the math achievement of your students! | Common Core State Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

"new evidence suggests that the monumental effort required to change math instruction may pale in comparison to what will be needed to change another invisible yet formidable barrier to improved student math achievement—an irrational, culturally induced fear of mathematics..."

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What is the difference between math before and math now?

It has been four years now, since the release of the Common Core standards in Mathematics.  We have sought to understand, to implement, to adjust to the shift in practice and expectation. But as Grant Wiggins points out in his recent blog, I'm not sure we have really put our collective mind around the true intent and value to our students.

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Report Finds Higher Education Slow to Adapt to #CommonCore

Report Finds Higher Education Slow to Adapt to #CommonCore | Common Core State Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
A paper from the New America Foundation sees a disconnect between the rollout of the Common Core State Standards and higher education policies.
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Make or Break, Why Middle School Math Counts

Make or Break, Why Middle School Math Counts | Common Core State Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
How do we increase motivation, build persistence, support the transition into a more independent educational experience, and prepare for future success?
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Writing Standards in Action

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Common Core test scores tell less about what children know than about how test makers decide to measure that knowledge

Common Core test scores tell less about what children know than about how test makers decide to measure that knowledge | Common Core State Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Scores on the new Common Core tests—just like those on earlier forms of assessment—reveal less about what children know than about the way test makers decide to measure that knowledge.
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