Who would dispute the idea that feedback is a good thing? Both common sense and research make it clear: Formative assessment, consisting of lots of feedback and opportunities to use that feedback, enhances performance and achievement.
The poll of 600 Pennsylvanians, conducted for the Pennsylvania Business Council Education Foundation, shows that 80 percent of those surveyed had heard, seen, or read nothing about the common standards. Of the 20 percent who knew about them, six in 10 said that what they had heard made them more inclined to support them, and three in 10 said they'd be less inclined to do so.
A few months ago I was invited by Student Achievement Partners (achievethecore.org) to become a “Common Core Advocate” with 100 other educators across the nation.
3 ELA Shifts:
1. Building knowledge through content-rich nonfiction
Misconception: Not reading fiction anymore–We are spending more time with nonfiction. We are actually using texts as a source of knowledge. We can learn about what’s happening through text. In elementary right now, 80%of what kids read is stories. The breakdown is closing to 50/50 by 5th
2. Reading, writing, and speaking grounded in evidence from text, both literary and informational
3. Regular practice with complex text and its academic language
The gap between college level reading requirements and what kids read in 12th grade is greater than the gap between what kids read in 8th and 4th grade
This is the most challenging of the shifts because it goes against everything we have been doing in terms of teaching to students’ instructional levels–We are talking about kids being productively frustrated here.
As districts and states prepare to implement Common Core curricula, instructional leadership is perhaps the most important area to affect student learning. Knowing how to implement, monitor, and assess a new curriculum can be daunting for any leader. How can principals ensure that teachers know and understand the content of the new curriculum? How can they effectively monitor delivery of the new curriculum in a meaningful way?
The following tips, from a school principal in a state that has fully implemented the Common Core State Standards, can help.
PARCC's policy will be that students earn the "college readiness" determination by performing at level 4 on a 5-level test.
Reaching that level on the language arts part of the exam will mean that students have "demonstrated the academic knowledge, skills, and practices necessary" to skip remedial classes and go directly into entry-level, credit-bearing courses in "college English composition, literature, and technical courses requiring college-level reading and writing."
Scoring at level 4 in math allows students to enroll directly in entry-level, credit-bearing courses in algebra, introductory statistics, and "technical courses requiring an equivalent level" of math.
The Writing Across the Curriculum movement has successfully introduced faculty across disciplines to a variety of writing, including very informal writing that faculty do not necessarily read or grade.
After working for nearly 50 years as an educator, I am all too frequently chagrined by how much we do not know, by how many questions about teaching remain unanswered. But there is one thing we absolutely do know: We know how to effectively teach individual words!