The Common Core also emphasizes formative assessment data. Summative data is essential for providing programatic feedback and acheivement data within schools, across districts and even states. However, well written formative assessments still provide the classroom teacher with indepth, reliable, timely and instructionally actionable information to inform instruction. Teachers.... still the NUMBER ONE variable impacting student achievement. Creating exemplary formative assessments and using the data quickly and smartly will contribute to student success on PARCC.
The Council of the Great City Schools has just unveiled a new website on the Common Core State Standards that is designed specifically to help urban districts more easily communicate the changes that will be afoot both for teachers and for students under the new academic expectations.
To help districts explain these very complicated shifts to non-English-speaking parents, the council has produced a three-minute video in Spanish that describes the common-core standards and what parents should expect.
The Council's common-core website has a section on English-learners and features a video of the recent panel discussion at the College Board that focused on ELL students' rights to rigorous academic programs and content.
This might be worth marking your calendars and following the conversation on Twitter (#BCTesting).
Student performance on standardized tests is increasingly being used to measure the quality of education provided by teachers and schools.
On November 29, the Brown Center on Education Policy at Brookings will release a study, authored by Matthew M. Chingos, describing the assessment systems currently in place in states around the country. The report contains new data on state spending on testing as well as the characteristics of the tests taken by students across the country. After a keynote address delivered by College Board President David Coleman, panelists will respond to the report and discuss the important decisions states will face over the next few years as many implement the Common Core standards and transition to new tests.
Do higher standards hurt struggling students? High Standards Help Struggling Students: New Evidence, argues that the answer to that question is “no.” In the analysis, Education Sector analysts Constance Clark and Peter Cookson Jr. use state-by-state NAEP data to examine the effect of high standards on student achievement. They find there is no evidence that high standards have hurt low-achieving students. In fact, they found that higher standards have probably helped.
"There is no reason for states to dilute the strength of the standards with lower expectations of performance.” High standards bring out the best in students."
In her Prezi, Erica Beaton leads teachers on a journey from her days of teaching that “all thoughts about texts are great” to her current approach of “I want you to legitimately understand and interact with complex texts for the sake of entering the argumentative conversation of which they are a part."
At the same time that thousands of school districts nationwide are beginning to implement the Common Core State Standards in English/language arts, many also face new state reading policies for the early grades that call for the identification of struggling readers, require interventions to help them, and, in some instances, mandate the retention of 3rd graders who lack adequate reading skills.
A number of states recently adopted such policies, many of which have echoes of a long-standing Florida measure for reading intervention and retention for those who lack adequate reading skills. In all, according to the Education Commission of the States, 32 states plus the District of Columbia now have statutes in place intended to improve reading proficiency by the end of 3rd grade.
The rollout of common assessments to measure how students are mastering the Common Core State Standards is now less than two years away, and the two groups of states working to design the tests are ramping up efforts to ensure English-learners and students with disabilities won't be left behind.
The subject's ascent stems from its emphasis in the common core, feedback from colleges and the workplace, and emerging research.
Now more than ever it's recognized that reading and writing directly complement each other. "Now we're seeing a lot more attention to the idea that writing about a text can improve reading about that text," said literacy expert Timothy Shanahan, the chairman of the department of curriculum and instruction at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Further, the TYPE of writing is important. The idea, said Susan Pimentel, one of the lead authors of the standards, is to reduce writing "opinion untethered to evidence" and "decontextualized" writing—writing not based on the reading of a text—in favor of writing that requires students to read, comprehend, and respond to text, grounding their interpretations in evidence found there. That shift reflects what young people can expect in college and work, she said.
Multiple reads, close reads, reading complex texts and writing opinions/arguments based on textual evidence are the mainstays of CCSS.
It’s easy to get students writing an argument when they are passionate about a subject and who is not passionate about the school calendar? Just open up the discussion on year round schools or what religious holidays will be observed can spark a debate. Adjusting the school calendar for emergency days adds the complexity of previous plans and often emotions run high.
With the recent Hurricane on the East Coast, many schools have been closed to two full weeks. Why not have your students do some critical thinking and problem solving around the topic of Emergency School Closings?
Common Core Standards were designed to prepare students for a global economy. What jobs will be available in 10 years, and will students be ready?
Curator's note: The author asks if having common standards among grade levels across the country will actually help prepare students for the future, to solve problems not even identified yet, be competitive in a global job market.
Yes I believe they will, but more importantly, IMHO the CCSS will help develop students to be THINKERS, creators and communicators, not just passive consumers.
The Council of the Great City Schools has developed content and grade-specific parent roadmaps that provide detailed information for parents about the expectations of the Common Core in English Language Arts and Literacy.
These roadmaps include:
1) Examples of grade-level focus in the content area using parent-friendly language
2) Sample progressions of learning across three grade levels in the Common Core
3) Tips for parents on communicating with teachers about their child’s work and how to support student learning at home
Grades K-8 Parent Roadmaps for English Language Arts and Literacy have been posted and Spanish-language versions are available in grades K-5. More translations will follow throughout the school year, and high school-level guides will be posted later this fall.
On June 13, members of the VIVA Arizona Charter Teachers Idea Exchange Writing Collaborative delivered their report, Arizona Charter Teachers Guide to Common Core Implementation: Advice from the Classroom, to Arizona Superintendent John Huppenthal and State Board President Jaime Molera.
Teachers are significant stakeholders in the implementation of Common Core Standards and should be key players in the process. These recommendations will foster the environment necessary to ensure successful implementation of Common Core Standards, promote the development of professional knowledge and expertise of teachers, and maintain high expectations and academic achievement on the part of Arizona’s students.
Each Friday we collaborate with a classroom in New Jersey to test and publish three short writing ideas that address Common Core Standards and that are grounded in New York Times content.
This week, the teachers, Jonathan Olsen and Sarah Gross, and their ninth graders were just as taken with Dining critic Pete Wells’s review of Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar as the adult readers who sent it to the top of the Most E-Mailed list and the social media universe that made it a viral sensation. “This is the best article we’ve read this year,” one student said.
Below, some ideas for talking and writing about a review that was called “already a legend” just a day after it was published — along with two more tasks based on additional Times articles we think students will enjoy.
In schools nationwide, where all but four states have adopted the Common Core State Standards, teachers are finding ways to incorporate historical documents, speeches, essays, scientific articles, and other nonfiction into classes.
The new standards envision elementary students, whose reading typically tilts toward fiction, reading equally from literature and informational text. By high school, literature should represent only 30 percent of their readings; 70 percent should be informational. The tilt reflects employers' and college professors' complaints that too many young people can't analyze or synthesize information, or document arguments.
Some passionate advocates for literature, however, see reason for alarm.
A report from the Alliance for Excellent Education identifies four key challenges that public school district leaders must address in the next two years in order to successfully bring digital learning and education technology into K-12 classrooms. Although written for the audience of a school disctrict, the same could be applied to a school or group of schools. (thinking of our Arch Indy Schools here)
When planning for "all things Common Core" and how ed tech will help students be successful with a more robust curriculum and higher expectations, read this document in the context of your plan for ed tech expenditures.
How do these new standards compare to those in high-performing nations?
William Schmidt did a comparative analysis of the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice, finding that they resemble those of high-performing, or “A+ countries” (defined as those that had their 8th grade students placing at the top of NAEP), and have more rigor, focus, and coherence than the standards they replace. In fact, he found a 90% overlap between the CCSS and the standards of the A+ countries.
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