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Campus Connection for September 20, 2011

Article Date: 
30 September, 2011 (All day)

 

The mission statement of the Common Core is as follows: The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.

The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). The standards were developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators, and experts, to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare our children for college and the workforce.

Presently there are 44 states and two territories that have adopted the Common Core with Utah being one of those states. 

The NGA Center and CCSSO received initial feedback on the draft standards from national organizations representing, but not limited to, teachers, postsecondary educators (including community colleges), civil rights groups, English language learners, and students with disabilities. Following the initial round of feedback, the draft standards were opened for public comment, receiving nearly 10,000 responses.

The standards are informed by the highest, most effective models from states across the country and countries around the world, and provide teachers and parents with a common understanding of what students are expected to learn. Consistent standards will provide appropriate benchmarks for all students, regardless of where they live.

These standards define the knowledge and skills students should have within their K-12 education careers so that they will graduate from high school able to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing academic college courses and in workforce training programs. The standards:

• Are aligned with college and work expectations;

• Are clear, understandable and consistent;

• Include rigorous content and application of knowledge through high-order skills;

• Build upon strengths and lessons of current state standards;

• Are informed by other top performing countries, so that all students are prepared to succeed in our global economy and society; and

• Are evidence-based.

Morgan School District 6th grade Math teachers joined other teachers from throughout the state during the summer to be trained in the Math portion of the Common Core. The intent of Morgan School District is to follow the recommendations of the state and begin this process as outlined so that we will be ready for the state wide Common Core assessment that will commence in about 3 years.  

Some of the changes that will be obvious to students and parents are the changes of the titles of Math classes throughout Morgan School District, Utah and the nation. No longer will the familiar Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Geometry, Algebra 2, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus & Calculus, etc. titles be used to describe math classes at the middle school and high school levels. The present labels will be used to describe the secondary math classes: 7, 7H, 8, 8H, Secondary Mathematics I, Secondary Mathematics II and Secondary Mathematics III. Due to the fact that this is new, one of the basic ways to understand the changes in Morgan District, Utah and the nation is to expect math concepts that were previously presented later to come sooner.

The training that was held during the summer also brought together Language Art teachers from throughout the state that comprised 6-12 grades. Again, Morgan School District will follow the state’s outline to follow the Common Core as suggested in this area.

Some of the changes in this area will be heightened rigor in literature, writing, speaking & listening and language. The most observable difference is that students will be reading more informational text and writing significantly more as they assert and defend claims.    

In conclusion, Morgan School District has as its goal to continue to lead the state of Utah in state assessments that gauge how students in the state of Utah are doing. The current state core will continue to be reflected in the assessments that will be given for the next three years and performance on these tests will be enhanced due to Morgan School District’s decision along with other districts to proceed ahead with the implementation of the Common Core as outlined.

Many things seem to change in education, but the following things always remain the same if students are to learn at an optimum level: students who are prepared to learn due to proper home support, educators who sincerely care, a community which values education. This describes Morgan School District and it is obvious that this area will never be satisfied with present accomplishments.