Understanding the Common CoreBy: Nicole Andryshak, Alex Berg, BenjaminJacaruso, Shih-Han Kung, and Jared Tiffin
Background of theCommon Core
What are the Common Core StateStandards?Watch the following three-minute vide explaining the CommonCore State Standards.http://vimeo.com/51933492
About the Common CoreThe Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are an effort by states to define acommon core of knowledge and skills thatstudents should develop in K-12 education, regardless of the state they live in, so they will graduate high school prepared for college or careers.
About the Standards The standards clearly communicate what is expected of students at each grade level. This will allow our teachers to be better equipped to know exactly what they need to help students learn and establish individualized benchmarks for them. The Common Core Standards focus on core conceptual understandings and procedures starting in the early grades, thus enabling teachers to take the time needed to teach core concepts and procedures well – and give students the opportunity to master them.
About 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. Are evidence-based.
Who is in charge? States are leading the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) initiative, which is being coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State SchoolOfficers (CCSSO). The federal government has not been involved in initiating or developing the CCSS.
How were the standards developed? To develop the standards, the NGA Center and CCSSO brought together content experts, teachers, researchers, and others. There were also two public comment periods on drafts of the standards. More than 10,000 comments were received. So far, 45 states, 3 territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity have formally adopted the Common Core State Standards. This gives the initiative critical mass in shaping the K-12 educational landscape.
For More Information About the Standards Common Core State Standards are divided into two contents: Mathematics Standards and English Language Arts Standards. http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-LiteracyMore FAQ about Common Core State Standards http://www.corestandards.org/resources/frequently-asked- questions Common Core State Standards Website http://www.corestandards.org/
Overall Goal for the Mathematics Standards:1. College Readiness2. Better Prepared for the Real World3. Deeper Understanding4. More Time and Fewer Topics5. Emphasis on Technology Based Learning
How Will This Be Achieved?“Mental” mathExplanation of every problemOnline assessmentsInquiry Based LearningEmphasis of Critical Thinking Skills
Common Core Learning Standardsfor Mathematics Grade Level Standards for Kindergarten through 8th Grade 9 – 12th Grade Math Standards grouped together simply called “High School Level Standards” High School Standards divided into 6 Strands Number and Quantity Algebra Functions Modeling Geometry Statistics and Probability
Guidelines for Student DevelopmentStandards of Mathematical Practice:1. Make sense of problem solving and persevere in solving them2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others4. Model with mathematics5. Use appropriate tools strategically6. Attend to precision7. Look for and make use of structure8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning
The Shifts in Effective Instruction Shift 1: (Focus) Teachers significantly narrow and deepen the scope of how time and energy is spent in the math classroom. They do so in order to focus deeply on only the concepts that are prioritized in the standards. Shift 2: (Coherence) Principals and teachers carefully connect the learning within and across grades so that students can build new understanding onto foundations built in previous years. Shift 3: (Fluency) Students are expected to have speed and accuracy with simple calculations; teachers structure class time and/or homework time for students to memorize, through repetition, core functions.
The Shifts in Effective Instruction Shift 4: (Deep Understanding) Students deeply understand and can operate easily within a math concept before moving on. They learn more than the trick to get the answer right. They learn the math. Shift 5: (Application) Students are expected to use math and choose the appropriate concept for application even when they are not prompted to do so. Shift 6: (Dual Intensity) Students are practicing and understanding. There is more than a balance between these two things in the classroom - both are occurring with intensity.
Time Tables for Common CoreThe common core will not just occur all at once. Itis broken up into multiple years.- 2012-2013: Math Grades 3 – 8- 2013-2014: Algebra I and Geometry- 2014-2015: Algebra II
Pros of the New Math Curriculum Develops a deeper understanding Differentiated Learning Better prepared for college and the real world More online learning and assessments More Time and less topics for teachers More real-life applications Gets students to use critical thinking skills and away from memorization
Cons of the New Math Curriculum Students have to be able to explain everything in words not work Will cause plenty of student frustration Delays in grade level learning Gaps in learning due to the transition period Does not require a mandate to the sequence of high school courses No more “paper and pencil” mathematics Still based on one big end of the year summative assessment
Works Cited Common core state standards initiative. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.corestandards.org/Math Engage ny. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://engageny.org/ NYS transition plan: Ela and mathematics. (2012, July 13). Retrieved from http://www.buffaloschools.org/GuidanceDept.cfm?subpage=86059 Burns, M. (2013). Go figure: Math and the common core. Educational Leadership, 70(4), 42-46. Dessoff, A. (2012). Are you ready for common core math? . District Administration, 48(3), 53-60. Garelick, B. (2012, November 12). A new kind of problem: The common core math standards. Retrieved from http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/11/a- new-kind-of-problem-the-common-core-math-standards/265444/ SCHIFTER, D., & GRANOFSKY, B. (2012). The right equation for math teaching. Principal, 92(2), 16-20.
How will the Common Core Standards Effect Students with Disabilities?
Students with Disabilities Although disabilities vary amongst students, students with disabilities have one common characteristic: the presence of a disabling condition that significantly hinder their abilities to benefit from general education (IDEA 34 CFR 30.39, 2004). By 2009, the U.S. Department of Education estimates showed that about 5.8 million of the nation’s schoolchildren, ages 6-21 were receiving special education services through IDEA (U.S. Department of Ed., 2009). It’s important to remember that although a student has a disability, he or she should still be challenged to excel within the general curriculum and be prepared for their post-school lives including college and/or careers.
Say Goodbye to the No Child LeftBehind Standards Previously, each state was required to develop and implement alternative assessments that aligned with the state’s academic content standards in Math, English, Science, and Social Studies. This ensured that students who graduated high school had at least basic knowledge. (Giffhorn, 2012) Each year , schools needed to show an improvement from the previous year’s data toward the goal of 100% passing all the tests. This increase was called Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).
Say Goodbye to the No Child LeftBehind Standards The problem with this was that there was no consistency between the exams since each one of the 50 states created their own based on their standards. Results from these exams were too difficult to compare amongst states so the federal government knew something had to change (Giffhorn, 2012). No Child Left Behind also left a great deal of room for interpretation including as to how special needs students fit into the “academic puzzle” The federal government decided in 2010 to move away from the standards provided in the No Child Left Behind Act and into the new Common Core Standards (CCS).
How the CCS will Impact the Special Education ClassroomThe CCS will be the same across grade levelsfor special needs students as it is for generalclassrooms.Teachers who teach special needs studentswill need to be provided with professionaldevelopment opportunities to learn aboutscaffolding ideas, how to help strugglingstudents meet the high standards, and how tomeet their individual needs (Ltoday, 2011).In order to achieve such high standards, therewill be adaptations, accommodations, andassistive technology available.
Teaching & Assessing the CCS In order for students with disabilities to meet high academic standards and to fully demonstrate their conceptual and procedural knowledge and skills in all academic areas their instruction must incorporate supports and accommodations, including: Supports and related services designed to meet the unique needs of these students and to enable their access to the general education curriculum (IDEA 34 CFR §300.34, 2004).
Teaching & Assessing the CCS Additional support and services include: Instructional supports for learning (Presenting information in multiple ways) Instructional accommodations (Change in materials or procedures) Assistive technology devices and services. Substantial supports and accommodations for students with the most significant disabilities including autism. There have been numerous evidence-based strategies developed to help non-verbal autistic students meet these high standards as well. (Constable, Grossi, Moniz, Ryan, 2013). An Individualized Education Program (IEP) which includes annual goals aligned with and chosen to facilitate their attainment of grade-level academic standards. Teachers and specialized instructional support personnel who are prepared and qualified to deliver high-quality, evidence- based, individualized instruction and support services.
Teaching & Assessing the CCS Teaching the New Math Standards The new math standards don’t directly address accommodations for struggling students or those with special needs, however they are broken down into more manageable domains and clusters in order to outline all of the various math concepts required by students at each grade level. Along with receiving appropriate accommodations and assistive technologies, this should make learning math easier for special need students (Concordia University Online).
Teaching & Assessing the CCS Teaching the New Reading and Language Arts Standards These new standards promote reading literacy across all class types and subjects. The standards are dividing up amongst grade level categories and grade-specific standards that will help students achieve the practical, real-world goals of college preparation and future career readiness (Concordia University Online). In both standards, special education teachers and students will notice the change and reap the benefits of more stringent and consistent standards . There is a fair amount of latitude and flexibility allowed within the standards for special education teachers to make the necessary adjustments to accommodate the special needs of all students. This flexibility should make the standards easier to implement in the classroom (Concordia University Online).
Summary Special needs students will be held to the same high standards as students in the general curriculum. To help special needs students achieve such high standards, there will be adaptations, accommodations, and assistive technologies available to them. Teachers who teach special needs students will be provided with professional development opportunities to learn how to help their students achieve these standards. The new common core standards are designed to be more stringent and consistent, and have a fair amount of flexibility for special education teachers to make adjustments to accommodate their students.
Works Cited Common Core State Standards Initiative. (n.d.).Application to students with disabilities . Retrieved from http://www.corestandards.org/assets/application-to-students-with- disabilities.pdf Concordia University Online. (2011). What special education teachers need to know about the common core standards. Retrieved from http://education.cu- portland.edu/blog/educator-tips/what-special-education-teachers-need-to-know-about-the- common-core-standards/ Constable, S., Grossi, B., Moniz, A., & Ryan, L. (2013). Meeting the common core state standards for students with autism. Teaching Exceptional Children, 45(3), 6-13. Giffhorn, K. (2011). Move over no child left behind, here comes the common core state standards. Retrieved from http://www.enotebookapp.com/blog/move-over-no-child-left- behind-here-comes-the-common-core-state-standards/ Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 34 CFR §300.34 (a). (2004). Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 34 CFR §300.39 (b)(3). (2004). Ltoday. (2011). The impact of common core standards on special education. Retrieved from http://www.mangomon.com/the-impact-of-common-core-standards-on-special-education/
The Pros and Cons of theCommon Core StateStandards
The Debate The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) will likely take years to be adequately and fully implemented. Over that time, numerous debates, both in academia and the general public, will address the positives and negatives of the initiatives and the impact it will have on our nation and schools. The next few slides will outline pros and cons, as they currently stand, in the Common Core debate.
The Pros – Curriculum The CCSS is internationally bench-marked. This means that the Standards, in part, were developed using the standards from other countries. In fact, there are many similarities between the Japanese standards (who score very high on international tests) and the CCSS. The CCSS will increases rigor in the classroom, lead to the development of higher level thinking skills, and allow students to better understand what is expected of them.
The Pros – Curriculum The curriculum will be the same in every participating state. Theoretically, a student in 8th grade in Kentucky should be learning the same thing as a student in 8th grade in Rhode Island. The Common Core standards have been designed to leave room for state specific populations. (85% must be adopted, other 15% can be modified by the individual state). Students will develop better college readiness and problem solving skills.
The Pros – Assessment The CCSS assessments will allow teachers to monitor students’ progress throughout the year. The CCSS assessments will be more authentic to a child’s learning experience. The assessments will be uniform throughout every participating state thus decreasing state cost for test development, reporting, and scoring.
The Pros – Professional Development The CCSS will enhance teacher collaboration and professional development. Since the curriculum will be uniform, teachers can share best practices and lessons with teachers in other states. Instructional material, such as textbooks can be shared by different states. Teachers can collaborate with any other similar content area or grade level teacher in the participating states.
The Cons – Technology and Money With persistent cuts, schools may have challenges finding adequate resources to fully implement the CCSS, schools may not have the required technology to complete the online assessments, and schools may not have the expertise to address assessment related technological problems. The CCSS will lead many current textbooks to be obsolete. Textbooks cost money to replace.
The Cons - Curriculum The CCSS straddles the middle ground of education. States with low standards will see more difficult standard and states with higher standards will see less difficult standards. The CCSS are vague and broad. The CCSS will require younger students to learn more at a quicker pace. Most of the Common Core is directed towards ELA and Math, thus “leaving out” valuable subjects such as science, social studies, music, physical education, language, etc.
The Cons – Assessments and Other The CCSS assessment will not have an equivalency test for students with special needs. The CCSS will lead to even more emphasis on standardized test performance. The Federal government is withholding money from states who are reluctant or do not want to participate in the Common Core. The CCSS may cause good teachers and administrators to pursue other career options rather than radically change what and how they teach. It is plausible that the stress of getting students to perform will cause burnout among teachers and personal stress related issues among students.
Work Cited Anderson, K., Harrison, T., Lewis, K., & Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast, (. (2012). Plans to Adopt and Implement Common Core State Standards in the Southeast Region States. Issues & Answers. REL 2012-No. 136. Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast Kober, N., Rentner, D., & Center on Education, P. (2012). Year Two of Implementing the Common Core State Standards: States Progress and Challenges. Center On Education Policy Achieve, I. c. (2010). Comparing the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and Japans Mathematics Curriculum in the Course of Study. Achieving the Common Core. Achieve, Inc http://teaching.about.com/od/assess/f/What-Are-Some-Pros-And-Cons-Of-The- Common-Core-Standards.htm (Teacher Blog) http://thecommoncore.wordpress.com/common-core-arguments-for-and-against (Blog)