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On October 27, 2011, Erikson Professor Gillian McNamee presented as part of a panel discussion of the Common Core State Standards at the 2011 Chicago Public Schools Policy Forum Series.
Michael Cohen, president of Achieve, and Noemi Donoso, chief education officer of Chicago Public Schools, also presented.
This panel was the first in the three-part series called “What You Need to Know about the Common Core Standards and the PreK–12 Learning Continuum.” Erikson president Samuel J. Meisels will discuss early childhood assessments at the next panel on November 8.
During her talk, McNamee explained the complex nature of young children’s learning and the way it fluctuates over time. Stating it simply, she said, “It does not progress in the neat trajectory that standards suggest.”
McNamee also emphasized the importance of expanding the standards to all areas that comprise effective teaching: content knowledge across all subjects, an understanding of human development, and a pedagogy that allows time for discussion and reflection.
Finally, McNamee stated that when assessing young children’s progress, we should monitor, not test. “We have to get close to the learning without trampling it,” she said.
The series is presented by Business and Professional People for the Public Interest, Catalyst Chicago, and the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research.