Info 101 – Common Core State Standards and the Race to the Top

After more than a year of developing and building based on previously established standards for college and career preparation, the basic public common standards have been published.

You need to know what …

The standards were developed by the State School Leaders Council and the National Governors Association – with the participation of many teachers, parents, school administrators, civil rights officials and business leaders – and are designed to replace different standards. Inconsistent, defined at present by the States.

Only Texas and Alaska are excluded.

Standards cover English (ELA), literacy in history/social sciences, natural and engineering sciences and mathematics, from kindergarten to 12th grade.

All of them “1) are based on research and facts; 2) meeting university expectations and job expectations; 3) Strict; and 4) having an international link.”

States can add up to 15% of their own standards to fill in the gaps.

If adopted nationally, it is expected that every state, i.e. each county, will follow basically the same curriculum instructions, allowing a child to seamlessly move from, say, a school in Oklahoma City to a school in Philadelphia, without the need for repetition. land or a lot of stuff.

Meanwhile, government applications are currently being considered by the U.S. Department of Education for the second round of the Best Scholarship Competition (RTTT). In the first round, Pennsylvania was seventh; this time only Tennessee and Delaware won. This time, 35 states and the District of Columbia are trying again.

Education Minister Arne Duncan initially made the adoption of national standards a requirement for the implementation of RTTT, but organizations such as the Association for oversight and curriculum development did not want to have such a mandate. As a result, adoption now brings additional points for the application.

Participation in the second round suggests that these 36 candidates are likely to adopt standards.

And it is appropriate for all of us to read all the standards that represent “what students should understand and be able to do at the end of each lesson.”

For example, you’ll see that instead of a list of must-read, English Standards include an app with suggested texts suitable for each level. Exception: High school students and high school students must study the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution’s Preamble, the Bill of Rights, Lincoln’s second inaugural address and Shakespeare’s play.

Meanwhile, you’ll also find, for example, that third-graders could describe the characters of the story, sixth graders could compare and contrast different texts, and eleven students demonstrated their knowledge of the fundamental works of the 18th, 19th and 20th. century of American literature. .

And when it comes to writing, for example, standards state that a fifth grader can successfully write well-researched opinions, while an eighth grader can write arguments based on relevant evidence, and older people explain complex ideas, concepts and information.

The 6th to 12th grade of literacy in history/social science and natural science/technical standards includes:

Identify aspects of the text that reveal the author’s point of view and intentions.

Analyze the author’s purpose by explaining, describing the procedure or discussing the experience in the text, describing the question the author wants to answer.

Meanwhile, math standards include, for example, the expectation that first-graders can solve problems with words that require the addition of three whole numbers, which total 20 or less, while 5th grade students can deal with fractions with different denominators. with different denominators, use rational approximations of irrational numbers, and high school students can apply a theoreme about the remainder.

Of course, approval would require states to bring their standardized tests and programs in line with standards. Is it worth it?

E.D. Hirsch Jr., founder and president of the Foundation for Basic Knowledge and Emeritus Professor of Education and Humanities at the University of Virginia, says, “This is a welcome recognition that only a cumulative program, figure by digit, is the highest level of literacy that the country needs.

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