Have you started to look at the CCSS that are to be rolled out in almost every state?
How will you and your school begin to implement these "new" standards?
Do you feel as though they are different or similar to your state's current standards?
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I looked at them, and got some ideas for literature to add to my curriculum. That was really about as far as I took it. I am the only English teacher at my small private school. I just have not had the time or inclination to check them out further.
Man, I have to admit I can't wait. I mean, I've been just tooling along for 18 years in the classroom, hoping someone would come along with a new set of standards that would .. revolutionize everything. I know, dripping with sarcasm is a common delivery mode for me. I think that, even at the state level, they are tiring of wave after wave of "reform" efforts. They also know the limitations of how many times you can go to that well and get any kind of genuine investment from a teaching community that has been burned time and time again. I'll label my teaching whatever they want, and continue to do what I and other teachers know is effective.
We have already begun with common formative assessments that every child must be able to pass. Of course, when they don't, because they won't, we analyze the data until we are all needing an alcoholic beverage.
What I think will happen next is that teachers whose students routinely do well on concepts where other teachers' students fail to succeed, will be going to teach minilessons on that concept. The idea was presented at our last PLC (professional learning community) meeting. So, we will go and share our expertise knowledge with our colleagues and their students. A reciprocal learning adventure. It could be fun, and definitely shake things up a bit for the students who aren't used to guest resident teachers.
It seems to me the only school districts which are going to have serious problems with the new standards are those which are not doing the basic or core things district-wide. If everyone is doing his/her job, the entire year does not have to be spent preparing students for an exam. Instead, teachersshould be weaving all the essential elements into everything they do and still have time to be creative and do some things they like. That is, of course, only true in a perfect worls in which students are prepared to learn and teachers have time to integrate their lessons with the standards.
I think answers will vary a great deal from state to state. Although the granular size, formatting, and layout of the Common Core Standards are certainly different than my state's current standards, all the same basic ideas and concepts are still there. In fact, when I look at the Common Core standards I see that research, the use of technology, and literacy skills across the content areas are woven into them much more seamlessly. I'm excited about these new standards and about raising the bar of expectations, regardless of a student's zip code.
Perhaps I am out of the norm, but I am one of those teachers who knows her content state standards as well as the national ones. This summer I worked on a committee that aligned our standards with NAEPs (National Assessment of Educational Progress), and we worked diligently for 2 1/2 days aligning the state Communication Arts standards with NAEPs national assessments. While we have a pretty thorough set of standards there were several areas that didn't quite mesh with NAEPs. Somethings will probably change, but others might simply need to be regrouped and reorganized.
I wonder with the way school funding is how long states will continue to shell out money to develop new standards. In our state they have cut back on the number of state tests and are going back to a more terra nova type test rather than performance based.
Is there anything new under the sun? Everything is vanity, my friend, everything is vanity... The wise teachers just carry on doing what they have always done and "coat" it in the new standards to make it appear as if they are humbly submitting their will and intellect to the experts who have probably never set foot in a class room.
I am in a cynical mood, today, if you hadn't noticed...
I am sure that not many teachers even knew their state standards let alone national standards. And I have no doubt that nothing will change except for publishers rolling out new and improved products to buy that match those national core standards. I think it is some type of marketing plan.
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