While I am not a parent, I am one who values public education and recognizes its critical importance in facilitating the lifelong success of individuals. As a resident of Springboro, OH, I have been very disappointed in the actions of the Springboro Board of Education (BOE). Particular members of the BOE have voted for and/or promoted policies that are grossly detrimental to the community. These include, but are not limited to, wasteful spending, unfair labor practices, and unconstitutional instruction. Along with many other community members, I have shared my concerns at the BOE meetings. Unfortunately, it appears that the majority community voice falls on deaf ears. Additionally, blatantly erroneous information has been provided by members of the BOE in their attempts to further their own political agenda. On this blog, I share audio files of my own comments at BOE meetings. Furthermore, I provide accurate information regarding some of the key issues of discussion. I would like to thank my good friend and fellow Springboro resident, Tracey Kramer, for bringing the Springboro BOE's actions to my attention!

*Note: While I refer to the BOE as one entity, please recognize that not every member engages in such tactics.

Contact: patelnhpblog@gmail.com

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Common Core Content Standards: The Real Facts

Content Standards: An Overview
The utilization of content standards is nothing new. Content standards, a list of the skills and knowledge to be taught, exist for all subject areas, including but limited to, mathematics, English, science, physical education, art, etc… The Ohio Academic Content Standards (OACS) includes a set of standards for many, but not all, of the subject areas. Recently, Ohio voluntarily decided to adopt the Common Core, which only provides content standards for mathematics and English/language arts. Standards are still required for all of the other subject areas, and are determined by the states. Ohio will still be using the OACS for some subject areas. Additionally, Ohio is in the process of developing new standardized achievement assessments that will now be aligned with the Common Core for mathematics and English/language arts. Consequently, it is imperative for teachers to be trained on the Common Core as soon as possible.

What is the Common Core?
The Common Core is a set of content standards that has been developed with input from teachers, administrators, parents, and other education experts across the United States. The process included the examination of college and career readiness requirements, international benchmarks, and empirical scholarly research. The Common Core currently has content standards for K-12 (kindergarten through grade 12) mathematics and English/language arts. As more US states choose to adopt the Core, there will be greater consistency of student outcome expectations in these two content areas across the nation. States that choose not to adopt the Core will instead use a different set of mathematics and English/language arts standards, as they see fit.

Content standards and curriculum are not the same. The Common Core standards outline the content that students at each grade level should learn and the skills that they should develop. The content and skills outlined build upon each other each year. The Core is not meant to restrict pedagogy; it does not dictate how teachers teach the content. The Core includes suggested texts and resources; however, it does not necessitate the use of such suggestions.

What the Common Core is NOT!
  • The Common Core is NOT a set of national standards. Each state within the US has the option of adopting the Common Core for mathematics and English/language arts.
  • The federal government was NOT involved in the development of the Common Core.
  • Common Core adoption by individual states is NOT mandatory.
  • Adoption of the Common Core does NOT include data collection. Utilization of the Common Core is not related to student-level data in any way. It is only a guide of what should be taught.
  • The Common Core does NOT dictate curriculum and instructional material.
  • The Common Core does NOT focus on rote memorization. Instead, it focuses on developing skills and critical thinking within the content and across all contents.
The Common Core website: http://www.corestandards.org/
The Ohio Department of Education link: http://education.ohio.gov/About/News/What-s-Changing-in-Ohio-Education
The Common Core app: free app of the Common Core on your i-phone or android

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