Friday, May 11, 2012

A Positive Lens on Common Core

I have been a slow adopter on the importance of the Common Core Standards. I've claimed that I'm too busy with other innovation to truly dig into Common Core. I get hundreds of e-mails about conferences, seminars, and resources. Clearly, Common Core is a big business for lots of people, but I'm just not ready to have a Common Core party and dedicate every moment of every professional development session on these national standards, but I finally read something that gave me some hope, some perspective, and some impetus to change. My superintendent is working with Peter Senge to find deep value in Common Core, and she recently wrote this.

The Common Core Standards provide an opportunity--not necessarily because
they are so revolutionary but because they offer  a consensus  rare in
education. For a brief moment in time public schools across the nation
have an opportunity for genuine innovation. The focus of the Standards is
increased rigor in both the content students are learning and the thinking
processes they are using as they learn.. 

We believe the Common Core Standards will help us align with college-level
expectations for text complexity and amount of text assigned as part of
high school class work.  We also believe that The Common Core is pushing
more sophisticated analysis and interpretation of text than we currently
are expecting across all grades and content areas.

We believe the Common Core will support us in establishing overarching
themes and processes in science and social studies that can lead students
to civic and environmental action.

We believe the Common Core can help teachers scaffold  conceptual
understandings for students that support success in 8th grade algebra
which has proven to be a critical gatekeeper to high school success. This
will lead to greater enrollment in higher level math classes at the high
school.

We believe the Common Core might accelerate innovative uses of technology
to differentiate instruction and to encourage students to engage,
communicate, and create.

We are hopeful that  the increased focus on rigor and reduced number of
standards of the Common Core will promote long term learning projects,
encouraging iterative learning and peer critique.

We are also hopeful that the Common Core will encourage interdisciplinary
learning.

As you can see, we want the Common Core to make a difference...and we plan
on using it as justification for moving our programs to the next level!

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