Common Core Standards Released Today

The finalized Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Math K-12 were released today and I was surprisingly pleased with the math one. It is slightly different from the draft and there are several things I like about these standards:

  1. They’re simple. There aren’t too many of them. They are clear and achievable.
  2. They make sense. Having taught 2nd grade for 8 years, the standards are spot on. Of course many will be able to do more than that, but it is a reasonable goal for all children to achieve these standards.
  3. There is a clear scope and sequence (there were some odd gaps in the draft, but they seem to address what I noticed)
  4. The standards focus on content. It’s up to us to know, learn, and use best practices.
  5. It has the support of The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM), the Association of State Supervisors of Mathematics (ASSM), and the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE) ¬†who “support the goal of the CCSS to describe a coherent, focused curriculum that has realistically high expectations and supports an equitable mathematics education for all students.”

Standards are a great backbone that provide a good framework of expectations for kids, but often, there can be too many. Of course, if kids are ready, going beyond those standards is critical to their motivation and continued learning. Today were were given Sustainability standards to integrate with Science and Social Studies. Upon looking at those standards, it was nice to see that we are already doing all of them. We just have to make those things explicit.

There are several leading voices for and against standards. The April 2010 Ed. Leadership issue has several articles related to this. I think the answer lies somewhere in the middle. I think of standards as a reference tool. Understanding your students well and knowing where they are in relation to the standards is what I find important.

I will be reading the English Language Arts standards over the summer which, for younger grades, focus on Reading, Writing, Speaking, etc.

Below are some links if you want to read more:

Common Core State Standards

nytimes article

NCTM and other math education organizations joint statement

Washington State Integrated Environmental and Sustainability Learning Standards (these were the ones presented to us today, but there are all sorts out there)

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One thought on “Common Core Standards Released Today

  1. timely! I remember my 1990s reaction to the standards movement. From 1991 to 1997, I taught what I want, when I wanted, how I wanted to pretty much the students I wanted. I remember how “offended” I was when CA presented common ideas-”But I don’t want to teach that,” I cried. Then, I realized that there was an equity element to standards (and I relaxed, and I went into….yikes..admin)
    Napoleon brought standards to France in the early 1800s and most countries followed. We Americans have over 15000 agencies that can decide what to teach…and Texas. I think I have migrated to a standards-type place.
    Now that I am in an IS I have to think about what that means. Thanks for opening the conversation, but, uhhhhh…..is it just us.?

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