Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Common Core

Final Exam Essay 1
Common Core

“The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort, launched more than a year ago by state leaders, including governors and state commissioners of education from 48 states, 2 territories and the District of Columbia, through their membership in the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)” (About the Standards.2010.

Educational standards are necessary for successful learning. There are many reasons why we need educational standards. Educational standards assists teachers ensure that their students have the skills and knowledge they need to be successful. Also, educational standards provide teachers with clear cut goals for student learning. We also need standards to ensure that all students, no matter where they are from are ready and prepared for their future endeavors whether it is the work field or college. Common standards will help ensure that students are receiving a high quality education consistently, from school to school and state to state.

Standards that happen to be common across states will provide a better opportunity to share experiences and the best practices for teaching. Common standards will further our ability to serve the needs of students to the best of our capabilities. Standards to not explain to teachers how they should teach, but rather they help the teachers figure out what it is that they should be teaching to their students. These standards do however help teachers build better lesson plans and more efficient learning environments for their classrooms.

These standards are not only helpful to teachers but they are also helpful to parents and students as well. Common standards help parents and students by setting clear cut and realistic goals for student’s success. Think of standards are a road map that lead teachers, students, and parents down the correct and best path for learning.

New York adopted the Common Core Standards in the year 2010. The Common Core sets Standards for states to follow for both English Language Arts and Mathematics. New York State adopted these Common Core Standards for both English Language Arts and Mathematics.

These Standards were created for many reasons. These were created not as intended ways rename old ways of doing things. These Common Core standards allow states to work together to build upon lessons that have been learned over the past twenty years of standard based reforms. All in all what the Common Core does and why it was created is to keep everyone on the same page when it comes to what is being taught and when it should be taught.

“These Standards define what students should understand and be able to do in their study of mathematics. Asking a student to understand something means asking a teacher to assess whether the student has understood it. But what does mathematical understanding look like? One hallmark of mathematical understanding is the ability to justify, in a way appropriate to the student’s mathematical maturity, why a particular mathematical statement is true or where a mathematical rule comes from” (Mathematics Standards.2010.

The Standards for English Language Arts includes criteria for the following areas of English Language Arts including reading, writing, speaking and learning, language, media and technology.

The Mathematics Common Core Standards are broken up by grade level and what that grade level should be able to understand and do. Between the grades of kindergarten and fifth grade students should understand whole numbers, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, and decimals. Furthermore when students are at the middle school level they should have learned geometry, algebra, probability and statistics. Lastly students should graduate high school understanding the math topics including applying mathematical ways of thinking to real world issues and challenges, statistical methods, mathematical modeling, using math in physical, economic, public policy, social and everyday situations.

When it comes to the Common Core Standards in Mathematics and English Language Arts what the student learns depends on their grade level before and what they have learned at that grade level. Mathematics builds on top of each topic is previously learned. This means that teachers need to work hard to make sure that there is a high success rate in their class so that students can continue to learn and build upon topics that they have previously learned, and the same goes for the skills and knowledge being taught in English Language Arts.

Each state has its own process for developing, adopting, and implementing standards. As a result, what students are expected to learn can vary widely from state to state. This is what makes the common core so unique. It is normally the state that creates the curriculum for its students. But through the adoption of the Common Core, the states now have to opportunity to work together on building curriculums that meet the Common Core Standards of Education. The state boards of education are now in charge of creating the curriculum of what should be taught to students and when it should be taught, and what is being taught is now a common factor from state to state that have adopted the Common Core.

The Common Core standards are becoming very popular as more and more states are adopting their ideas. With these standards becoming increasingly more popular that means that they are getting a lot of support. Some of the main supporters of the Common Core Standards include, Terry Whittaker who is a part of the Delaware State Board of Education, Jim Douglas who is currently the Governor of Vermont, Joe Manchin the Governor or West Virginia, Dr. Lillian Lowery the Delaware State Secretary of Education, Steve Paine the West Virginia State Superintendent of Schools and many more including the states that have chosen to adopt the Common Core Standards.

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