Muddling through the blogosphere

Common Core State Standards – What do you think?


Just started looking through the newly released Common Core State Standards. I like the fact that technology is integrated through writing – across the curriculum, rather than as a separate subject.

So what’s the downside of Common Core State Standards? I’ve read through Ben Boychuk’s  special to the Sac Bee and can see that:

The standards are billed as “voluntary,” but that’s a joke. The Obama administration has already announced plans to make $14 billion in federal Title I funds and another $15 billion in future Race to the Top grants contingent on states adopting the national standards. In short, the standards would be as “voluntary” as reporting personal income to the IRS regulating the drinking age or maintaining the speed limit. Just try to opt out and see what happens.”

But, unless I’m missing something, I don’t really see much difference between going with state standards as opposed to national standards.  Talk to any teacher  in California and he/she will tell you that the state content standards are fine – but there are just too many of them to be covered in a single school year.

So I’m in agreement with the Sac Bee’s Monday editorial –  Big step for level school standards – that “…certainly, after 13 years in place, California’s existing standards deserve a new look” and that the state commission should review the standards with two questions in mind: “Are they significantly better than what we’re using today? And how could they be improved?”

I am in support of some type of national road map for guiding districts, teachers, and parents on what students should know/be able to do by the end of elementary, middle, and high school – as long as the standards are not tied to a mandated set of federally-sanctioned lesson plans and/or an accompanying mandated testing requirement that would simply be a repackaging and re-promoting of the test-the-heck-out-of-students frenzy fostered by NCLB.

It would also be my hope that the connection to social studies and science via language arts would guarantee that ALL students are entitled to social studies and science, even students at sites that are “in program improvement.”

I’ll be joining the CCSS discussion on the NWP Leadership ning and will be looking for other venues and opinions on this important (and already contentious) topic.  What are your questions, concerns, resources? I hope you’ll jump in and share

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