Viewpoint: No secrecy about Common Core Standards

By Patricia Salo

This is in response to the April 18 story, ‚ÄúConservatives fret over proposed PUSD standards‚ÄĚ:

There is no secrecy; any information needed or wanted regarding the Common Core Standards is readily available to the general public.

The standards were developed and published in 2010 after a group of state governors and education experts met and determined the best way for students to learn across the United States. That, in itself, was a milestone as each state is responsible for educating its own citizenry. What happened in the past was a mosaic quilt of multiple levels of learning and expectations in each state. With the Common Core Standards, the learning expectations will be the same across America.

The fundamental idea is to provide each child with high level college readiness without remediation between high school and college, and to make sure that those who do not move on to college are ready to take their place in society with developed job skills immediately after high school graduation. Thus far, 45 states, Washington D.C., four U.S. territories and the Department of Defense Education Activity have adopted the standards.

In language arts, the students will be expected to tackle increasing levels of complexity in reading for college and career level reading. The students will read diverse classic and contemporary literature as well as read challenging informational text in a wide range of subjects to broaden their perspectives. They will be expected to read myths from around the world, foundational U.S. documents, seminal works of American literature and Shakespeare. Any remaining reading will be determined by the states, districts and schools.

The students will be learning to write logical arguments based upon substantive claims, logical reasoning and relevant evidence as well as learning to write opinions. The students will also be expected to conduct research in short range as well as long range projects while using commonly accepted writing conventions. The students will also be expected to listen and speak one on one, in small groups, and whole groups for the purpose of discussion and learning formally and informally. Media and technology will be integrated into the standards across content areas.

The Common Core Standards already mimic the California State Standards currently in place. The Common Core merely extends the learning expectations so that college readiness will be a given. The heart of the article and tea party concern was the cost of adopting the standards. An educated citizenry has always cost money and it always will. Throughout my teaching career, textbooks have been purchased regularly and technology has been purchased and upgraded as technology moves forward.

Salo is a recently retired public school teacher and Poway resident.

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Posted by Staff on Apr 25 2013. Filed under Columnists. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

4 Comments for “Viewpoint: No secrecy about Common Core Standards”

  1. Joe St. Lucas

    So where is the money coming from to fund this? More bonds?

  2. Terry Daniels

    State and / or Federal k-12 education standards have nothing to do with student achievement. They never have. Whatever the standards program, and whatever bar it sets for achievement, won’t impact student performance at PUSD or in any other public school district.

    There is already considerable dissatisfaction among teachers, administrators and parents with the results of the Common Core Standards where states have begun to implement it, especially for math. Student proficiency and test scores are dropping considerably because of it. 46 states and D.C. signed on to adopt the Standards in order to get federal Race to the Top funding. They desperately want their share of the $4.35 billion in the fund. States that don’t sign on don’t get the money.

    If you do a little homework on Achieve, Inc., the company that wrote the standards and the new student assessment tests that go with it; Michael Cohen, who heads it up; t’s public face; where they get their money from, and what relationship it has to the administration – you’ll get a clearer picture of their agenda and how they got this into the states. Draw your own conclusions.

    I am a retired K-12 teacher and administrator.

  3. Ron

    Let me ask a question here….
    The Patricia Salo says a "group of state governors and education experts met and determined the best way"….
    Is this not the same as was done inside each state, these "experts" have determined how to teach? What to teach? How long to teach? Etc..
    How's that working out?
    Doing the same thing expecting different results, equals insanity.
    How about we try something different?
    Like… Choosing random people out of the phone book?
    I can't see how they could do much worse.

  4. Tom Yarnall

    A good number of students now graduating from high school can't read efficiently, can't write with clarity, can't solve a simple arithmetic problem, but now will be expected to to read myths from around the world, foundational U.S. documents, seminal works of American literature and Shakespeare. Can't wait to hear those quoting Shakespeare while using broken English, Ebonics or Redneck slang.
    Why wait to "developed job skills immediately after high school graduation" It is my opinion a more trade oriented curriculum is needed to give students a parallel path yielding a more fruitful and satisfying life for those not able, or motivated, to go to college. I believe they should be get the same priority as those bound for college.

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