By Patricia Salo
This is in response to the April 18 story, “Conservatives fret over proposed PUSD standards”:
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.