You may have heard the buzz lately about Common Core. What is Common Core? How will it affect your children? What can you do to prepare your children to meet these new standards?
What is Common Core?
Currently, each state decides what students will learn at each grade level. The Common Core initiative gives the states the same objectives for students to learn at each grade level. States choose if they will join this initiative. So far, 45 states* have joined. States will decide how these standards are taught.
How will Common Core Affect My Child?
A new test will be created to measure if students have learned what they are expected to learn. It is projected that this new test will start in the 2014-2015 school year. Each state will choose to use either the PARCC RttT **Assessment Consortium test, the Smarter Balanced*** Consortium test, or create their own test. The test will be given on the computer. The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium test also includes performance tasks.
The assessments haven’t been created yet; however, it has been proposed that they will not be your usual multiple choice standardized tests. For example, you could have 5 possible answers to choose from and two of them could be correct. The student will pick one of the correct answers and then type why they picked that answer.
What can you do to prepare your children to meet these new standards?
One of the things states will be teaching is keyboarding to help the students take the test. It’s never too soon to start practicing keyboarding with your children at home. This will help them focus more on their test taking and less on finding the right letters on the keyboard.
You will find parent-friendly Common Core standards here. Take a look at these to see what your child needs to know.
You can also take a look at sample Common Core test questions to get an idea of how your children will be tested.
Your children’s teachers are currently receiving training and instruction on how to implement the Common Core Standards into their lesson plans. They will also be preparing your children for the assessment through more writing and answer analysis.
*Alaska and Texas are currently not members of the initiative. Nebraska and Virgina are members but have decided not to adopt the standards. Minnesota has accepted the English/Language Arts standards but has rejected the math standards.
**PARCC states include: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida,
Georgia****, Illinois, Indiana****, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma****, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Tennessee.
***Smarter Balanced states include: Alabama, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
****Update: Indiana withdrew from Common Core in March 2014. Georgia and Oklahoma are still implementing the Common Core Standards but withdrew from the PARCC Assessment.
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