Schools discuss Common Core standards

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Nevada Daily Mail

With the Common Core state standards set to be implemented by 2014-2015 school year, some groups have voiced concerns about the standards.

The main objection voiced by groups like ParentalRights.org and MissouriEducationWatchdog.com is that these standards might raise the prospect of privacy violations such as data mining of private student information.

A state initiative, Common Core, is a set of academic expectations for English language arts and mathematics that has been implemented in 45 states.

Bronaugh superintendent Lyle Best said while he is concerned over the more rigorous standards, "We have to be open to challenging students in a different way than in the past."

Hume superintendent David Quick said in an email, "I have heard the debate, but for now it is the law. Until it is changed by the state board of education, we will move forward."

NEVC superintendent Charles Naas said he believes the concept of a centralized set of standards is sound.

"If a kid left here, these standards would help them fit in easier in another school," he said.

Naas said the standards allow for teacher flexibility.

"Some teachers are hesitant because they feel like government is telling them what to teach. But, it just sets up key things we want students to know," he said.

Sheldon superintendent Tim Judd dismissed concerns over Common Core.

"Common Core is something we've known about for years," Judd said. "It's going to be a good thing for students in Missouri."

None of the superintendents expressed concerns or expectations of privacy violation by the state.

The standards:

* Establish consistent learning goals for all students -- regardless of where they live.

* Provide clear academic expectations at each grade level.

* Prepare students for post-secondary education.

* Were developed by educators, researchers and parents from across the country, including Missouri.

Shifts in the new English language arts standards include:

* Building knowledge through nonfiction and information texts, in addition to literature.

* Reading and writing grounded in evidence from the text.

* Regular practice with complex text and its academic vocabulary.

Shifts in the new math standards include:

* Deeper learning in two to four areas at each grade level.

* Concepts logically connected from one grade to the next and linked to other major topics at each grade level.

* Fluency with arithmetic, application of knowledge to real world situations and a deep understanding of mathematical concepts.

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