What are the Common Core State Standards?
Academic content standards list what students should know and be able to do at each grade level by the end of the school year.
In 2010, Oregon joined 44 other states in adopting a shared set of national learning expectations in math and language arts — the Common Core State Standards. Science, social science, health, technology, and physical education state standards are taught and assessed within the Common Core standards.
“Parent Guide to Student Success” is a free publication from the National Parent Teacher Association. It offers tips for each grade level on how to support your child’s learning at home. These guides are available here.
Common Core Standards:
Frequently Asked Questions
What does the Common Core mean for my child?
The Common Core defines clear learning targets for each grade level in both Math and English Language Arts. The national PTA provides brochures in English and Spanish on what to expect at each grade level: www.ode.state.or.us/pubs/eii/housebill2220faq.pdf
Will new standards be developed for other subjects, in addition to math and language arts?
English-language arts and math were the first subjects chosen for the CCSS because they teach skills critical for students to build skill sets in other subject areas. They also are the subjects most frequently used as the basis for state tests for accountability purposes. Once the English-language arts and math standards are fully developed, attention may be turned to other subjects, such as science.
How will the Common Core affect the way teachers instruct students?
The standards do not tell teachers how to teach. Gladstone teachers, principals and administrators will decide how the standards will be met, what curriculum to use, and how our school systems will operate. Teachers will still devise their own lesson plans and tailor instruction to the individual needs of the students in their classrooms. What will be different, however, is that teachers, students and their parents will have a set of clear expectations for what students must learn to be ready for the next grade level. Teachers and students also will benefit from the future development of textbooks, digital media and other teaching materials, and comprehensive assessment systems aligned to the standards.
Is the Common Core initiative another federal mandate imposed on school districts by Congress?
The federal government was not involved in the development of the CCSS. The standards were the result of a state-led effort involving a diverse group of teachers, experts, parents and school administrators committed to giving all students the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. Individual states choose whether or not to adopt the standards; to date, 45 states, including Oregon, have chosen to participate.
Will there be tests based on the Common Core State Standards?
Yes, the new Smarter Balanced tests that align with the Common Core will be available in 2015. This year, however, Oregon will continue to use the current OAKS tests for state assessment. In the short term, you may notice a disconnect between test scores and student learning because we are using new standards, but old assessments. With the switch to Smarter Balanced assessments, scores may initially drop until staff and students adjust to the new standards.
Are Common Core Standards being implemented throughout the School District?
The timeline for implementing Common Core State Standards in Gladstone is as follows:
Elementary teachers are fully implementing the new standards in both language arts and math this year (2013-2014). They will also use new standards-based report cards this year to support parents’ ability to see what their child is learning and the progress he/she is making toward meeting each standard.
Middle School teachers fully implemented the new math standards during the 2012-13 school year. The language arts standards are being phased in during the 2013-14 school year with full implementation set for 2014-15. Teachers of science, social studies, physical education and health have received training on the new literacy standards for their content area. Students in these classes will see an increased emphasis on reading and writing.
High school teachers will be working this year on how to apply Common Core standards in language arts and math this year. A team will begin work on the development of standards-based report cards with the goal of having some form of standards-based report card by spring 2014. Across the curriculum, students will see an increased emphasis on reading and writing.