Common Core Standard Initiative

 

The Common Core Standards (CCS) intent is to ensure all children have access to a high quality education in Math and the English Language Arts throughout the United States. Having common education standards can ensure parents, students, and educators know the academic focus and progress that is made from year to year.

Each grade has a clear statement of what is expected for students to master during the year.  Having this knowledge will allow the teacher to better prepare to teach exactly what should be learned allowing individual benchmark goals for each student to succeed.   Starting in the younger grades, a foundation education will be built by teaching core concepts and allowing for mastery before adding on to the learning.

The CCS was a state led effort setting goals and academic standards for Kindergarteners through 12th grade in English Language Arts and Mathematics. Each state and territory has the option of adopting the CCS for their sate.  This assures military families who have mobile lifestyles that students will have academic equality from state to state if the state has adopted CCS.  The CCS have been adopted in 45 States and all but one territory. The states that have not adopted the standards as of July 2013 are:  Alaska, Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas, and Virginia.  The only territory that has not adopted the CCS is Puerto Rico.

The federal government was not involved in the creation or regulation of CCS.  Every state who has adopted the CCS Initiative has not been asked to lower their educational standards, but to find common academic ground and build on the best existing and highest state standards.  The CCS team includes principals, teachers, and parents throughout the country, so a broad spectrum of opinions and concerns are addressed.

The foundation work through high school is intended to prepare students to enter 2 or 4 year Colleges/Universities, or the work force.   By providing a set of standards in the upper grades, parents can be assured that each student, no matter where they live, have access to quality teachers and high educational standards.  These goals are intended to level the playing field by providing educational content and necessary tools to access higher education programs.

CCS include the development of text books, teaching aids, and educational media to support learning and help students to meet standards.   Testing has also been created to indicate the level of academic success and achievement of grade level goals for each student.   Teachers will have support in understating and teaching the minimum guidelines, but will have the ability to plan lessons according to the classroom’s needs, and flexibility to adapt and individualize the program as needed for students.

States have been able to share experiences and best practices that have led to an improved opportunity for students with disabilities or English Language Learners (ELL) to excel. Students with disabilities eligible for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) must be educated just as their non-disabled peers are in the general curriculum, preparing them for post high school lives which may include college or the workforce.

The focus of CCS for disabled or ELL students is effective implementation and improved access to English Language Arts and Math.  The challenge that is faced by this group is the presence of disabling conditions that significantly hinder their abilities to benefit from general education (IDEA 34 CFR §300.39, 2004) making it important for each student to have the flexibility they need to learn.  With the help of IDEA, through an Individualize Educational Program, these students have more flexibility to demonstrate the procedural knowledge and learned concepts in math, reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

By providing the individual supports, accommodations, modifications, services, and therapies protected under an IEP, the student is allowed greater flexibility in meeting those grade level standards.  Teachers and support personal are also prepared and qualified to deliver the instruction, as well as access support services to teach, reinforce, or test academic success.

With a focus on teaching real world relevant skills across the United States and with the goal of preparing students with the real world skills they need, students will be in a better position to compete on a global scale.

 

“Working Together with Military Families of Individuals with DisAbilities!”

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