Georgia students return to school and to new Common Core Standards

From the state Department of Education today:

Educators across Georgia will begin teaching the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS) in mathematics, English language arts, as well as literacy in science, social studies, and technical subjects, when they return to school this year.

The CCGPS are part of the Common Core State Standards, a state-led initiative developed two years ago in conjunction with the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). The goal is to establish a uniform set of expectations for what students will learn no matter where they attend school and to ensure that students are ready for college and careers after high school graduation.

“These standards will better prepare our students for success beyond high school and allow us to see how we measure up against other states,” said state School Superintendent Dr. John Barge.  “Also, because we are such a transient society, these standards can help ensure some level of consistency in what is taught from state to state.”

The standards have been adopted by 46 states, the U.S. Department of Defense’s education programs and three U.S. territories. Georgia formally adopted the standards in July 2010.

In Georgia, educators have been training on the new standards since March 2011. The GaDOE has offered numerous resources, both online and in person, throughout the state.

School administrators from across the state will gather at the Centreplex in Macon on Tuesday for a summit on Common Core.  Speakers at the summit will include Bill McCallum, head of the University of Arizona’s mathematics department and a lead author on the math standards.  It also will include Cheryl Dunkle, president of the Colorado Association of Elementary School Principals.

For Georgia teachers and students, the move to CCGPS won’t create drastic changes because the state’s curriculum already closely matched the standards outlined in the Common Core.

Below are some examples of changes students will see under Common Core:

• Third-graders will learn how to multiply and divide large numbers. They also will learn the function of adverbs, which was previously taught in fourth and fifth grade.

• Fourth-graders will tackle adding and subtracting fractions, which was not taught until fifth-grade under the former curriculum.

• Eighth-graders will be taught the Pythagorean Theorem, rather than learning the concept in ninth-grade.

•Under Georgia Performance Standards, students were taught pronoun-antecedent agreement in seventh-grade. Common Core will teach that grammar rule in third-grade.

Explore more about the CCGPS at the links below:

GaDOE General info on Common Core

GaDOE Math

GaDOE English Language arts

-From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Scho0led blog

68 comments Add your comment

Tired of Teaching

July 26th, 2012
4:41 pm

8th graders were taught the Pythagorean Theorem in the Georgia Performance Standards as they worked with squares and roots. That’s nothing new.

Common Core is very similar to what we’ve been teaching, there’s just more of a focus on open-ended, critical thinking questions rather than multiple choice.

Here are the differences for 8th grade math: Unit 1 was a 7th grade Unit last year (Transformations, congruence, symmetry). And when working with exponents, we’ll now deal with 3D figures to calculate volume. The rest is virtually the same.

CCMST

July 26th, 2012
5:13 pm

As a science teacher, I can say one of the biggest differences is the push in ELA (English/Language Arts) from literature to informational texts, with the target being 70% of their reading coming from those sources.

Science teachers are also getting ready for more of a push in reading and and writing as it relates to science.

However, our “content standards” – the “science stuff” we’re supposed to teach is still in the works – it’s not Common Core – it’s being prepared by a consortium called Next Gen, and should be rolled out in 2015-2016. Changes keep’a comin’

Jacob

July 26th, 2012
5:35 pm

If it were such an easy transition, why are there so many classes being offered to understand the new standards? Why is there so much money being spent on this transition? Teachers should be able to basically continue teaching standards as they have. The problem is: Once you get used to something, be prepared for it to change, because it won’t stay around for longer than a few years. It’s the old “Let’s throw it against the wall and see what sticks” philosophy…and then let’s screw up what stuck for good measure.

CCGPS

July 26th, 2012
5:37 pm

Actually, third graders will NOT be dividing large numbers. With GPS they divided two and three digit numbers by one digit. For Common Core they will be expected to multiply and divide WITHIN 100.

CCGPS

July 26th, 2012
5:44 pm

Also, even though the standards have not changed drastically, the teaching materials or methods have changed. We are back to thematic teaching. No textbooks, now, all the lessons should extend from the literature being read. This is why transitional classes were given.

Maureen Downey

July 26th, 2012
5:53 pm

@CCGPS, Have sent your comment to DOE as the AJC plans to use its examples and I want to make sure the DOE examples in its release are accurate.
Thanks, Maureen

Who will be left to teach our kids?

July 26th, 2012
6:03 pm

Will all 46 states launch the standards for the 2012-2013 school year. Where’s the research that supports this initiative?

carlosgvv

July 26th, 2012
6:12 pm

And, as always, in a few years, test scores will come in showing whites doing significantly better than blacks and Hispanics. Educators will offer “adjustments”, pundits will wring their hands, blacks will cry “racism” and the Govt. will come up with yet another in the neverending series of social experiments.

Digger

July 26th, 2012
6:47 pm

Which will fail.

Reallyperplexed

July 26th, 2012
7:22 pm

Same-old-same old. Basically, reading across the curriculum to elevate students’ critical thinking skills and lexiles, additional non-fictional readings sprinkled with Blooms’ Taxonomy and you have the recipe for Common Core. Now, let’s see how long it will take for Common Core to exist. Is the educational systems the only ones that are in constant flux? Do we analyze why students are not learning? Do we take into consideration ELL learners, Free and Reduced lunch data, broken homes, single family households, poverty, people just not placing education as a priority and the list goes on, or do we just come up with different strategies? Since we are supposed to be data driven, why not simply use Best Practices in all classes and individualize learning according to students’ needs? Would it be impossible to have an IEP for all students?

I love teaching. I hate what it is becoming...

July 26th, 2012
7:47 pm

In elementary, the reading curriculum is shifting away from basal readers and towards trade books and integrated fiction/non-fiction themes. Math has picked up some concepts we did not previously teach. All fine by me. However, systems are so strapped for funds that teachers are not receiving any money to buy the necessary materials to support these changes, so teachers are spending hundreds of dollars of their own money on math manipulatives and trade books to use. I suspect higher ups are actually counting on this, because that is what teachers tend to do… spend their own money to make sure their students get what they need. But it is wrong! Do not implement a new curriculum requiring new materials if you do not have the funds available to provide the needed supplies! And certainly, do not “grade” teachers and schools upon student achievement, if you are not going to provide them with materials they need to support the curriculum you are requiring them the teach the students!

HS Math Teacher

July 26th, 2012
8:03 pm

Common Core = Common Results

Gerogia and education not compatible

July 26th, 2012
8:05 pm

Don’t forget the computer based assessments for 3-12. Yes, this is also a part of Common Core. It’s going to be quite interesting. My son graduates in 2017 and, I wonder, will Common Core still be around? In education things get kicked to the curb super fast!

teachlongtime

July 26th, 2012
8:17 pm

Having been a teacher in Georgia for 26 years, I find the word “new” in the title of this article somewhat inaccurate. I wonder how much money was spent rewriting what has been done by good teachers for years. If one truly examines the elementary math standards, they have been “dumbed down” so that less is expected from each grade level.

I can’t wait for my 30 years to be over. I have missed the teaching profession for about 15 years. I remember when it was fun and I got to see the joy of learning in my students. Now I can’t see my students for the “technology” improvements in my way.

catlady

July 26th, 2012
8:17 pm

At least in my area, until we require MASTERY of the skills (ie hold students responsible) and quit with the passing them on, we won’t succeed with the CC any better than we did(n’t) with the GPS. Example: 4th graders who cannot add and subtract quickly and accurately remain stuck at the bottom, unable to master the 4th grade CC or GPS. (for example, you must be able to add (never mind multiply) in order to work two digit by two digit multiplication. ) Year after year, not being able to post a decent score on the (sad little) CRCT. And yet we will send them on, where they will become 5th graders operating at a second grade level! Eventually, they will have to actually PASS a math course in high school and, surprise surprise, they won’t be able to, whether it is Cc or GPS.

Much of math is dependent on prior mastery. When you have to “discover” that 8+5=13 over and over, you aren’t likely to get too far.

And it will be the teachers’ fault, although we are not allowed to require any rote memorization of basic facts, terminology, etc.

mountain man

July 26th, 2012
8:29 pm

I agree with you 100%, catlady! No more social promotion!

teacher2012

July 26th, 2012
8:37 pm

Pythagorean theorem was taught at the middle school level in GPS already. Our lovely DOE “leaders” are not even sure what is going on. We aren’t supposed to rely on textbooks…seriously? ()and there aren’t many out there to choose from anyway! and what schools have the money to buy them anyway?) Math students need to practice, practice and practice some more and then once they have mastered the method, then and only then can they extend it to applications. Our lower achieving kids are still going to struggle–this is going to be the same fiasco as GPS was for the struggling high school math students. In two years, once the 2012-2013 freshmen are juniors, the state will realize their mistake just like they did when they added MATH SUPPORT 3 as a “math” credit. Then what? Everyone is not and should not take high level math courses. Ridiculous! Everyone is NOT going to college anyway. be real!

Mdw

July 26th, 2012
8:45 pm

I have been to several of these trainings– and there seems to be some contradictions in the methods of teaching Common Core. First, we are taught not to teach from the textbook–we already have been told to do this–but does that conflict with informational text? We are told by the Georgia Math Department that standards should no longer be posted-yet the Teacher Keys has it as part of the evaluation process. Also, we are told that we pulled our science representative from the Common Core Commission. Also, we are told that science will be more about environmental issues and impacts and that we really do not know if it will go to Common Core Science in Georgia by the year said. Also, the CRCT supposedly will be based on GPS but the questions will be aligned with Common Core and that up to 40% of our evals will be based on the scores. We are also told by the Federal Education Department not to under-serve those with special needs, but Georgia states we can only have a certain percentage of the students with special needs and that these students should be pushed through inclusions. We are also told that RTI is going out the door because it really overlooks the specific needs of students, but we are to follow RTI. Some good things I think can come from the Common Core–for example-high school math will be better aligned with other states, and middle school math will not cover as many topics, but cover more in depth, starting with 6th grade’s main focus on %, fractions, scale factors (even though I still don’t understand this-why at the math workshop we were told not to use cross-multiplying) and building a good foundation for the tools students will use in Algebra. We are told not to follow the pacing guide, yet in some schools if a teacher can not follow the pacing guide they are removed from that subject mid-year. Our state has already indicated that we need to do more assessments and breaks down those assessments into summative and formative. Using these should guide whether we should refocus on the previous task or go on to the next task–but yet we are told to use the curriculum guide. Remember there was a big push to uniform all the subject matter taught during the 80’s–but it died.

Elizabeth

July 26th, 2012
9:15 pm

CC does not dictate 70% non-fiction/informational reading in an ELA classroom. That is a guideline for the entire high school day, not the 45 minutes or a period (whatever your time is) in an English class. CC does get students reading more informational text across the curriculum, making students’ literacy the responsibility of all teachers, not just the ELA teacher. There are many things to criticize about the Common Core, like the developmental appropriateness of some of the standards, but this is not one of them. Well-intentioned people, and misstatements by David Coleman, are perpetuating this, but it is not in the standards themselves.

Brandy

July 26th, 2012
9:58 pm

The biggest problem (outside of how GA is recommending implementing the standards) is implementing them for all grades at once, rather than phasing them in over 3-5 years. When you have kids coming to 6th grade in an area like East Cobb unable to write an effective 3-sentence paragraph or unable to identify and correctly use nouns in writing–you cannot suddenly require them to be ready for higher level curricula. To be honest, I’m 110% behind a nationalized curriculum (and materials and funding and training…), but just as with any of the previous new curricula and “reforms”, test scores will drop initially and the entire thing will fade away before it’s even given enough time to be effectively tested and studied (minimum 3 years). I would love to see just one educational “reform” be fully funded, fully vetted, and given enough time to be tried out–it is just common sense. Of course, when business leaders and politicians, both of whom who have never taught a day in their lives, are making the decisions, common sense goes out the window.

Sorry for any unintended grammatical errors or typos. I’m typing on a SmartPhone.

Hey Teacher

July 26th, 2012
10:14 pm

@Brandy — I agree. At the high school level, we are expected to teach the new standards without the materials to go with them (what to do with a book room full of novels when one is supposed to be teaching “informational texts”?). We will supplement our materials with handouts and online resources, but there are still schools/systems where computer access and photocopying is limited.

A Teacher, 2

July 26th, 2012
10:33 pm

I thought it was odd that they referenced the Pythagorean Theorem in the PR. The Pythagorean Theorem was firmly embedded in the 8th grade curriculum when the GPS rolled out. How could they have picked such a poor example for their PR?

I can’t wait to see what happens when everyone finds out that the 9th grade Coordinate Algebra class is NOT just an algebra class, and the 10th grade Analytic Geometry class is NOT just a Geometry class! The CCGPS is probably more integrated on the HS level that the current Math 1-4. Those of you who are against integrated math that think we have “gone back” to Alg 1, Geometry, and Alg 2 have been duped. I’m really surprised that the outcry has not started yet. I guess not enough people have really looked at that 9th grade curriculum yet!

CDog

July 26th, 2012
10:48 pm

One size fits all . . . NOT! That being said, the CCGPS 9th grade math course should be easier than the GPS Math 1 which was a horribly designed course.

Brandy

July 26th, 2012
11:10 pm

@Hey Teacher, Similar problems at the middle school level, especially in regards to the suggested novel and support readings list. We either don’t have them (and I’m talking East Cobb here) or we don’t have enough of them. Plus, there are no clear recommendations for lower level readers, ELL students, et cetera. The entire implementation has been very poorly thought out.

Patricia Tomlinson

July 26th, 2012
11:24 pm

@ cat lady “And it will be the teachers’ fault, although we are not allowed to require any rote memorization of basic facts, terminology, etc.”

I am a bit confused. Why on earth would you not require students to have rote memorization of basic math facts? I have never in my entire teaching career ever taught in a system where students were not expected to memorize basic facts. Now, conceptual understanding of what the facts represent is also part of the deal, but practice, practice, practice is an equal part of the deal. I think you have a responsibility as a teacher to make sure your students learn the curriculum you are responsible for teaching. If you really teach in such an environment that essentially is telling you the teacher to not teach…then resign and start picketing your Board of Education OR run to become a member.

Now, as to Common Core…it really is not that much different from GPS…Yes, there are certainly differences, but not to the point people have to go nuts and then whine. It is not that Common Core just appeared on the horizon…I have been reading about them for the past few years, investigated them, did public response, etc. If teachers have to depend on a textbook, etc. to teach or design a unit to complement a standard that happens to be part of the job of teaching. If teachers can’t take a previous unit they have designed and tweak it for the Common Core, then they have a problem…they might not actually be real teachers. Teachers teach. As some of my friends will say “Just tell me what you need me to teach.” And they go from there.
I am also tired of hearing folks on this blog whine about the diversity in their classrooms whether it be language learners or poverty stricken youth or those with special needs. I have been a full time teacher since 1976 and I have yet to teach a class that was not diverse. The fact is children need teachers who see their students without excuses. Teachers who cannot figure out how to adapt their curriculum to meet the needs of their students need to be knocking on their peers’ doors looking for strategies, etc….searching the internet for strategies….joining a professional organization such as NCTM, or IRA, or whichever one is going to provide access to current research, etc. to meet the learning needs of their students. Read Education Week…visit Edutopia…read some real books designed to help you become better at your craft. That is not the responsibility of administrative personnel…that is the responsibility of teachers particularly in the world in which we teach. Don’t be sheep. Stop listening and arguing with those who want to tear our educational system apart. Politicians have no idea about education unless they have actually taught. Invite some of them to your classroom.

I do not really get into the parent issue either…if they want to be involved then we form a partnership…if they don’t, my responsibility is making sure their child is provided every opportunity to learn…they are not responsible for their parents support or lack of support…The number of parents who really do not care about their children’s success are in the minority based upon my 30+ years of dealing with parents from one extreme to the other. So people need to stop the whining about parents and using them as an excuse for the lack of progress a child makes. You are the teachers.

I think it would helpful for many of you to realize there are many school districts in Georgia who are not connected to Atlanta. I personally think the best thing that could happen to Atlanta and its surrounding school districts is to break them up into much smaller districts which might become more focused on the needs of their communities. Some of you might want to take a ride and visit some of the smaller county districts throughout our state…some which do not even have businesses or industries, etc. …just a bunch of trees particularly in the southernmost part of this state or western counties up and down the Alabama/Georgia line. A lot of great things are happening out there where common sense seems to prevail a bit more than it seems in our larger cities.

I apologize to any errors or to those I may have offended…but I love what I do and I believe what we do as teachers impacts the future in some small way. I am so tired of people not celebrating what we do…who allow politicians/organizations to treat our profession with such disrespect and are bent on destroying public education.

And..I have seen Waiting for Superman.

Ole Guy

July 26th, 2012
11:39 pm

Cat, you’re accentuating an issue to which I have drumrolled for quite some time. You, the educational system, shouldn’t have to teach the same concepts over and over. Once the kid is presumed to have mastered the building block basics…”discovering”, as you point out, that “8+5=13″…your ONLY course of action should be limited to one of two (and ONLY two options: Pass the kid, or flunk the kid. I realize that you, the “in-the-trenches teacher”, are faced with many pressures, emanating from parents, principals, and just about any-and-all who profess to know more than you on the art and science of education (and that just may include yours truly).

However, I know, and I’m sure you know, when something simply don’t work. When college kids, particularly those on HOPE (requiring that artificial A/B grade) must take remedials (high school redux); fail to graduate within the customary time restraints of 4 years…SOMETHING’S FREQUIN WRONG! YOU, the teacher corps, in NOT taking FULL AND COMPLETE COMMAND of your tidings, are, in effect, guilty of not doing your job; of malfeasance; of…conduct not becoming that of the professional you, collectively, profess to care about.

As I read all these well-intentioned posts and remarks, it becomes quite clear that there is a propensity to become bogged down in the minitua of the educational process. While there is much reference to the various flavors of algebra, geometry, and the alphabet soup of GPS, CCGPS, BS and more BS, the simple fact remains…NOTHUN’S FREQUIN CHANGIN’; NUTHIN’S GONNA CHANGE…till U, collectively, do what U must do.

Within the aviation world, there’s only one first solo/the kid can demonstrate the ability to remove the aircraft from the Earthly bonds and return SAFELY…ONLY ONCE. If he cannot do this, he must either repeat the effort as many times as his comptent instructor deems necessary, OR…he fails. It don’t matter if daddy is a general, an admiral, or a Washington guru…THE KID FAILS…or he dies tryin’.

By not taking…NOT asking for, but TAKING…command of your profession, YOU are setting up an entire generation to die. As stark as that may seem; as harsh as it may appear, that is the true reality.

So continue your discussions of “new and improved” standards, and the life and times of ole Pythagrius; continue to rub these kids’ bottoms with the baby lotions of false achievements, artificial self-esteem, and the abject failures perpetuated by these kids’ inability to read and think for themselves. When entire generations find themselves buried i loan debt simply because, all through their student careers, they came to realize that 1) they needn’t master nuthin, and 2) their screwups will always be covered by someone else, so…WHY FREQUIN BOTHER.

Keep it up, teachers…yer doin’ a hell of a job.

GATeacher

July 26th, 2012
11:42 pm

Ready, shoot, aim. Here we go!

Ole Guy

July 26th, 2012
11:45 pm

Tomlinson, don’t appologize for offending anyone, and certainly not for some “errors”. The biggest error, in public education, is sending a generation out into the world ill-prepared for much beyond becoming lifelong consumers of public services while offering next-to nothing in terms of contributorship.

madaboutmath

July 27th, 2012
12:07 am

@ A Teacher, 2–I expressed the same idea on here a few months ago. When parents find out that Coordinate Algebra is really a combination of algebra, statistics, and geometry, they are going to be ticked off. At least, with Math 1,2,3, we were honest about the integrated curriculum.

Patricia Tomlinson

July 27th, 2012
12:48 am

@ Ole Guy “By not taking…NOT asking for, but TAKING…command of your profession, YOU are setting up an entire generation to die. As stark as that may seem; as harsh as it may appear, that is the true reality.”

Well said!

SGaTeechur

July 27th, 2012
1:43 am

I am guessing that it is “true reality” rather than “faux reality” or just plain “reality?”

Ole Guy, are you sure you don’t work for GaDOE?

HS Math Teacher

July 27th, 2012
2:04 am

Diversity of talent in one class wasn’t much of an issue back in the old days. Only until recent years have smaller schools been boxed into a one-diploma pathway (no accelerated curriculum). Anyone on here who has taught more than ten or twenty years has had their share of teaching the lower-level courses. I actually enjoyed teaching most of them. I know that I brought those kids a long way in helping them getting to the next level. However, mixing kids who have never passed a middle school math course with higher-acheiving kids is a crazy idea, especially when you have over 30 in each class.

As to the quote above about how folks should get out of the ATL area (golden doughnut…perhaps golden bagel nowadays) and visit the “rest of GA” and see the “good things that are happening”….well, if you think in relative terms, yes, you’d see some good things going on. Sure, our local citizens have plenty of common sense. The problem is that we don’t have the power to change the bridling state controlled, ill-conceived, top-down policies that are foisted upon us.

If classroom diversity of talent SHOULDN’T matter, then colleges ought to admit ALL kids who want to go, regardless of their prior academic accomplishments. Gee….I wonder why they don’t.

Jerry Eads

July 27th, 2012
7:45 am

Wow. Several of you have done a very competent job of addressing what seem to be problems with CC implementation. Politics seems to require rapid, chaotic, underfunded and ill-planned implementation of knee-jerk “reforms” – as someone above pointed out, with absolutely NO research base.

I do support the purported move toward greater emphasis on “higher order” skills (use the label of your choice, I’ll use the term “critical thinking” for the moment). Last time I checked, the state is insisting on continuing to use its minimum competency tests during the transition to CC, and schools and teachers will be if anything punished to an even greater degree with the results of those tests, which by and large require little more than rote recognition of various simple factoids. So, in short, teachers will be required to teach critical thinking while being judged for how well they drill and kill kids on factoids and rote skills. If an individual were to exhibit the behavior represented by the state in this regard, he would be clinically diagnosed as schizophrenic.

That said, John Barge by all indication — starkly different from his two immediate predecessors — cares deeply for our kids and will do his very best to weave our way through the crazy hand he got dealt. I dearly hope for our sakes he succeeds.

Pride and Joy

July 27th, 2012
7:54 am

This part, especially, is music to my parental ears:
““These standards will better prepare our students for success beyond high school and allow us to see how we measure up against other states,” said state School Superintendent Dr. John Barge. “Also, because we are such a transient society, these standards can help ensure some level of consistency in what is taught from state to state.”
The students do need consistency because we are a transient society and we also need to know what we are getting for our taxes. We need to compare our schools with schools in other areas, including other states.
Businesses need to know what kind of work force they are really getting before they make a decision to move there and parents need to know about the schools before they purchase a home or make a decision to relocate with a company or take a job.
A friend of mine moved from Seattle WA to Atlanta GA. Her husband earns a high salary. She is a stay at home mom and part time volunteer. She researched the schools in Altanta and concluded she wouldn’t move to Atlanta unless the relocation package included $45,000 a year for her to send her children to private school — and they got it.
When Atlanta area schools are so bad that people insist on private schools, Georgia will not be able to attract businesses that create jobs. They’ll simply go to another state. My friend’s husband just happens to be an executive and could deman $45,000 more but it’s rare.
So having a common core will allow us to see how we are really doing and be abel to make better decisions for our kids and our State or simply make the decision to stay as we are, around 46th place and accept the consequences.
P and J
t

Pride and Joy

July 27th, 2012
8:03 am

I love teaching, you said “so teachers are spending hundreds of dollars of their own money on math manipulatives and trade books to use.”
Please go immediately to the PTA, tell them what you need and how much it costs. do the same to every parent in your room. You can buy one trade book if you have to and photocopy. I’ve seen the math manipulatives. They can be improvised. One doesn’t need to spend money at School Box, an expensive center. I go to the Dollar Store. Are you familiar with those little plastic squares used to measure things? Math manipulatives? I buy boxes of dice at the Dollar Store, which are the same size.
Explain what you need to the PTA and itemize and get an estimate. Do the same for the parents. Make a trip to the dollar store.
It’s what I successfully do at home.
Many parents won’t spend a dime regardless how much money they do have but there are many parents like me who will pay our share and then some.

HoneyFern School

July 27th, 2012
8:22 am

““These standards will better prepare our students for success beyond high school and allow us to see how we measure up against other states…”

Nope. Teachers will or will not do this. The standards are a framework, but if the teaching/implementation is bad, shiny “new” standards wil do nothing.

Likewise, if there are a million planned testing events (28 in 6th grade, I believe?), when will teachers teach?

CCS were created to make more money for the educational machine. State standards had been implemented, and sales were down. Re-tool the standards, re-write the texts = back in business. Shameful.

TeacherMom4

July 27th, 2012
8:37 am

Jerry, that is exactly what worries me at the present moment, especially in elementary science and social studies. These tests (particularly social studies) are already like playing Jeopardy or Trivial Pursuit, but now we are to teach much of the content through non-fiction texts during literacy. That’s great if you have the books that will spell out the specific factoids the children will be tested on, but if you don’t, what do you do? At my Title I school, we already allocate the lion’s share of time to literacy and math. The time for social studies and science is 35-40 minutes/day–for both, not each. If we lose any more time, there is no way we will get through it all–we barely make it now, and that’s with the dreaded “teaching to the test”. As long as these subjects are explicitly tested, they should get equal time.

I love integrating; I do it all the time with the book choices I make during literacy, but I can’t teach all of the standards through integration alone because the way the material is tested relies on students knowing very specific facts. If the materials I have to use don’t teach those facts, the kids won’t pass the test, even if they know a lot about the topic in general. Now, if we drop the testing component for all but math and language arts, integration would be fantastic. I would love to let my students have more freedom to learn about the aspects that interest them about a topic and learn to love learning, rather than memorize factoids. If CC brings that change eventually, then great. I get the feeling it won’t though.

Pride and Joy

July 27th, 2012
8:43 am

To Really Perplexed, you ask “Free and Reduced lunch data, broken homes, single family households, poverty, people just not placing education as a priority and the list goes on”
I came from all of the above, including uninvolved parents and I performed very well and I always have. I never had a free lunch or a reduced priced lunch because we were too proud to do that but I would have qualified.
I think you are giving the poor a bad name. Poor people can and do learn and become successful thanks to the public education system. There are thousands of examples and I’ll name a couple: Oprah Winfrey who was poor, black, from Mississippi, came from a broken home, was raped by a relative…on and on and she speaks and writes liike the professional she is. She was a professional journalist and is also a remarkable human being. Just because one is poor, black or white and poor and just because they fulfill all the other items on your check list does not mean they are destined to fail. People can and do make a positive difference in these childrens’ lives. You can be that person who does or be that person who throws up her hands and says they are unteachable and destined to fail.

Double Zero Eight

July 27th, 2012
8:53 am

I am curious as to how GA will rank compared to
the 46 states utilizing this standard, when this data
becomes available,

Teachers will be pressured to promote students, and
there is a strong possibility that the test cheating scandal
will turn into a “social promotion scandal”. Administrators
will blame the teachers if their promotions do not meet
the target set, in addition to comparing them to their peers
in performance reviews.

Educators have been training on this new initiative since
March 2011 Unless there is meaningful and increased
parental involvement, nothing will change in the “inner city”
schools. As usual, the parents are left out of the equation.
Maybe an administrator will think “outside the box” and
incorporate an “Effective Parenting Class” in its PTA.

Mikey D.

July 27th, 2012
9:43 am

@Double Zero Eight:
“Maybe an administrator will think “outside the box” and
incorporate an “Effective Parenting Class” in its PTA.”

Administrators at some of our local Title 1 schools have been trying this for years. Only problem is, no one ever shows up. Some of the schools have actually started using Title 1 funds to order pizza because the only way the parents will show up is if they are given a free meal.

EduKtor

July 27th, 2012
9:44 am

It seems Carlosgvv (6:12 pm) has uncharacteristically seen through this rearrangement of Titanic deck chairs.

No doubt he likewise comprehends the unrelenting pressures on the education establishment to appear to be addressing failures we all know—won’t be. What will be accomplished, of course, is safe passage into taxpayer-assisted retirement for yet another sizable cohort of administrators and not a few teachers. While parents hopelessly await results.

When charter schools and tuition vouchers are the norm, there will also be failures. The difference is—they won’t be as easily or effectively swept under the rug.

Cleo

July 27th, 2012
9:48 am

Tomlinson, I wholeheartedly agree! I, too, have been teaching for some time. Teachers gets so tied into complaining about the constant changes or tweaking their teaching to match these ridiculous new instructional strategies. Reforms, curriculum changes, and the whims of administrators will never drive me to change what I know works for the success of my students. I just nod my head in staff meetings and go back to my classroom and instruct the way I know will work. In one format or another, there will always be these same issues in education. In fact, societal issues, social media, funding, etc….will only get worse. Teachers simply need to keep their focus where it belongs – on effective classroom instruction and the progress of their students.

Unblocked

July 27th, 2012
9:49 am

It seems Carlosgvv (6:12 pm) has uncharacteristically seen through this rearrangement of Titanic deck chairs.

No doubt he likewise comprehends the unrelenting pressures on the education establishment to appear to be addressing failures we all know—won’t be. What will be accomplished, of course, is safe passage into taxpayer-assisted retirement for yet another sizable cohort of administrators and not a few teachers. While parents hopelessly await results.

When charter schools and tuition vouchers are the norm, there will also be failures. The difference is—they won’t be as easily or effectively swept under the rug.

– EduKtr

Uncensored

July 27th, 2012
9:55 am

It seems Carlosgvv (6:12 pm) has uncharacteristically seen through this rearrangement of Titanic deck chairs.

No doubt he likewise comprehends the unrelenting pressures on the education establishment to appear to be addressing failures we all know—won’t be. What will be accomplished, of course, is safe passage into taxpayer-assisted retirement for yet another sizable cohort of administrators and not a few teachers. While parents hopelessly await results.

When charter schools and tuition vouchers are the norm, there will also be failures. The difference is—they won’t be as easily or effectively swept under the rug.

Patricia Tomlinson

July 27th, 2012
10:06 am

@ HoneyFern “Nope. Teachers will or will not do this. The standards are a framework, but if the teaching/implementation is bad, shiny “new” standards wil do nothing.”

Exactly!!

Patricia Tomlinson

July 27th, 2012
10:13 am

@ Cleo: “In fact, societal issues, social media, funding, etc….will only get worse. Teachers simply need to keep their focus where it belongs – on effective classroom instruction and the progress of their students.”

I agree!

mommamonster

July 27th, 2012
10:22 am

@Cleo,

Unfortunately our evaluations are based on whether we are “towing the County line” and posting the standards, EQs, etc. rather than measuring our true effectiveness. I am a Special Education teacher and our evals are even more confusing and subjective. Our admins’ attitudes and opinions determine whether or not we are put on a PDP and non-renewed if we aren’t doing as we are told. AND, Cobb County in its typical backassward fashion is CHANGING the Common Core which makes it NOT common…sheesh!

10:31 am

July 27th, 2012
10:32 am

It seems Carlosgvv (6:12 pm) has uncharacteristically seen through this rearrangement of Titanic deck chairs.

No doubt he likewise comprehends the unrelenting pressures on the education establishment to appear to be addressing failures we all know—won’t be. What will be accomplished, of course, is safe passage into taxpayer-assisted retirement for yet another sizable cohort of administrators and not a few teachers. While parents hopelessly await results.

When charter schools and tuition vouchers are the norm, there will also be failures. The difference is—they won’t be as easily or effectively swept under the rug.

10:36 am

July 27th, 2012
10:36 am

It seems Carlosgvv (6:12 pm) has uncharacteristically seen through this rearrangement of Titanic deck chairs.

No doubt he likewise comprehends the unrelenting pressures on the education establishment to appear to be addressing failures we all know—won’t be. What will be accomplished, of course, is safe passage into taxpayer-assisted retirement for yet another sizable cohort of administrators and not a few teachers. While parents hopelessly await results.

When charter schools and tuition vouchers are the norm, there will also be failures. The difference is—they won’t be as easily or effectively swept under the rug.

– EduKtr

AlreadySheared

July 27th, 2012
11:10 am

Not a thing in the world wrong with common national math standards. Dunno about other subjects, but for math a common, national test for each course would be the next correct step.