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Thursday, May 26, 2011

California and the Common Core Standards

I was looking around the Internet to see the status of Common Core Standards in California. I found the excerpt below, indicating that they have been adopted but have run against a moratorium of funding for new framework initiatives. Part of me really understands this moratorium because it has felt that we have been buffeted around with new initiatives ever 3-4 years. I am not convinced we need new materials right away, at least not for my school district, which uses Everyday Math, but I do believe we need to look at what we have and reorganize the scope and sequence to reflect the focus points at each grade level.
Good teaching should never be based solely on the materials, but on the standards being expected of the students.

The standards approved by the SBE are based on the K-12 English-Language Arts (ELA) and math standards created by the Common Core State Standards Initiative and augmented by California's Academic Content Standards Commission to establish learning objectives with the same level of rigor embodied in California's existing standards. Those existing standards will remain in effect while state officials consider when and how to implement the new ones.
Cost is a major factor affecting the implementation timeline. California will need to invest in new curriculum frameworks, which guide standards-based instruction, plus the development, adoption, and purchase of new instructional materials. In addition teachers and school leaders will need training, and the state testing system will need to be aligned with the standards.
Those steps will be significantly delayed unless California lawmakers lift a moratorium on updating curriculum frameworks and adopting new instructional materials enacted in 2009 and lasting through 2013-14. Even if the moratorium is lifted, the State Board of Education may not adopt instructional materials in math until November 2014 and in ELA until November 2016, according to a proposal that the CDE presented to the board in November 2010.

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