Questions About Common Core Standards

  On August 7, 2012 the Wausau Daily Herald ran an article written by Keith Uhlig titled, “New education standards prompt early prep work from teachers for school year.” It was a brief piece but I think Uhlig managed to hit some of the most important points. The Common Core State Standards are based on national criteria, they are a detailed map of what students should master and the age they should do it by, and they are key in Wisconsin’s plan to provide the best possible education for all students. Uhlig also pointed out that in Wisconsin’s plan are more difficult standardized tests. In his interviews with teachers he goes on to highlight the changes parents might notice in their student’s curriculum as well as the way they are taught.
  One fact not delved into is that more challenging standardized tests have the potential to pull students who have scored above proficient in years past to a proficient level. Students who have been proficient might find themselves below. That is sure to cause some difficult conversations. There are resources to help with some of the questions that might come up at the Common Core State Standards Initiative web site. A particularly good page to refer to is the frequently asked questions found at http://www.corestandards.org/frequently-asked-questions. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (WDPI) has information about how the Common Core State Standards differ from other Wisconsin academic standards at http://dpi.wi.gov/standards/ccss.html  WDPI also has information on their Academic Standards page at http://www.dpi.wi.gov/standards. For a comprehensive overview of  the state of Wisconsin's plans you can view State Superintendent Tony Ever's "Every Child a Graduate" plan at http://www.dpi.wi.gov/sprntdnt/everychild.html
  One of my favorite comments in Uhlig’s article was from Wausau teacher, Barb Mullen. She said, “I think we just need to be patient and we have to believe in ourselves.” That means all of us, parents, teachers and community. After all we all want the same thing, positive results for our students. To achieve that we’ll need to be working together more than ever.

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