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Glendora Unified Preparing for Adoption of Standards Aimed at College Readiness

Adopted by California last year, the Common Core State Standards promises to bring all state educational plans to the same level.

Glendora Unified recently began assessing and planning for the implementation of a new set of standards aimed at helping students succeed in careers and education beyond K-12.

Common Core State Standards, adopted by California in 2010, will bring a national standard to K-12 education by having individual states adopt a set of standards that can be applied across the country.

The new standards will be implemented in 2014-2015. Until then, the current standards will remain. The CCSS includes standards for mathematics, English-language arts, and literacy for K-12 students.

At a staff development day Oct. 10, the district brought CCSS to the teachers so that they can understand it and learn how apply it.

The remainder of this year, site administrators will be working with individual schools and departments in Glendora to understand how CCSS will affect grade level learning and content areas.

“It’s quite a bit of work, although California has some high standards already,” said Glendora Unified Superintendent Robert Voors at the Oct. 10 board of education meeting. “When the assessment starts in 2014, that’s going to be a little bit of a stretch for us.”

California standards are broad and students are asked to absorb a lot of info, but without a lot of depth, according to Michelle Hunter, assistant superintendent of educational services.

"Common Core really narrowed the focus and brought in depth and complexity of learning, so students will now have to take their learning to an application level and be assessed in a completely different manner," Hunter said.

For ELA, CCSS will focus with intensity on text complexity, while focusing on writing arguments and drawing evidence from sources. For math, some differences will include a shift in grade level for some skills and options available for eighth grade students.

States with very rigorous standards, such as California, are allowed to “individualize” their adoption of CCSS by adding up to 15 percent of their own standards.

According to a California School Board Association article from July 2010, Kathy Gaither, undersecretary of education, was adamant that Common Core only be adopted with the addition of some of California’s standards.

California opted to add about 8 percent of its own standards to Common Core to maintain its rigor in English Language Arts, while adding the maximum 15 percent to Mathematics standards, Hunter said.

An implementation framework was established by then State Superintendent Jack O’Connell in 2010 to address curriculum frameworks, adoption of instructional materials and assessments.

California will take part in a consortium to design assessments to meet federal and state level accountability requirements. Dubbed SMARTER Balanced, the consortia will help maximize student-teacher interaction and better monitor student success.

The Common Core State Standards were developed in 2009 by the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices.

MellowMaverick October 23, 2011 at 03:11 PM
FYI, the state has had curriculum standards in place for years. This sounds like a publicity spin for the state in an attempt to make it seem like they are doing something to improve the state of education. In the past, when they've done things like this, it appeared on paper and in publicity releases but the state also needed to properly fund the plan to make it work. (you need more textbooks, instructional materials and teachers) Well, you know how that worked out. As it stands, with even less money in the state treasury, I HOPE they can make it work this time, but personally, I'm skeptical.
Facts aka Campaign Manager October 23, 2011 at 10:12 PM
Publicity spin? Um, BK if you are considered a columnist on Patch, I'm considered a blogger and Hazel is considered a journalist, it is fair to say that all readers should be skeptical...why? Well, we should all try to take these media sources (you, myself and hazel) as just different stories which reflect only ONE side of an issue. Regarding this strory? All parents like myself should dig deeper with GUSD, the CA board of Education and others because this will impact my kids as they won't graduate GHS until 2016 and 2017. So, yes, please be skeptical but I assure you this report is not just a publicity stunt. Sure, Hazel and others create stories off of press releases and other sources but here im confident we merely have Dr.Voors sharing of progress in our schools because CHANGE is a comin! And I don't mean just the school board election. That being said, the majority of your postings are boring. Sorry.
AB October 25, 2011 at 07:40 PM
I can see why you might think it's a publicity spin, but as a teacher who relies on the California State Standards every day in order to make lesson plans, I can assure you, it is not. The article would have been more comprehensive had it included the website for the California Standards for Education (http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/ss/documents/elacontentstnds.pdf) and then the Common Core ones ( http://www.corestandards.org/assets/CCSSI_ELA%20Standards.pdf) so readers can make the comparisons themselves. As they did not, here is a sample from each, so you can see the differences. They are in the area of Language Arts (Reading) for third graders. Here are the California standards: Comprehension and Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text 2.2 Ask questions and support answers by connecting prior knowledge with literal information found in, and inferred from, the text. 2.3 Demonstrate comprehension by identifying answers in the text. 2.4 Recall major points in the text and make and modify predictions about forthcoming information. 2.5 Distinguish the main idea and supporting details in expository text. 2.6 Extract appropriate and significant information from the text, including problems and solutions. And here are the Common Core standards: Key Ideas and Details 1. Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
MellowMaverick October 25, 2011 at 09:10 PM
Thanks for the additional info, AB. Implementation of any standard takes patience and skill and my kudos to the teachers today. I had plenty of standards to follow when I taught and that was hard enough. So much more is expected now. And what many people don't understand about teaching is that not all students master standards at the same rate. Working at varying rates, speeds and with different measures of success requires true dedication, which is yet another reason I admire the work teachers do.

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