Common Core of State Standards
Over the past decade, states have developed a patchwork of standards that have increased costs and made it difficult for our nation to strengthen achievement. A partnership of the National Governors Association Center, the Council of Chief State School Officers, Achieve, ACT, College Board and a work group of teachers, business and education leaders created the Common Core of State Standards. These are state, not national, standards that have been voluntarily adopted by 47 states.
The Common Core has released standards for Mathematics and English Language Arts. These are standards that indicate what students should know and be able to do. The Common Core is not a curriculum -- schools and teachers will have freedom to design or purchase curriculum that makes sense for their students and communities.
The Common Core has a strong emphasis on the application of skills, rather than just identifying or being familiar with skills and content. This will require schools and teachers to develop more curricular tasks and experiences in order to apply skills so that students can actually demonstrate that they have mastered the standards.
There are two state consortia that are developing the summative assessments to doublecheck that schools are ensuring rigor. New Mexico is now part of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC.
Achievement and Equity
- According to the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), among 4th graders in NM in 2011, 34% were proficient or above in mathematics; 24% were proficient or above in reading. According to NAEP, in 2011, Hispanic students had an average score that was 18 points lower than White students in mathematics.
- PED has set up a website with a lot of information about the Common Core.
- West Ed completed a comparison between New Mexico’s standards and the Common Core.
Asset-Based Innovation: Good Stuff Happening in New Mexico
- Hobbs Muncipal School District in partnership with the Maddox Foundation and the Dana Center at the University of Texas are developing an initiative to provide professional development for teachers.
Respectful: Engage, Inquire, and Explore
- Tribal Sovereignty: How can the Common Core be implemented to more fully support the cultural values of Native Americans?
- Children and Families: In designing and selecting curriculum, how can we engage students and families? What role does expanded learning opportunities play in implementing the Common Core?
- Educators: What support do districts, schools and teachers need to fully implement the Common Core? What type of professional development is needed?
World View: Multilingual Multi-Perspective
- How can we implement the Common Core so that students have the ability to learn in dual-language environments?
- Are there opportunities in the Common Core to introduce global perspectives that help students see events and cultures through different points of view?
Holistic: Child-Centric Design
- What needs to be put into place to ensure that English Language Learners get adequate support to meet the Common Core standards?
- How can we provide adequate support to those students that are more than 2 years behind in academic skills to accelerate their learning?
Urgency: High Leverage
- What are examples of state and district policies that emphasize innovation in accelerating learning?
- How can blended and online learning help the state of NM implement the Common Core and provide access to high quality learning environments?