Do the Common Core and State Assessments have you Stressed?
Most parents are aware that New York State is raising the bar to help ensure all students receive a world-class education. In doing so, New York is one of 46 states that have adopted new academic standards in English Language Arts and Math in Grades K-12, called New York’s Common Core Learning Standard
The world has changed, and so must education. The Common Core Learning Standards are the foundation for remodeling our education system by keeping the best of what we have and replacing outmoded ways of teaching and learning. The Common Core curriculum is designed to harness student potential so that students will be better writers, better able to read and research critically, better speakers, better problem solvers, and more fluent in math skills.
This shift will help ensure students graduate from high school with the skills needed to be college and career ready. Employers and universities have reported that the younger workforce is not equipped with the essential writing, speaking, or critical thinking skills needed for success. The Common Core is designed to address this deficiency.
Grade 3-8 students throughout New York State are currently engaged in State Assessments for English Language Arts and Math. The State assessments are simply tools to measure learning and identify performance gaps so students can get the supports they need to achieve success. While the Common Core is designed to increase student’s academic achievement, the changes you see in your student’s score on State tests, however, may be lower. As teachers and students adjust to this new, rigorous curriculum over the next several years, it is likely that student scores on annual assessments will drop. The results from the new state tests in Kentucky – the first in the nation explicitly tied to the Common Core—showed a drop of more than 30 percent. Parents should not be alarmed by this possible change in their child’s score, as it is likely a result of the increased difficulty of the new tests. If a student receives a lower score than usual, it may be a sign of adjusting to changing standards, not changing capabilities.
New York State is on track to implementing these new standards, and educators throughout Ulster County are working hard to make sure students experience a successful transition. A strong school-home partnership is critical to the success of all education. By working together, we will ensure our children achieve success with the Common Core and their futures.
Some links to valuable resources can be on the column on the left of the page. Special thanks to the Capital Region BOCES for sharing their issue of Parent Today about the Common Core.