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Academics and Instruction

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Common Core State Standards

In January 2011, the New York state Board of Regents adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English language arts and literacy as well as for mathematics as new learning standards for all students in New York state. The new standards were implemented in schools throughout the state at the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year.

What are the Common Core Learning Standards?
The Common Core Learning Standards are a set of clear guidelines showing what students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 should be able to do in reading, writing, speaking and listening, language and mathematics. With these standards, students start by learning basic skills in early grades and build up to mastering more difficult skills and concepts — think of the process as moving up a “staircase of knowledge.”

By having common standards, all students across the state — and across the country — should have the opportunity to learn the same skills. In the past, every state had its own set of academic standards, meaning U.S. students were learning different skills and concepts at different rates. The Common Core Standards give all students an equal opportunity to learn at higher levels. In turn, pupils should graduate with a greater chance to succeed in college, careers and life.

How were the standards developed?
Forty-six states brought together experts, teachers and researchers to write the Common Core State Standards, along with nearly 10,000 comments and suggestions, including many from New York teachers and parents. Click here http://corestandards.org/the-standards to read the full set of standards.

Why have the Common Core Learning Standards been introduced?
The new standards are designed to better prepare students to tackle college-level courses and gain skills they’ll need in current and future careers. In New York, fewer than 35 percent of students are graduating from school with the skills they need to pass college courses. Employers in the state and nation report that newly hired staff do not have the basic reading, writing and math skills to do their jobs well. Changing these trends means changing the approaches we use to educate our children.

What do these changes mean for students?
With the new standards, students will be learning skills that are more in-depth, advanced and challenging than the content they learned in the past. These changes are called Common Core “shifts.”

For example, in English Language Arts (ELA), pupils will:
• read more non-fiction;
• learn about the world by reading;
• read more challenging material;
• talk about reading using evidence gathered from the material read;
• learn how to write based on what was read; and
• learn more vocabulary words.

In mathematics, students will:
• build on content and concepts learned in the previous grade level;
• spend more time on fewer concepts (i.e., learn in a more in-depth way);
• develop speed and accuracy in solving problems;
really understand math and how to use it in real-world situations; and


Why are standards important?
Think of the Common Core State Standards as a road map for learning which will allow for greater consistency and the strengthening of our educational process nationwide.

The Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn. This allows teachers and parents to know what they need to help students. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy of today and tomorrow.


What impact will Common Core State standards have?
As educators with years of experience working in New York State, Liberty administrators and teachers have never before had to adjust and align the educational program to such significant change in curriculum and instruction at one time.

While teachers and administrators learn and train for the changes in education that are now upon us, it is hoped that parents will view this as an opportunity for the district to enhance education for their children, and for parents to partner with district staff supporting good attendance, study skills and behaviors.

The knowledge gained during professional development time this year and in years to come will help align instruction in our school district with new standards. The school district is working to prepare teachers to deliver lessons for the 21st Century – which will improve instruction for students.


What does this mean  for Liberty Central School District?
As educators with years of experience working in New York State, Liberty administrators and teachers have never before had to adjust and align the educational program to such significant change in curriculum and instruction at one time.

While teachers and administrators learn and train for the changes in education that are now upon us, it is hoped that parents will view this as an opportunity for the district to enhance education for their children, and for parents to partner with district staff supporting good attendance, study skills and behaviors.

The knowledge gained during professional development time this year and in years to come will help align instruction in our school district with new standards. The school district is working to prepare teachers to deliver lessons for the 21st Century – which will improve instruction for students.

 

Click here for more questions and answers Common Core.

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