Common Core State StandardsWhat are the Common Core State Standards?
Oregon is one of 45 states that have adopted Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The CCSS fit with Oregon's vision of quality education from birth to college and career. The goal of the CCSS is to prepare students for a successful life after school. These newly adopted standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics offer the opportunity for collaboration and innovation in schools and districts across the state and around the country.
The Common Core State Standards are a natural progression for Medford School District. Many of the goals are similar to what MSD has already been working toward: Preparing all students to graduate with a sound educational foundation
. MSD aims for students to graduate with the ability to attend college without the need for remedial classes. Common Core is, at its heart, focused on developing critical thinking. During the last several years, much of Medford School Districts’ focus has been on improving instructional practice, including developing critical thinking in students.
The Common Core State Standards, or CCSS, are educational standards that define what students in pre-K through 12th grade should know, and be able to do, in English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics. These consistent standards and clearly defined goals will help all students learn the same skills at the same grade levels no matter where they move within Oregon and 44 other states. These standards are designed to help all students get prepared for college and careers. Here is a fun three-minute video explaining the CCSS:
What does this mean for my student's education?
Whether a student stays at one school or moves often, students will be developing the same skills consistently across each grade in each school. These skills are transferable; students can take them wherever they might go. Critical thinking is the focus; students will be using evidence to support their answers whether it be in a science, history or math class. This focus shift means:
- Rather than expecting students to memorize the answer, students will be taught to find the answer within their resources. They will also be taught to explain their answer clearly.
- This will help level the playing field, as all students will have access to the answer within the text in front of them. This is called "text-based questioning, evidence-based answers."
- There will be more emphasis on students showing how they came to an answer or reached a conclusion rather than just reciting facts.
- With CCSS, a third-grade student can move from Washington Elementary to Hoover Elementary (or to a school in Springfield, Missouri), and have a smoother educational transition. Students in one grade who transfer to another school can be confident that they will be addressing the same standards and won't miss out on any critical content.
- It will still be Medford teachers and principals who decide how the standards are to be met. They will continue to create relevant, engaging lessons and tailor instruction to the individual needs of students in their classrooms.
- The CCSS requires teachers and students to delve deeper into the core skills and concepts for each grade level. One of the biggest changes will be the amount of training (professional development) our teachers receive. Medford School District is committed to providing both students and teachers support they need to transition to the Common Core State Standards.
What changes might I notice right away?
What doesn't this mean for my student's education?
- There will be a shift to more writing in all classes, such as science and math. For example, you might see your student bring home a science assignment that is an essay. You might see a math assignment that requires your student to write how she solved the problems.
- There will be a greater focus on reading non-fiction text in classes. For example, your student might read a science article in science class. A math assignment might be reading informational text from graphs and charts and then gathering and compiling data. In a history class, your student might be reading a letter from a revolutionary soldier, the text from the Declaration of Independence, or a biography about Thomas Jefferson while studying about early America.
If you would like more information about how to help support your student at home, click http://www.cgcs.org/domain/36 for step-by-step guides for parents of students K–12.
Helping your child with Common Core Math
If you would like more information about the Medford School District transition plan for Common Core State Standards click here.
Click here to read a Frequently Asked Questions
- It does not mean teachers will be told how to teach. CCSS will establish what skills students need to learn, but does not dictate how teachers should teach.
- It does not mean students will be required to learn at the same rate. Teachers will continue to develop lesson plans and tailor instruction to meet the individual needs of their students.
- It does not mean that the federal government will be gathering personal and identifiable information on individual students. CCSS will not change or remove existing protections for student privacy.
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