Common Core Standards Daily Update // December 11, 2014

News You Can Use:

Cleveland Plain Dealer: “Common Core Can Help Overcome Our Math Phobia”: As longtime Ohio educators, Alice Gill and Linda Gojak say they are willing to fight for CCSS “not because it’s popular or unpopular, not because it’s perfect, but because it’s the right thing to do for our children.” “We’re tired of seeing this issue co-opted by political opportunists,” they add. The authors point out practical learning expectations in math at different grade levels, including “exploring the concept of 5” in kindergarten and learning to multiply by fractions in fifth grade. Noting teachers must help parents become familiar with new math techniques, they say, “Perhaps the most important thing about these standards is they challenge children to think.” “We need to stop being math-phobic,” they conclude.

What It Means: In addition to traditional math concepts, CCSS introduce students to multiple problem-solving methods to provide more ways work through problems and create a better conceptual understanding of number functions. As Gill and Gojak point out, for many parents new approaches can be unnerving, but they will help students achieve to higher levels of math.



Chalkbeat Colorado: “Garcia: Colorado ‘Can’t Back Down’ on Education Reform”: Colorado’s Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia said Friday at the Colorado Association of School Boards, “We know we can’t stray from the path of high standards, rigorous assessments and educator effectiveness.” He added, “We need to stay the course…If we back off now we risk, quite frankly, creating vast ripples of inequality and inequity in our education system.” Garcia pointed out the Colorado Achievement Plan was developed by the state, not federal authorities. Of student assessments, he said the state is “streamlining the volume” of tests, but that should not come at the expense of “fairness and consistency.” “We are making progress,” he added, “Colorado’s education system is producing better results every year.”

What It Means: Lt. Gov. Garcia’s message underscores the importance of high standards to ensure all students receive a quality education and graduate prepared for college or a career. As Garcia points out, states are seeing unique gains under CCSS, and others will replicate the same success as they move forward with the Standards. It’s telling that 84 percent of teachers who have worked closely with CCSS believe the Standards will produce better student outcomes and that implementation is going well.