By now, most of us have heard about the “standards. We know that our country’s goal is for all children, 3rd grade and up, to score proficient on the “test.” As an educator I could recite the standards from memory. I am able to look at the data and know specifically what areas our kids need support. I can drill down and figure out what material my students have mastered and when more instruction needs to occur. In fact, when I designed READS, I aligned our question cards with the Standards, and not just because there is a “test.” So far, this standards discussion has been about me as a teacher, but what does it have to do with you as a parent?
To begin, we need to explain what these standards really are. A complete explanation can be found on the Common Core State Standards web site. For convenience, I’ve provided some of that information below.
Common Core State Standards – Mission Statement – “The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our 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.”
Why do we need them? “We need standards to ensure that all students, no matter where they live, are prepared for success in postsecondary education and the workforce. Common standards will help ensure that students are receiving a high quality education consistently, from school to school and state to state. Common standards will provide a greater opportunity to share experiences and best practices within and across states that will improve our ability to best serve the needs of students.”
Do these standards tell teachers how to teach? “Standards do not tell teachers how to teach, but they do help teachers figure out the knowledge and skills their students should have so that teachers can build the best lessons and environments for their classrooms. Standards also help students and parents by setting clear and realistic goals for success. Standards are a first step – a key building block – in providing our young people with a high-quality education that will prepare them for success in college and work. Of course, standards are not the only thing that is needed for our children’s success, but they provide an accessible roadmap for our teachers, parents, and students”
To measure success, standardized testing has been implemented. We spoke about standardized testing in a prior blog Why parents should prepare their kids for standardized testing so I won’t say any more about that topic here.
In conclusion, standards, when implemented properly, are a good thing for students, teachers and parents. And parents, when you have a chance, please follow our link to the Common Core State Standards website to learn about the standards. Once you do, please do not hesitate to write Harriet (Harriet’s Forum) and ask her any questions that you may have.