It is hard to believe that a new school year is upon us! There is always such anticipation for students and parents at the beginning of every school year. Then it is down to business -– time to learn!
Schools build their curriculum around academic standards. Indiana is one of 45 states and three territories to adopt the Common Core state standards. These standards define the knowledge and skills students should have within their K-12 education careers so they will graduate high school and be able to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing academic college courses and in workforce training programs.
The Common Core standards include the following characteristics:
• Are aligned with college and career expectations.
• Are clear, understandable and consistent.
• Have rigorous content and application of knowledge through high-order skills.
• Build upon strengths and lessons of current state standards.
• Are informed by other top-performing countries, so all students are prepared to succeed in our global economy and society.
• Are evidence-based.
Why Common Core standards?
• Common standards will help ensure students are receiving a high-quality education consistently from school to school and state to state.
• We need college and career-ready standards.
• We need students prepared to move from our colleges and universities into the workplace and ready to compete in the emerging global marketplace.
There are big shifts for students demanded by these standards. Parents need to be critical partners in assisting their child’s teacher to ensure student success and higher achievement with the more rigorous standards.
Implementation of the new standards will continue until they are fully operational in the 2014-15 school year. This school year there are big shifts using the essential Common Core standards going on all over the country and our state — including your child’s school. In addition, the state assessments will include field test items preparing for the big shift to these standards.
Start using the six shifts for students and parents that accompany this column! The big shifts to Common Core standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills 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.
Peggy Buffington is superintendent of the School City of Hobart. The opinion is the writer's and not necessarily that of The Times.