Written by Dr. Charles Murphy, Island Trees Superintendent of Schools Friday, 05 October 2012 00:00
New York State has adopted a new curriculum K-12 – The Common Core. The Common Core is a nationwide effort to introduce new rigorous content and knowledge-based problem-solving standards into all subject areas. The Common Core initiative is intended to produce students who are prepared to compete with students from high performing international educational systems. In fact, 45 states have signed on and are modifying their curriculum to meet these new lofty expectations.
Earlier this summer, the New York State Education Department (SED) finally provided a few sample questions for the upcoming “Common Core” assessments, grades 3-8, planned to rollout in April.
The model questions are very challenging and far more complex than the prior subject matter revamped in 2005. Despite the fact that State Education Department has not completed the Core Curriculum maps for school districts to follow, our students will be assessed on the new concepts.
At present, our staff is working to prepare the students for the known and unknown associated with the new curriculum. We hope to have the students prepared for this challenge by springtime.
Naturally, parents can help support the school by reinforcing schoolwork at home. In English Language Arts, the new Core Curriculum focuses on more informational reading passages. Reading more non-fiction will be an immense help to your children in all grade levels.
In addition, the Core Curriculum calls for more math fluent students. This is a fancy way to say they need to have their facts memorized. There’s no easy way to learn this, but by hard work through drill and practice—flash and index cards still work best after all of these years. If you hope to learn more about the Core Curriculum, please see the State Education Department’s “EngageNY” website at http://engageny.org/common-core/.