Friday Bulletin Board: The Common Core Edition

Mikaila and Kattie surf the web for Common Core articles.

Mikaila and Kattie surf the web for Common Core articles.

Common Core FAQ
Nice roundup of common questions about the Common Core. Historically, the US has been resistant to a national teaching standard so that’s why the Core is such a big deal. Most interesting to me was that the standards were not a government mandate but President Obama is all about it. In fact, the federal government shelled out $438 million to develop standardized tests aligned with the standards. It’s a national debate, and this is a great cheat sheet.

Why Common Core may not fix our “weak-sauce” math scores
For those of you who haven’t heard, US students scored poorly on an international math test called PISA (Program of International Student Assessment.) The article says that most countries in the OECD (Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development) gave more teachers more control of their classroom while with Common Core, admin and policy makers of the US and dictate the rules in a top-down approach. Further, the scores may have to do with socio-economic differences. Still, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan calls the test scores “a picture of educational stagnation”.  To me, this is all fuel for the controversy fire. And nothing is going to get better when the two sides are running in different directions.

Teachers in Colorado make the Common Core work for them
In the state of Colorado, a group of teachers volunteered to work (ON THE WEEKENDS) to develop an approach to teaching to the standards standards. I picked this story because it’s was something done by teachers, for teachers. These lovers of their job got together to create a curriculum that could be adapted in any district. For example, one rural district, “a unit assessment revolves around a county fair and employs geometry to determine the sizes of livestock holding pens.” Because, let’s be honest, Common Core is not easy and any new set of standards can be intimidating. And in Colorado, they’ve taken an initiative to make it work for them. By developing a process they understand, teachers don’t have to feel like they’re re-creating the wheel every class. (Their words, and also mine! Great minds 🙂

How’s your school’s internet connection?
You know when you’re trying to get something done online and the internet is slow? Like your health, you kind of take internet connection speed for granted until it’s underperforming. Well imagine if you had these technical difficulties while trying to teach a classroom full of students? Or the connection is not strong enough for all the students to take an exam at once? These are some things considered in this article. It’s one of those boring but important things is the foundation for ed-tech. How many of you out there can do your job without the internet?

23 defining traits of your favorite teacher
For all the teachers out there busting their humps to teach at a higher standard, this is for you. Because I still remember when my seventh grade math teacher did #22. And #21 is for the talented, wonderful Sheri Cheng.

Have great weekend!

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