Common Core: A Principal’s response

As a follow up to my previous article, I asked the Principal at an Idaho school some rather pointed questions about Common Core and how it relates to classroom instruction.  I have placed some of those questions and answers here for your review.  I have never been a proponent of Common Core and like many of you, I’ve followed the hype in the news media about how much damage it is doing in our schools; how it tears down the fabric of our society, etc..

 

Personally, I’m not seeing that in any of the material I’ve been able to find that contains any actual facts, but read along and do some reading on your own through some of the links provided her and make your own decision: 

 

 

Q:  Why do some teachers not use specific books and appear to be making up their classes as they go?

 A:  Math and Language Arts do not have adopted texts that teachers require. The district has not adopted CCSS textbook resources [for those subjects] but has offered teacher training in understanding the shifts in the content standards and strategies to implement the anchor and practice standards.  District teams of teachers have written (are in the process of completing) math and language arts curriculum for specific content.  New instructional practices in math (MTI)  and language arts (Critical Reading and Writing Strategies) help meet the needs demonstrating the depth of knowledge of each content.

 

 

Q:  Is there a cohesive plan at the School District guiding how the classroom instruction can help the students achieve Common Core standards?

A:  Yes, every teacher in the state of Idaho had to take the course, Mathematical Thinking for Instruction.  Dr. Johnathon Brendefeur has worked with our district the last couple of years of guiding

 

 

Q:  Who is the authoritative source for what materials are being inserted/changed within the existing curriculum?

A:  –I removed the answer here, (my intent is not to target or identify particular people) but specific local school district officials were named as being responsible for those areas, thus indicating control over these decisions is held within the local school district itself.

 

 

Q:  Where can parents go to see the school district’s guidelines for classroom instruction and curriculum?

A:

General CCSS BSD Information:

http://school.boiseschools.org/modules/cms/pages.phtml?pageid=279911&sessionid=bdb702c0bb704db887264526b16bc980

 

Math Curriculum and Focus Calendar Resources

http://school.boiseschools.org/modules/cms/pages.phtml?pageid=279911&sessionid=bdb702c0bb704db887264526b16bc980

 

Language Arts Curriculum Resources

http://school.boiseschools.org/modules/cms/pages.phtml?pageid=270820&sessionid=bdb702c0bb704db887264526b16bc980&sessionid=bdb702c0bb704db887264526b16bc980

 

World Studies:

http://school.boiseschools.org/modules/groups/homepagefiles/cms/2386916/File/Curriculum/SocialStudies/so_ws7.pdf?sessionid=3208d1d90883abcb1f4a8e9e42278843

Other content areas can be found from the links below by navigating the website using the side links.

 

Upon reading through this content, I see no overriding agenda machine at work here, so I suppose we’ll have to put away the tinfoil hats for now and get back to mentoring our own children through school like responsible parents are expected to.  I for one, can’t wait to see improvements in this area.  Of course removing a good deal of the middle management bloat across the entire state couldn’t hurt either, but that’s a topic for another time…

 

As always, this is just my view from the cheep seats…

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