Everything Common Core

Summer 2013: The Latest Buzz on the New National Standards

Why Common Core?

Although Common Core has been controversial, it is important to recognize the goals behind the standards. Ultimately, they were designed to make all students college and career ready. The initiative is founded on the idea that every student deserves the best possible education, regardless of school location or available funding.

According to the Common Core website, students who are college and career ready should:

1. Demonstrate independence

2. Be able to comprehend and critique texts

3. Value evidence

4. Thoughtfully use technology and digital media

5. Understand different cultures and perspectives

Students who are able to accomplish these tasks will have a better chance of suceeding in college and in the workplace. To make this possible, each Common Core Standard builds off the one before it. What a student learns in third grade expands upon what s/he learned in first and second grade. As students get older, the standards become more complex and detailed.

Fact or Fiction? Breaking the Misconceptions Behind Common Core

1. Washington was behind the creation of the Common Core State Standards.

FICTION The standards actually originated in the states, from law makers and state school officials. The idea was first sparked in 2007, when the Council of Chief State School Officers expressed concern over states' different high school graduation requirements. This caused problems when students entered college; some students were more prepared than others. It then became obvious that a group of standards needed to be developed to keep all students on an equal playing field.

2. The Federal Government has required every state to adopt the Common Core Standards.

FICTION 45 States have chosen to adopt the standards because they believe they will increase the quality of education in their state. President Obama's Race to the Top program has given funding to schools with standards (not just Common Core). The administration, however, is pushing for stronger standards in schools, which has encouraged more states to go with Common Core.

Common Core News Updates: What the States Think

  • Tennessee-The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) conducted a poll that showed strong support among bipartisan voters for the Common Core Standards.
  • Michigan-Governor Rick Snyder says he supports Michigan's adoption of Common Core, but the state's House and Senate have approved budgets that prohibit any spending on the standards.

  • Pennsylvania-Legislators are worried about the cost of Common Core, especially to fiscally-challenged school districts.

  • Indiana-Common Core implementation has been halted; opponents of the Common Core want to reevaluate the standards to ensure they are just as challenging as Indiana's current educational standards.

  • Kansas-A 2014 budget provision would prohibit any funds going to Common Core implementation. It remains to be seen if the provision will pass.

Early Common Core Testing

When Does Your State Start Common Core Testing?

Kentucky was one of the first states to initiate Common Core-based tests in 2012. Students and teachers found the material tested on the exams to be rigorous, and test scores were lower than expected. Certain schools in Colorado and North Carolina also initiated testing on Common Core in 2012, which was a challenging shift for teachers and students.

In 2013, schools in New York, California, Missouri, and Nevada started testing on Common Core. Results are not yet released, so it remains to be seen how successful the testing proved to be.

Click the link below to find more details about state testing dates!

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

They're here! The Next Generation Science Standards (a counterpart to the Common Core Math & ELA Standards) have been completed. Twenty-six states worked together to create a set of standards that aims to improve science education in the U.S. Right now, states are in the process of evaluating and adopting the standards. Support has remained high for the NGSS, so it's only a matter of time before these standards become a reality.

Click the link below to access the NGSS!

Twitter Town Hall: PARCC Answers Your Questions

Two groups are creating the Common Core assessments: PARCC (Partnership of Assessment Readiness for College and Careers) and SBAC (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium).

PARCC is conducting a series of Twitter Town Hall meetings that are designed to answer your questions about Common Core testing. 22 states will be using the PARCC system to test their students in the 2014-2015 school year. For further details, follow PARCC on Twitter @PARCCPlace or visit their website. A link is provided below.

Let's Not Forget About Texas . . .

As you probably know, the state of Texas has chosen not to adopt the Common Core State Standards. Even though Texas has long been an advocate for standardized testing, this year state legislators have decided to streamline the number of state-required tests. Previously, high school students had to complete 15 standardized tests in order to receive their diplomas. Starting in the fall of 2014, students will only be tested in five areas - Algebra I, Biology, U.S History, and English I and II. Lawmakers believe this change will allow Texas schools to do what they do best; free up time for teachers to teach and for students to learn.

Presenting...14 Best Sellers now Common Core Aligned!

With Common Core implementation quickly approaching, you need materials that address the educational standards in fun and engaging formats.

To meet this need, we have aligned 14 of our best-sellers to the Common Core State Standards. In the front of each book, you will find:

  • A list of specific standards that are addressed in the text
  • An explanation of each standard
  • The math books include a list of activities (and page numbers) that correspond to each standard

All of our newly-aligned books are reproducible and contain activities that allow students to have fun while they meet the Common Core requirements. The texts cover a wide variety of age groups, from first grade through tenth. Lorenz Educational Press' Common Core Aligned books make meeting the standards worry-free for you and your students!

To order, visit our website at the link below!

Lorenz Educational Press

Every product created at Lorenz Educational Press is based on our commitment to support teachers providing a positive educational experience for students. We strive to produce products that embrace our mission to define learning areas vital to developing well-rounded students and empowering our future leaders.