Sunday, September 8, 2013

Shhhhh...don't say "common core"!

There are several ESL(English as a Second Language) or ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) blogs I follow.  One is Fun to Teach ESL.  The author, Lori, posted a good link to a TESOL publication about Common Core Standards.  Here is the brief Lori linked to:

Overview of the 
Common Core State
Standards Initiatives for ELLs

It is well worth reading, especially for anyone involved in teaching English Language Learners.  Thank you, Lori, for posting it.

If you are not familiar with the Common Core Standards, here is a brief statement on what they are from Defining the Core:

"The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are the culmination of an extended, broad-based effort to fulfill the charge issued by the states to create the next generation of K-12 standards in order to help ensure that all students are college and career ready no later than the end of high school. This is one of the most important changes in education in the United States in the last fifty years and stands to positively affect students, parents, teachers, communities, and the workforce as we take a firm grasp on what 21st century learning truly means."

And, here are a few more links to general information about Common Core Standards


Common Core State Initiatives

and a blog entry from Patte Barth at the Huffington Post, The Common Core Standards:  Truths, Untruths and Ambiguities.

I don't have a problem with the Common Core Standards.  It makes sense to me to expect more rigorous educational standards for all students and I will do whatever I can to help my English Language Learners.  I served on a district third grade English Language Arts standards revision committee last year. We went through the third grade English Language Arts Common Core standards and mapped out a suggested pacing guide for each quarter of the school year for our third grade teachers.  Common Core is everywhere in education.  I see it cited on professional books from teacher stores, on items purchased  from Teachers Pay Teachers, and new textbooks, etc.

What really irritates me, though, is after several years of talking about the Common Core standards and how to use them, NOW we're told at school that we aren't supposed to call them the Common Core standards!!! Yes, we have curriculum night coming up on Wednesday evening, but we aren't allowed to refer to Common Core standards in our discussions with parents or on our handouts for the evening.  Our district leaders have informed us that we have to call them "[insert the name of my state here] New Learning Standards".

You say "Common Core Standards";  I have to say "Blank State New Learning Standards".

You say "Tomato";  I have to say "To-MAH-to".  Sigh.

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