Ramps not Stairs 15:365

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A lot is said about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) but most of what is being said, is not about standards, it’s about assessments ans resources.

As a teacher, you ought to be expected to take active role in developing your curriculum, after all you ate delivering it. The concepts in the CCSS are not bad, but too many of them are letting non-educators tell us what they mean and how to check for their mastery.

It is up to quality educators and leaders to decide what the standards mean. It is up to those same people to determine timely, accurate measures to assess their mastery.

Here is what I don’t like:
– teachers using a scripted lesson (didn’t you go to college? Arent you a self-respecting professional?
– all students getting the same instruction everywhere : this sounds great doesn’t it, but think about it, does an inner city kid identify with the same instruction a farm boy would? Not about quality but about making it applicable. My lessons for rural kids would not always apply
-when people call textbooks curriculum- they are resources just like te internet!
-When people call the tests the CCSS: yes the tests were created to “assess” standards but they are not the standards themselves.
-crazy internet posts about CCSS and homework! Just because pearson put it in a book doesn’t mean it’s a standard. The big one is a 1st grade math standard. Since i used the standard i have read it many times. Books have taken what sits in a parenthetical example which says something about breaking down adding & subtracting problems.

What I love:
-ELA integrated throughout all subjects: the world is not separated in this way.
-a growing integration of STEM subjects
– teachers taking ownership of curriculum development
-Spiraling, clearly connected standards
– Creating ramps not stairs: The image I was shown to explain the CCSS shows just how little some people think things through. Stairs imply a jump from one grade to the next, but as designed alongside of an effective curriculum, you are building a ramp. A gradual increase of skills and abilities that has less jumps and more smooth transitions to guide students safely toward graduating high school ready for college if they should choose.

Almost anyone can go up a ramp, for some, a staircase is a way of keeping them out.

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