Confused about how new Common Core learning standards will change the way your child is educated? The State Department of Education has published a Parent's Backpack Guide to Common Core Standards on its website, EngageNY, as an explainer.
The guide notes that children will be expected to read more non-fiction, develop a bigger vocabulary through English language lessons, and in math, work more deeply in fewer topics and spend time practicing and memorizing math facts.
The adoption of these standards in 2011 will have a dramatic impact on what students learn in school and how they learn it. They've already had a dramatic impact on on standardized test scores and the way teachers are evaluated.
The Common Core State Standards provide a framework that sets benchmarks for what students should know and be able to do in each grade, from grades K-12. The new standards require students to engage in tasks that:
- emphasize critical thinking and analysis
- requires them to support their ideas and arguments with text-based evidence
- requires them to use technology effectively
- increases their exposure to complex, non-fiction text and
- increases their engagement with argumentative and informational writing.
The idea is that students who are able to meet these more rigorous standards will be college and career ready by the time they graduate from high school.