By Brittany Hanson/Garden Grove Journal
New “Common Core State Standards” were introduced, along with a timeline for implementation, at Tuesday’s Garden Grove Unified School District board meeting.
The CCSS is a volunteer state led effort in which 48 states have joined together to build up on the best standards across those states.
The goal is consistency in English language arts and mathematics for grades kindergarten through 12, with comprehension testing starting in third grade.
For English language arts, the standard would be built around college and career readiness in comprehension and analytical thought.
The ultimate requirement would be to be able to determine central ideas or themes of a text, analyze development and summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
For example, with English language arts, fluid consistency for comprehension begins with kindergarten in being able, with prompting and support, to retell familiar stories and include details.
This basic standard would be added to and evolve over the course of an education.
It would culminate in grade 12 with being able to determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text (historic, literature or scientific) and analyze development over the course of the text.
This would include interactions and how it builds on one another to produce a complex account and then provide an objective summary of the text.
New standards for mathematics are to build up from whole number arithmetic, fractions and decimals to balance procedural fluency and conceptual understanding.
A larger emphasis will be placed on building algebra readiness by grade 8 and use of real world applications for math.
Starting in the 2012-2013 school year, readiness and information dissemination of new standards will be made to teachers in order to transition to it in 2013-2014.
Transition will start a review of teaching curriculum and progress.
Implementation will come in 2014-2015, where purportedly, there would be state testing to see how students are responding to having the new standards.
Superintendent Laura Schwalm said, “This is a good thing. You won’t meet one standard in California, one in Arkansas and one in Washington.”
However Schwalm also said that she is unsure of how committed the state is to actually follow through with testing on the standards, as idealistic as they may be.
Common Core Standards were adopted in 2010 by the State Board of Education.
Board member Lan Nguyen, Superintendent Schwalm and President West expressed concerns over any funding from the state for testing for setting these precedents, but not the value of the precedents themselves.
Schwalm said that whether or not there is funding or infrastructure in place for testing that having a high standard that is consistent is already in line with district wide goals.
“The standards are good standards. This is taking our teachers to a higher level of rigor,” said Schwalm, “For our students, it’s not just memorizing the facts, but being able to really use it [information].”