If you have school-aged children, then you have heard the words "common core standard."
The Common Core is a New Jersey Department of Education initiative designed to provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn. The standards are adopted by 46 states and designed to be relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that students need "for success in college and careers."
Common Core is being implemented into the Montville School District and for the elementary schools, there will be a new report card to reflect the new standards, starting this first quarter.
Tuesday, Andrea Selvaggi, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and
Instruction; Pat Stryker,
Supervisor of Special Services; and Elise Miller, supervisor of elementary education led an
Informational Parent Meeting at
Cedar Hill about the new report card.
The new state test “PARCC will replace NJ ASK starting next year 2014-15 school year and will be directly aligned to Common Core,” said Selvaggi. “
The NJ ASK does not assess every standard deeply enough to generate very specific data for you, but the PARCC will ... it will test deeper than NJ ASK and will test more. Children will have about eight hours of testing two times throughout the school year.”
The common core state standards were adopted in 2010 by the State Board of Education and they are in two subject areas: Mathematics and English Language Arts, said Selvaggi, adding that ELA includes reading, writing and language skills (grammar, mechanics, usage, literacy, phonics, etc). “These are K-12 standards … our Race to the Top money … is tied into New Jersey adopting the Common Core state standards.”
Selvaggi said that teachers usually spend the first couple weeks of the school year re-teaching what students forgot over the summer.
“The common core got rid of some of the things that kids can’t understand because they’re not cognatively ready at a certain age group or a certain level and concentrate on what they can do and make it so much part of their curriculum throughout the year that by the end of the school year, they will have mastered it,” said Selvaggi, adding that mastery means that the teacher in the following school year does not need to revisit that standard.
Once a standard is ‘Activated’ the student will use that standard throughout the school year in order to master it.
“That’s the theory. There’s no evidence right now to support whether or not it’s true or not because it hasn’t been out long enough,” said Selvaggi.
She added that they concentrated more on the English Language Arts because the new math series that the schools have gotten was “completely aligned with the common core.”
Staff from each elementary school worked together to update the elementary report cards to show parents the standards students are responsible for learning in each grade and what they they will be assessed through the NJ ASK and PARCC.
Check back with Patch on Tuesday for a break down of the new Standards-based report card.