Monday, March 18, 2013

As more and more articles on the CCSS come out, it pains me to see peoples reaction.  Mostly due to the fact that they are not reacting to the CCSS but to the SMARTER Balanced Assessment. I agree, the SBAC is going to be painful.  However, on page 6 of the ELA Standards it states that the "Standards define what all students are expected to know and be able to do, not how teachers should teach."

While I may not agree with everything in regards to the CCSS and its alignment.  I like it.  It makes sense.  It pushes kids farther and in a manner that I can assess especially in grades K-8ish.  We recently were revising our 3rd grade curriculum to meet the standards and what I felt was the rigor the grade should be at.  The rigor was determined by reading the CCSS, lots of released articles and yes the SBAC.  However, it was mostly determined by what kids needed to know and the depth that would help them move forward with that information.  Teachers questioned the rigor level.  What is needed to be known is that the rigor was embedded in quality mathematical tasks.  We heard things like "they can't think at that level," or "they are never even going to know where to begin."  Now, after having the teachers go through it we hear things like "I never thought it possible but I am not going back to what we had."

Kids can meet the needs of the CCSS and the SBAC.  Just don't let the SBAC drive your instruction.  Do what you feel is right for them and most importantly engage them in something that is useful.