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Common Core

Common Core

Hello Parents,

We have received questions about the Common Core State Standards and the William S. Hart District’s and West Ranch High School’s adoption of these standards. Some of the questions are listed below that we have received. We hope the answers to these questions provide you a better understanding about the adoption and necessity of these standards.

You can scroll below to find the answer to the questions.
  • Who supports the Adoption of Common Core State Standards?
  • Why were the Common Core State Standards adopted?
  • Do colleges and universities recognize and support the Common Core State Standards?
  • Why is West Ranch High School adopting the Common Core State Standards?
  • There is some conflicting information in the news about Common Core State Standards and how teachers feel about the adoption. Can you clarify this for me?
  • Do you have recommendations on literature or videos that can provide more information about the Common Core State Standards?

Who Supports the Adoption of Common Core State Standards?

Our school, the William S. Hart Union High School District, WASC accredited California schools, and the United States Department of Education are very excited and supportive of the adoption of the Common Core State Standards. Since 2010, 45 states have adopted the same Common Core standards in Math and English. The California Department of Education is helping schools make sure that all students meet these standards (CDE, 2010).

Why were the Common Core State Standards adopted?

In 2010, the Common Core State Standards were created to help American students deepen their critical thinking and college-readiness skills. The rationale for the development of these standards was a data-driven decision based upon international academic tests such as the Trends in International Math and Science Study and Progress in International Reading Literacy Study.

Do colleges and universities recognize and support the Common Core State Standards?

The University of California (UC) system supports and expects all high schools to adopt the Common Core State Standards. On the website for the UC, you will find a statement from Dr. Lawrence H. Pitts, executive vice president for academic affairs of the University of California system, on the California State Board of Education’s adoption of the Common Core Standards for K-12. He writes that “the UC supports rigorous K-12 education that prepares students for multiple options, whether they decide to begin their careers upon graduation from high school or choose to pursue higher education. To that end, the university has long partnered with California's high schools in efforts to ensure that students benefit from an academically rich and challenging curriculum, one that prepares them for success at UC or in the work force.” (Pitts, 2010) According to Pitts (2010), the Common Core State Standards will further their career readiness goals. The UC system supports and works collaboratively with K-12 partners to ensure their successful implementation of the standards.

Why is West Ranch High School adopting the Common Core State Standards?

At West Ranch High School, relationships, rigor and relevance are the pillars which drive every decision made. Adoption of the Common Core State Standards will continue WRHS’ path of excellence and commitment to rigorous, challenging and meaningful curriculum for all of our students so that they become responsible and valuable members of society. The adoption of the Common Core State Standards will critically support, strengthen and deepen the work that we already do here at West Ranch.

There is some conflicting information in the news about Common Core State Standards and how teachers feel about the adoption. Can you clarify this for me?

The decision to adopt the standards is unquestionable for teachers. As educators, we are committed to doing what is best for all kids and this means, adapting our curriculum to meet the needs of our students, to help them become creative, problem-solvers, critical thinkers, team players, and solutions-oriented members of society. According to the California Teachers Association, most states view the move to adopt standards as a positive transition. National Education Association Vice President Lily Eskelson supports the initiative by stating,
 
“These standards have the potential to support teachers in achieving NEA’s purpose in preparing student to thrive in a democratic society and a diverse, changing world, as knowledgeable, creative and engage citizens and lifelong learners.” (CTA, 2013)
Although some people believe that a "one size fits all" approach work, most states within America disagree and have chosen to adopt the standards. Policy makers and educators know it's the right thing to do for kids. They don’t prescribe intervention or curriculum nor tell teachers how to teach, they define what students should know and be able to do. It is a vehicle to help all kids reach high levels of academic student success.

Do you have recommendations on literature or videos that can provide more information about the Common Core State Standards?

The following three minute video summarizes the why of Common Core.

Council of Chief State School Officers- Common Core Implementation Video Series, Learn More About the Common Core State Standards

I highly recommend the following literature to help better inform your understanding of the history, movement and adoption of the standards by the most knowledgeable and prominent well-respected researchers and teachers within the field of education.

Here are some article links that discuss the Common Core State Standards and why they are essential for students:

Frequently Asked Questions about the Common Core

How Will Common Core Change What We Do?

America Achieves-Common Core Resources for Parents

The University of California and Common Core State Standards

California Teachers Association-Common Core and What You Need to Know

Common Core Practice Test
Directions:
1. Click on the "Sign In" link.
2. Click on the arrow to select a grade level then click "YES".
3. Then select a Math or ELA "Test" or "Performance Task".
*The Test is multiple choice with free response. The Performance Task requires a more in depth response. I recommend trying both.

Wagner, Tony (2007). Global Achievement Gap -Understand the state of public schools today in comparison to international students

If you have any additional questions about the Common Core State Standards or West Ranch’s adoption of these standards, please email Dr. Juliet Fine at West Ranch HS. jfine@hartdistrict.org