You can hear the agitated conversations in the school parking lots. You can read the angst in the Facebook posts. “Core” has become a true four-letter word. There has been a flurry of concern among parents regarding changes in school curriculum and instruction. There is a noticeable difference in the way students are being taught, being tested, and assigned homework. Parents are confused and concerned. And it is directly attributable to the new Common Core Standards that are creeping into our school systems. And while no one denies that there are pluses and minuses to the implementation of these standards, they clearly do no enter our lives without well-founded concern. There is, in fact, talk of a protest on or near November 18, during which upset parents in states across the country will stage a school walkout with their children. Yikes.
So far forty-five states have voluntarily adopted Common Core State Standards (CCSS), an educational initiative is designed to set universal specifications and guidelines so that students all over the country will be taught the same things. Some states have already introduced the new standards, and it’s scheduled to be fully implemented nearly nation-wide by the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year.
mented nearly nation-wide by the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year.
On Thursday, November 14th, parents will be afforded the opportunity to clear up some of these questions, as Cranford Public School’s Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, James Bigsby, will offer a presentation on the key features of these standards and what they mean for our schools and all of our students. To accommodate everyone’s schedules, there will be a morning presentation at 10:00 AM in the Hillside Avenue School auditorium, (125 Hillside Avenue), and an evening presentation at 7:00 PM at the Orange Avenue School auditorium, (901 Orange Avenue). Admission is free, but interested parents are asked to email Pat Yotcoski in the Curriculum Office at firstname.lastname@example.org. , and indicate which session you are planning to attend.
Prior to attending this presentation, you may want to arm yourself with some previous knowledge by visiting http://www.state.nj.us/education/sca/ . Be prepared for some . . . “wordiness.” But a little knowledge can alleviate a lot of panic and frustration.