October 2012 • Volume 16 • Number 2 • Page 2
Patricia George, Editor
Talking About Standards
Are your students living up to your standards? Wait! Which standards?
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS), of course. And just like No Child Left Behind and the other education initiatives that have shaken up education in the United States during the past several decades, the CCSS movement is a bit controversial.
Some call it the flavor of the week—the latest fad, the thing that's "trending." Many educators and non-educators alike consider CCSS to be another strategy to catapult our students to the top of the international rankings. Others see it as a get-rich-quick scheme for publishing companies that have the corner on preparation and assessment materials. And still others consider CCSS implementation to be an effective way to ensure our students are college and career ready.
Regardless, the majority of the states have adopted the Common Core State Standards and that means educators across the country are focused on their implementation. As school districts move toward and through CCSS implementation, educators at all levels of the school system must be key players in the process. And that's where professional development comes in.
District administrators, school administrators, teachers—and community members, for that matter—should have a thorough understanding of the goals of the standards, how they can best be implemented, how they differ from current standards, and what the implications are for assessment. For example, one question that's on many people's minds is how critical thinking skills—a major element of CCSS—can be assessed by a standardized test.
This issue provides a look at the CCSS in the middle grades and offers strategies for implementing them across the curriculum. As Susan Rakow points out in this month's lead article, it's not a question of whether the Common Core State Standards are good or bad—it's how we use them to improve education for all students that matters.
Want to know more? The Common Core State Standards will be the focus of several sessions at the AMLE Annual Conference for Middle Level Education in Portland, Oregon, November 8–10. All the details are online at www.amle.org/annual. See you there!
Copyright © 2012 Assocation for Middle Level Education