Common Core English Standards Curriculum
The other major area of learning within the common core curriculum is in regards to English standards. Technically, this is in reference to English Language Arts & Literacy. The standards are the collective efforts of an extended effort to create very high learning in this area for students in the K-12 public school systems.
Literacy is a big part of school and students that struggle with it often don’t graduate from high school. They are easily frustrated, lack self-esteem, and they struggle in all of their classes due to the volume of reading that has to be done. A strong foundation in literacy and English from the start can result in learning being fun and not a struggle.
Too many high school graduates struggle with literacy when they enter the workforce. They may get a shock when they see the volumes of what they have to read and all they have to write. They need to have skills that allow them to write reports and to complete all of the paperwork that is part of their job.
Too often, high school students struggle with literacy and English classes at the college level too. If they weren’t involved in a program that had high standards then they may fall short that very first semester of college which can be a huge blow to their future plans.
The curriculum standards for English and literacy within the common core is under the leadership of the NGA (National Governor’s Association) and CCSSO (Council of Chief State School Officers). The best models are being used and so is research gathered from:
• Professional Organizations
• Public Citizens
• State Departments of Education
The result is a standard that is very well rounded based on such feedback and direction. There are several standards in place for the English and literacy common core curriculum that the NGA and CCSSO have accepted. They include:
• Standards are evidence and research based
• Standards are parallel to what students will need in the workforce and in college
• Standards are building blocks and advance with each grade level
• Standards have specific benchmarks of learning that need to be met
The standards will be identified for each grade with specific milestones being met. The standards will cover reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. Improving literacy in the areas of history, science, and social studies is also part of this literacy plan too.
The literacy plan is created to help ensure that every student that completes the 12th grade has the skills they need for workforce and college readiness. Being able to take those skills learned and apply them outside of a classroom setting is a goal of the common core.
Selecting literature that is high quality in the classrooms of public schools is being closely evaluated. Not only should it help with reading and with English skills, it should also help with broadening the concepts and thoughts about the world in the eyes of students.
Another goal is to promote creativity with effective reading and writing skills. Students should be able to use the skills that they have learned and to apply them to create poems, short stories, and essays that are appropriately assigned for their grade level.
What is disappointing through with the common core curriculum relating to English and literature is where the trends will be going. The reading time of classic literature will be reduced by 50% for high school students. That reading will be replaced with informational types of text materials.
There is no set reading list for each grade level through the common core. Teachers and admin will need to make sure what is selected to be read and discussed in a given grade level is going to be appropriate. This can be an area where there is plenty of gray rather than it being in black and white. Some believe this is an area of the common core that will need to be improved upon in the future to prevent debates and issues about reading materials.
However, the changes are believed to be a way for International benchmarks to be reached. It is no secret that there is such a big gap between what USA students offer globally compared to some other countries. Being able to close that gap so that they can successfully compete on a global scale is very important for their futures.
The value of content knowledge isn’t lost with the common core English curriculum. That is a myth that seems to continue to be circulating. The goal is to teach students how to analyze so that they can take the skills they learn and apply it to real situations out there in the world.
Students will find the English and literacy areas of learning to be more interactive and hands on. It isn’t going to be boring and just sitting there. For kids that aren’t even reading, just spacing off for the time allotted, then this can really challenge them to stay on task and encourage them to learn.
Filed under: Common Core