Evaluating the Success of a Child
using the same set of Common Core standards.
With all schools that fall under the umbrella of the common core on the same page, it makes evaluating the success of a child much easier. They can all be evaluated using the same set of standards that will be put into place.
All public schools currently use standardized tests to gauge where their students are at. Should a school have low scores, they often get reprimanded by their state department of education. Since there are so many different curriculums, it definitely makes it hard to evaluate correctly though.
For example, students may be learning, but not learning what is on that test. That doesn’t mean they didn’t learn. It just means they didn’t learn the right things that the state is testing them for. It is like comparing apples to oranges and expecting to come up with something that is the same. It simply won’t work!
With the common core, there will be standards in place for learning of each subject area for each grade level. Those learning objectives will be consistent with what is on the standardized tests. So it is comparing apples to apples, and students either know the information and do well on the tests or they don’t. If they don’t, then the state department of education can contact that school and work with them to revamp what they are teaching.
Admin & Educators
Happy staff is going to be a great way to evaluate the quality of the common core. Many teachers complain that they work too hard and too many hours. They are stressed about standardized tests and about coming up with lesson plans. With the common core, they know what they have to teach and there isn’t any guessing involved.
Many educators can feel relaxed and they can plan their lessons accordingly based on those standards that are in place. Admin won’t be looking over their shoulder as much to make sure they are teaching what they should be. This makes for happier teachers and to also frees up time of admin to focus on other tasks.
The overall school environment can improve with the common core implemented. The school may have a terrible reputation now due to the programs they teach or the methods. It is time for a clean slate to get things moving forward. With common goals of everyone, there isn’t the push and pull tug of war taking place.
Instead, it is a collective effort for all to engage in. Arguments about what to teach will no longer be an issue. There will be a checklist of what should be covered in each subject in each grade. There won’t be any more comparing this school against that school. There won’t be any more issues with students that are behind when they move to another school district.
Students that are enjoying what they learn are going to show up for class. They are going to be prepared, they will have good self-esteem, and they will be building on what they have learned and apply it. Students are far less likely to slip through the cracks with the common core curriculum in place.
There will still be IEPs (Individual Education Plans) for students that need them. They will be evaluated along with the common core curriculum to see what can be done realistically to help the child to learn and to get to the point where they should be. The process may not be easy but it can be done with the encouragement of educators and parents.
Happy kids at school make for happy parents too. They want to know their child is safe and that they are in a good learning environment. They love seeing their child come home excited about what they learned and feeling good about the new concepts. They also enjoy the meetings with parents that show their child is meeting the standards in place.
Parents also like to be able to see that if their child is behind, what exactly they are behind on. The standards in place give the teachers and parents a checklist to go through and to evaluate. If a child is behind on something, then the parent and the teacher can come up with a plan of action to get resources or one on one help in place.
Everyone gets a Voice
The fact that educators, admin, parents, and even students all play a role in creating the common core curriculum means that it can be evaluated on many different levels. There is clear communication in place about what is expected to be taught, what is expected to be learned, and the standardized tests that will conform what was learned.
Everyone knows exactly what needs to be taught, how to help kids learn, and parents know what they should be studying in a given grade. It takes the guesswork out of the equation and makes education a collaborate effort with everyone involved on the same page. Anyone who has had an issue with a public school about curriculum or the difference between what is taught and standardized testing will really appreciate this.
Focusing on the core concepts, understanding, and processes involved needs to start in the very early grades of students. This helps them to build on it and to grow from it. Students need the encouragement and they shouldn’t be set up to fail. Graduating from high school isn’t enough Students need to graduate with real world stills that they can count on.
It is important to point out that the common core curriculum will continue to be updated over time. As the needs of students for their role in society in the workforce and for college change, so will what is being taught. As the information on assessments gives information, that data will be used to determine what is working well and if there are any weak spots.
This will prevent the common core from becoming obsolete or from not providing students with what they really need from the public school learning environment over time. In fact, it will only continue to get better with time and that is very encouraging to admin, educators, students, and parents.
Alternative Ways to Learn
As adults, we know that all of us don’t learn the same way. Some of us are visual learners at work. We have to be shown how to do something versus told. Others can just look at a project or a method that is there and figure out a better way to get it done.
Well, the same is true of children. If math, English, or other subjects are only taught one way, then they may be limited and frustrated. If they need an alternative way to learn, it is easy enough for educators to do so with the common core program. This is going to help ensure fewer kids get behind when it comes to learning the standards for their given grade.
Adjusting teaching methods in order to accommodate the students is very important. Some teachers are very stuck in their methods, regardless of if they are still effective or not. Those methods may have been a huge success a decade ago, but times have changed. Getting teachers up to speed and willing to try some new options is very important.
There may be some training sessions and workshops for teachers to attend that feel they are limited in what they teach. Sometimes, it takes admin evaluating their teaching methods to make such recommendations. Remember, doing so isn’t to punish a teacher or to tell them what they are doing is wrong. It is to reach out broadly to students and to make sure everyone is able to benefit from the learning environment.
Filed under: Common Core