Common Core Standards
For years, Kansas NEA teachers have advocated for ways to make their students ready for college, career and lifelong success.
KNEA wants a quality public school for every child, regardless of zip code. We believe everyone is accountable for making our students a success. The Common Core Standards build a foundation for our students’ success.
The Common Core Standards is the updated way Kansas will assess students starting in 2012. The Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) expects the new assessments to be fully implemented by 2015. Even though it’s a national initiative spearheaded by governors and school chiefs, Kansas teachers who participated in review committees to create the standards are seeing their input in the final draft.
The standards identify what students need to learn. Teachers decide how to teach. KNEA intends for teachers to feel like they can be creative in the classroom again. Many teachers felt the mandates in federal No Child Left Behind dictated how and what they taught, essentially taking the fun out of teaching. The standards are not a curriculum, and local school boards retain control over curriculum decisions.
Two things are different. There is a shift in emphasis from AYP to college and career ready, which is better for students. Kansas is one of the 48 states to adopt the Common Core Standards and is part of the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium, a group of 30 states working together to design assessments for the Common Core standards.
Secondly, that shift from AYP to college and career ready learning puts an emphasis back on instruction. That’s where KNEA wants it. Every student should have an effective, caring and committed teacher.
The Common Core Standards includes four strands of English Language Arts: reading, writing, listening and speaking, and language. The mathematics standards shift the focus from rote memorization to problem solving.