The Common Core State Standards will raise the level of challenge in the classroom for our students more than ever. We encourage parents and caregivers, our students' first teachers, to explore the standards with us as we put a set of essential practices into place that challenge our young people to read, write, think critically and solve complex problems. That is what it takes to be ready for the next grade and life after high school.
COMMON CORE STANDARDS: Parent Roadmaps from the Council of Great City Schools
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS), adopted by 46 states and the District of Columbia, are a set of K-12 learning standards in mathematics and English language arts that will ensure that all students have the academic knowledge and skills they need in these core subjects to succeed after high school.
The Common Core State Standards are based on the concept of
“College, Career & Community Readiness.”
In Madison, we also talk about “Community Readiness.”
Understanding these phrases is important to understanding the standards. The goal is to provide an education that prepares all students for whatever the future may bring. Our path to adulthood was quite different from the path our children will take. Evidence points to the need for a rigorous change in education in order to navigate that path.
What is “COLLEGE” ready?
More than just pursuing a four-year degree at a university, “college-ready” means being prepared for any higher education, whether a two-year certification, four-year diploma or apprenticeship. Our kids need English and mathematics knowledge and skills necessary to qualify for and succeed in college-level coursework.
What is “CAREER” ready?
A career is not just a job. A career provides a family-sustaining wage and pathways to advancement. A career requires training or education after high school, and an understanding of the pathways to professions, workplace skills, education and experience.
What is “COMMUNITY” ready?
We recognize that education, career goals and an understanding of how to get there, will only take our young people so far. They need a foundation of strong interpersonal skills, and life-enhancing attributes such as tenacity, a good work ethic and resilience. Students need to be culturally conscious, and at-ease living successfully in a diverse world. Young people with physical and cognitive challenges need everyday living skills and opportunities that allow them to live up to their potential.
The goal of the Common Core State Standards is to launch our young people, upon high school graduation, into their next phase of learning, where they are prepared to take advantage of and explore life’s offerings.
In our next newsletter we will take a more detailed look into various aspects of the Common Core State Standards and how they are beginning to create a culture of excellence in our schools. For more on the standards go to mmsd.org/commoncore.