Sunday, August 19, 2012

Common Core Standards - By What Method?

I have attended three conferences on the new educational Common Core Standards to be implemented in at the last count 44 states.

 The CCSS Mission Statement is:

The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.

As far as Mission Statement's go this is very good. Very concise and to the point as to "WHAT" we can expect from the standards. However, as usual the standards do not explain the "HOW" or what I refer to as "By What Method" will they be accomplished.

The presenter in both conferences made it very clear the method will be left up to the school/teacher to decide what is the best method. Just like in business world the education systems Do Not Know HOW to develop methods and processes from an end-to-end perspective.

What bothered me the most was the proclamation made by both presenters that most of the teachers were already complying to the new standards. HOW can that be? Most of them don't have any idea of what the new standards are and don't plan to conform to the standards when someone already tells them they are doing just fine.

I will tell you now that Teachers (who need to make this happen) will not be given the support or training to make this initiative happen. Why? Simple, because the leadership does not have a method or aim to make it happen. They have not done for past initiatives and they still don't know how to do it now.

The CCSS are what we need to move the educational learning's to a new level in the United States. I am encouraged that 44 states have signed on to conform to the standards. I am not pleased there are TWO assessment companies. The two comprehensive Consortia Companies are – Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC).

Proponents of having two assessment companies will say "It is good for competition." Again, we have missed the point that in order to compete you must first have cooperation. So we get 46 states to cooperate and in the same breadth we want competition to tear it apart.

This is not good and will defeat the purpose of standardization, alignment and overall process improvement - what a shame we continue to take the easy road and develop plans with no long lasting merit to the original thought process. CCSS is at its core trying to set consistent standards. What I like is the fact the standards do not attempt to change curriculum's which always meets resistance from teachers.

I fear politics between parties and well as state versus federal power struggles will derail this effort on the short-run.

The best way for continual improvement to take hold is through standardization. You must have standardization at the beginning and end of each process/system improvement efforts. The problem is I do not believe standardization is being done. For example; The CCS only covers English Language and Mathematics. The the Common Core State Standards do not cover science and social studies content standards, the Next Generation Science Standards are in the process of being developed. They are not directly related to the Common Core, but their content can be cross-connected to the mathematical and English Language Arts standards within the Common Core. So another governing group and perhaps another testing agency - RIDICULOUS!!

Think of the Educational System (as well as the Common Core Standard effort) as a manufacturing line to build a car. K-12 is the car and in order to build a Quality product at the end of the line that can be delivered ready to go to the dealership must have Quality designed in from the start with process and efficiency measures through-out the process to ensure the car will be delivered as ordered and expected from the customer perspective.

Likewise, The Common Core process must bring the teachers, administrators and other stakeholders together to ensure the student is College and Career Ready at the end of 12th grade. The Standards will help with the Standardization as long as the Process Owners (Leaders) drive the effort and make sure all involved have the methodologies, tools and techniques required to do their jobs correctly.

Methodology -;postID=2360867080598912945;onPublishedMenu=posts;onClosedMenu=posts;postNum=16;src=postname

I wonder where AdvanceEd will fit in all this STUFF?  Their site says  "AdvancED is the premier accreditation organization in the world, our passion is school improvement and knowledge leadership in education."

Perhaps I should say "By WHICH Method"

No comments: