Confused about how new Common Core learning standards will change the way your child is educated? The State Department of Education has published a Parent's Backpack Guide to Common Core Standards on its website, EngageNY, as an explainer.
The guide notes that children will be expected to read more non-fiction, develop a bigger vocabulary through English language lessons, and in math, work more deeply in fewer topics and spend time practicing and memorizing math facts.
These new standards will have a dramatic impact on what students learn in school and how they learn it. They've already had a dramatic impact on standardized test scores and the way teachers and principals are evaluated.
Common Core State Standards provide a framework that sets benchmarks for what students should know and be able to do in each grade, from grades K-12. The new standards require students to engage in tasks that:
- emphasize critical thinking and analysis
- requires them to support their ideas and arguments with text-based evidence
- requires them to use technology effectively
- increases their exposure to complex, non-fiction text and
- increases their engagement with argumentative and informational writing.
"We want every single one of our students to be on track for college and careers by the time they graduate from high school," he said. "Our former standards did not prepare all of our students for 21st century college and careers."