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Common Core: Friend or Foe?

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Lindsey Awtrey

on 25 February 2014

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Transcript of Common Core: Friend or Foe?

Who Started CCSS?
2005- Achieve + 13 states= The American Diploma Project Network (ADP)
Achieve + National Governor's Association (NGA) + Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)
2009- Validation Committee- teachers/researchers/content experts
June 2010- Final standards released
2011- Adoption began
You Decide
The Main Downfalls of CCSS
National Standardization/International Benchmarking

No modification for special education

Demands and stresses on school personnel, parents, and students

Financial dilemmas
The expectations in the classroom have changed from teacher-centered to student-centered
Standards are more rigorous
Standards are like an umbrella held by the state while the teachers are underneath still planning how they will teach the standards.
Allow students to think more critically, problem solve, and be held accountable.
Common Core: Friend or Foe?
Common Core is Rotten to the Core
Where are the CCSS Now?
Kentucky 1st state
45 states have adopted
Lack of Validity:
No Modification for Special Education
Seems to contradict recent legislation
IDEA's 7 components:
1. Child Find
2. Individual Education Plan (IEP)
3. Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)
4. Behavior intervention plans
5. Transitions
6. Due Process Safeguards
Nondiscriminatory Assessments
Lindsey Awtrey and Hailey Hinson
Introduction: What is Common Core (CCSS)?
The CCSS Mission Statement is as follows:
“The CCSS define the knowledge and the skills students should have within their K-12 education careers so that they will graduate from high school able to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing academic college courses and in workforce training programs; they define for teachers and parents what students are expected to learn” (Rust, 2013, p. 32).

The CCSS are intended to promote higher level thinking through cognitive strategies but not considered a curriculum, for the way that these standards are met are up to the local school systems (Rust, 2013).

Sneak Peak of
Building the Machine
Coming Soon in 2014
So What's the Debate?

1. Internationally benchmarked
2. Able to compare standardized
tests amongst states
3. Decrease in state costs for
4. Increased rigor
5. Higher-level thinking
6. Able to monitor student
7. Assessments will be more
8. Beneficial for students with
high mobility
9. Allows students to better
understand what is expected of them
10. Enhances teacher collaboration
So What's the Debate?

1. Difficult transition-stress on teachers, parents, and students
2. Highly trained educators are opting out
3. Vague and broad
4. Younger students are expected to learn more at a quicker pace than ever before
5. No modified assessments for students with special needs
6. Some states standards are being lowered
7. Having to buy all new textbooks
8. Increase in national and state costs for assessments
9. Increased value on standardized testing
10. Currently only ELA and Math Standards

(Meador, 2014)
(Meador, 2014)

Constable, S., Grossi, B., Moniz, A., & Ryan, L. (2013). Meeting the common core state
standards for students with autism: The challenge for educators. TEACHING Exceptional
Children, 45(3), 6-13. Retrieved from
Ganji, J. M., & Reilly, M. A. (2013). "Laying bare of questions which have been hidden
by answers": The english language arts standards of the common core, k-5. Language
and Literacy Spectrum, 23, 7-19. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1005282.pdf
Lu, A. (2014, January 24). States reconsider common core tests. Stateline. Retrieved from
Meador, D. (2014). What are some pros and cons of the common core standards?. Retrieved
from http://teaching.about.com/od/assess/f/What-Are-Some-Pros-And-Cons-Of-The-
Rix, K. (2013). Common core under attack. Scholastic Administrator, Retrieved from
Rust, T. (2013). Technology and engineering education and the common core standards.
Technology and Engineering Teacher, 72(3), 32-36. Retrieved from
Smith, T. E. C., Polloway, E. A., Patton, J. R., & Dowdy, C. A. (2012). Inclusive education: An
introduction. In A. Davis (Ed.), Teaching Students with Special Needs in Inclusive
Settings (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Strauss, V. (2012, August 21). The answer sheet: Eight problems with common core
standards. The Washington Post. Retrieved from
Tienken, C. H. (2011). Common core standards: The emperor has no clothes, or evidence. Kappa
Delta Pi Record, 47(2), 58-62. Retrieved from

References Continued:
Parent Survey (500)- April 2013- 62% support
Educators Survey(3,077)-April 2013- 70.5% of educators & 81.4% of administrators
Allows for all students across the nation to learn the same standards.
National Standardization/International Benchmarking
CCSS is nationally supported
"Evidence based" standards
Variations among countries
United States vs. Finland (->)
Educational Theories

US vs. Finland
Finland is made up of 5.5 million people compared to the U.S., which is made up of 300 million-- the U.S. is almost 75% larger and is "more ethnically, religiously, and racially diverse than many of the smaller countries that outrank it on international tests" (Tienken, 2011, p. 60).
Technological Advances
Research Opportunities for students

Collaboration with other students

Imbedded in the standards
So, is it feasible to create national standards and an internationally benchmarked assessment that actually meets the needs of

American students?
CCCSS allows for teacher collaboration and professional development
Demands and Stresses
Financial Burdens

"I think all states should teach the same things at the same grade levels. When I was 17, I moved om California to Florida and was doing work in my senior year that I did in my freshman year."

-Response from parent in support of CCSS
Can collaborate school to school within districts
Georgia- Alabama- Tennessee- California
Shared Resources
Pros of the Common Core
So how is the CCSS assessment
for students with special needs if it is
modified to fit their needs, which in turn would fulfill the requirements of IDEA?
Autism Example
Research has shown that students with autism will have particular difficulty meeting CCSS at their grade level.
Delayed Theory of Mind, Weak Central Coherence, and Impaired Executive Functioning

CCSS-ELA standards are written in a way to promote higher-level thinking and overall comprehension, but because of this, students with autism, even though they may be extremely intelligent, could potentially fall behind in grade levels.
"By second grade, the CCSS indicate that students should be able to describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges" (Constable, Grossi, & Ryan, 2013, p. 8).
This requires a strong ToM
Typically not able to meet grade level
Responsibility falls on teachers
Already overloaded schedule
Worded in a very vague and broad manner
Fast-paced time schedule
Training on new resources
Teacher evaluation
Unfortunately, all of these new requirements have led to educators "teaching to the test" and students and students and parents being asked to be responsible for a heavier and more challenging workload
(Meador, 2014; Strauss, 2012)
$360 million for SBA & PARCC

SBA = $27.30 for end-yr. & $27.30 for mid-yr.

PARCC = $29.50

School are not funded equally

Update technology and textbooks
"Georgia spends just over $27 million on annual kindergarten readiness. ELA, math, science, social studies, high school graduation, and advanced placements tests. Adding the Common Core assessments would have brought the annual cost to
$56 million. That was something we just couldn't do."

-Georgia's former Superintendent, John Barge.
(Rix, 2013)
"Food for Thought"
"Education is both the seed and the flower of economic development, but somehow those who prefer the idea of curricular and knowledge standardization have not yet discovered this" (Tienken, 2011m p. 60 ).
(2008). Out of Many, One: ACHIEVE REPORT.
Common Core Standards Initiative Standards-Setting Criteria.
Conley, D. (2011). Building on the common core. Educational Leadership, Retrieved from
Council of Chief State School Officers Chart.
Harris, J. (2013). Building better lessons. JSD, 34(1), 32-35. Retrieved from
Educators and parents support common core state standards. (2013, April 25). Retrieved from
McLaughlin, M., & Overturf, B. (2012). The common core: Insights into the k-5 standards. The
Reading Teacher,66(2), 153-164.
Sawchuk, S. (2013, September 5). What to make of the debate over common core. Retrieved from
Tennessee Department of Education. (n.d.). The common core state standards. Retrieved from
Tucker, C. (2012). Common core standards: Transforming teaching with collaborative
technology. Teacher Librarian, 39(6), 30-37. Retrieved from http://eds.a.ebscohost.com/eds/detail?vid=2&sid=ac2c617e-727f-4848-865a-842413686e67@sessionmgr4005&hid=4111&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmUmc2NvcGU9c2l0ZQ==.

Nationally Supported
The expectations in the classroom have changed from teacher-centered to student-centered
Technological Advances
Allows for Teacher Collaboration/Professional Development
4 goals of ADP
align high school standards with the demands of post-secondary education and the workplace
require students to complete a college and career ready curriculum to earn high school diploma
build a college and career ready measures in the statewide high school assessment systems
hold high schools and postsecondary institutions accountable for student preparation and success
Full transcript