By Mark Winegar on Sun, 11/11/2012
"States should not balance their budgets on the backs of students." - Arne Duncan
Primary school builds the foundation for success.
This is a critical point. If one fails to master the K-6 curriculum everything that follows is problematic. We can no longer suffer ignorance. America has too much to do rebuilding its own infrastructure, competing in a global economy, and facing real scientific issue such as climate change. We must have a national, if not international, set of core curriculum to be taught in every schools.
The Common Core State Standards Initiative is an inter-state effort coordinated y the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices. They claim, "The standards are informed by the highest, most effective models from states across the country and countries around the world, and provide teachers and parents with a common understanding of what students are expected to learn. Consistent standards will provide appropriate benchmarks for all students, regardless of where they live.". The Core is a set of minimum standards expressed as outcomes.
So far the core standards have been adopted by 45 states and 3 territories.
"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."
We all ought to review these standards so we can better understand public discourse on education and reform. It will also make us more informed voters. Parents especially need to know what their children are learning so they can support them.
Two apps are currently available at the Apple App Store; Common Core Standards and Common Core K-6 that explain the Common Core in detail. Both are free!
Common Core Standards from MasteryConnect includes all of the K-12 standards for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. It enjoys a 4+ user rating and only needs 1.1 MB of storage space. One reviewer wrote, "This app is a very useful tool when planning lessons. It would be nice to be able to copy and paste. Also, if it could access states additions to the standards.".
The latter suggestion misses the point of providing a Common Core rather than an extensive database of diverse standards. His/her state Department of Education can augment the Core with an app showing their unique additions if they choose to. I prefer a concise app with a smaller footprint. Remember the Core is a set of minimal standards for all students!
Common Core K-6 from Learning United is even more concise as it only covers the primary grades for iPhones, iPods touch, and iPads running iOS 3.0 or later. It too has a 4+ rating but requires a little more storage space (1.7 MB). The user interface is superior. One user wrote, "simple yet effective.".
Both are great apps and contain extremely valuable information. Choose one and start reading today!
I'm looking forward to seeing a lot of new courseware based on these standards so get busy developers!
Sent from my iPad