A call for curricular support as Common Core standards take hold

“But the assessments they end up using should measure domains of knowledge recommended to them by professional content experts and practitioners through some publicly accountable process,” she said. And the statement notes: “In nations with core curriculum … this systemic approach—coupled with equitable resources and strong teacher training—has resulted in both very high average achievement and a diminishing gap between high- and low-achieving students.”

Given the many, competing definitions that exist, the statement also offers a clear definition of curricula.

A sidebar to the statement says: “To be clear, by ‘curriculum’ we mean a coherent, sequential set of guidelines in the core academic disciplines, specifying the content knowledge and skills that all students are expected to learn, over time, in a thoughtful progression across the grades. We do not mean performance standards, textbook offerings, daily lesson plans, or rigid pedagogical prescriptions.”

“The common standards give us a much clearer vision of what all students should learn and be able to do at every level of schooling,” Weingarten said. “But in order for teachers to teach, and for us to measure our progress towards achieving these lofty goals, we need to provide educators, schools, districts, and states with the missing pieces—specific curricula, materials they can use, and the training to get it done.”

For more on the Common Core standards, see:

Common Core standards call for uncommon shifts in practices

Viewpoint: School leaders need more help, and not red tape, to transform education

States having problems with Common Core standards

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