Common Core State Standards and ELLs
by a growing public discontent, controversy
and confusion have plagued implementation of the Common Core
State Standards, prompting heated discourse among educators,
parents and legislators
both questioning and defending their objectives and effectiveness.
by the North Carolina Board of Education in June, 2012, the
Standards have been embraced by 46 states.
This issue of the ESL Globe
takes a look at what educational initiatives the Standards
they affect curricula for English language learners, and how
they are viewed by both proponents and critics.
Common Core - Explained
Carolina adopted the Common Core State Standards in 2010 as
its Standard Course of Study for English language arts and mathematics
and began implementation statewide in all public schools in
the 2012-13 school year. The
academic standards for students;
were developed by national experts with access to best
practices and research from across the nation; and
allow for a smoother school transition for military students
and other students who move during their K-12 schooling.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction's website provides
a portal for presentations, podcasts, videos and other helpful
resources related to the Common Core State Standards.
Common Core - Explained
Academy Receives Grant to Develop Common Core Math Courses
by a $2.2 million grant, Khan Academy will develop online content
and tools over the next two years to help teachers and students
meet the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics.
popular producer of free online content already has a large
volume of practice materials and videos that are "mapped"
to the common-core math standards, but with the grant from the
Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, it will build
new diagnostic tools to help better identify gaps in student
learning. In addition, the grant will enable Khan Academy-best
known for its math instructional videos-to more "deeply
cover" the standards.
You Need to Know About Common Core Testing
to author Kristen Swanson the days of multiple choice test items
are over. The
dawn of the Common Core Standards has been coupled with the
creation of new assessment methods. The organizations designing
these new assessments have committed to test designs that measure
critical thinking and original thought. Both assessment consortia
have made intentional assessment shifts in their designs. The
three assessment shifts are context, rigor, and synthesis. Ms.
Swanson take a closer look at each of these ideas and even provides
examples of test items.
three assessment shifts demand that teachers abandon traditional
test prep methods. Preparing students for the new Common Core
assessments requires thoughtful curriculum design and technology
She adds: "If every question you ask students has a definitive
answer, then you should go back to the drawing board!"
English Learners and Common Core Advocacy Toolkit
and educators who work most closely with English-language learners
for the most part agree that the new, rigorous Common Core standards
hold promise for this population of students, who too often
have been deprived of full access to meaningful, academically-challenging
curriculum as schools and districts focused on making sure they
acquired English-language skills. But one California research
and advocacy group makes a case for the gaps that must be filled,
and how to fill them, so that achievement and access to rigorous
content don't actually get worse for ELLs in the common-core
a brand-new toolkit, Californians Together outlines a number
of concerns it has for the more-than 1 million English-learners
in California, where ELLs make up 25 percent of the K-12 enrollment.
The group urges educators to become advocates for policy changes
and for changes in classroom practice. The toolkit includes
specific things educators can question, ask for, and do at their
schools, in their districts, and even on a broader level in
counties and states, to push for supports for English-learners.
Your Voice on Behalf of English Learners:
The English Learners and Common Core Advocacy Toolkit
Need More Attention in Common Assessment Groups, Reports Say
two groups of states working to design new common assessments
need to devote more time and attention to English-language learners
and students with disabilities, conclude new reviews from the
U.S. Department of Education. The reviews on Smarter Balanced
and PARCC are available on the Education Department's website.
its first-ever technical reviews of the test-development efforts
underway by two state consortia-the Partnership for the Assessment
of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, and Smarter
Balanced-the federal education department is calling for both
groups to focus more sharply on developing test items that all
students, including those who are still learning English, can
fully access regardless of their level of language proficiency.
Reasons the Common Core Standards are Losing Popularity
what could be compared to many education reform initiatives
over the years, a once-widely, and quickly, accepted initiative
is dividing the education community; begging the question, 'Are
the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) just another flash in
45 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the CCSS
in what was once lauded as a giant step in the right direction
in trying to improve student achievement and college- and career-readiness.
Yet, many states, policy makers, and educators are saying that
though giving the go-ahead was easy, successful implementation
planning didn't factor well enough into the decision to adopt,
causing problems states are only now beginning to fully comprehend.
In this article you'll find the four most widely discussed contentions
Committee Supports Common Core,
Sounds an Alarm
from left: Barack Obama, political science;Mitt Romney, English
Gov. Rick Scott of Florida, business
Images from left:Doug Mills/The NY Times; Jonathan Ernst/Reuters;
Angel Valentin for The NY Times
American Academy of Science Commission on the Humanities and
Social Sciences issued a report clearly endorsing the Common
Core State Standards and sounding an alarm vis-a-vis
the trend toward de-valuing humanities courses. The report is
intended as a rallying cry against the entrenched idea that
the humanities and social sciences are luxuries that employment-minded
students can ill afford.
People talk about the humanities and social sciences "as
if they are a waste of time," said Richard H. Brodhead,
the president of Duke University and a co-chairman of the commission
that produced the report. "But this facile negativism forgets
that many of the country's most successful and creative people
had exactly this kind of education."
Against Common Core
party groups, along with some skeptical liberals, say the Common
Core State Standards amount to a federal takeover of education
in a country with a long tradition of local control over public
schools. These groups over the past few weeks have suddenly
and successfully pressured Republican governors to reassess
their support for a rare bipartisan initiative backed by President
Obama to overhaul the nation's public schools.
"This is the issue that could change things for the tea
party movement," said Lee Ann Burkholder, founder of the
9/12 Patriots in York, Pa., which drew 400 people - more than
twice the usual turnout - to a recent meeting to discuss agitating
against Common Core. Lawmakers have responded by introducing
legislation that would at least temporarily block the standards
in at least nine states.
Five Myths about the Standards
Strauss, education reporter and columnist for The Washington
Post, aims to separate
fact from fiction to figure out what's at stake.
Globe Interview Featured in New
Book by Collier
Globe editors were delighted to grant permission to Drs.
Virginia Collier and Wayne Thomas to reprint their interview
appearing in the Spring 2011 issue. The interview is included
in their recently published book, Dual Language Education
for a Transformed World. They kindly remarked that they
considered the questions very well thought out.
This book makes the case for dual language education to become
the standard for all schools. Written for new and veteran implementers,
it provides hope, rationale, guidance, and the tools to transform
education to 21st century standards.