Comparing apples to apples and oranges to oranges

Guest post by Deputy Chancellor for Curriculum, Instruction, and Student Services Mary Jane Tappen

Finding a way to compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges, Florida, along with more than 40 other states, has adopted the Common Core State Standards for mathematics and language arts. These new standards are a way to increase the rigor of our curriculum standards and accurately compare the academic performance of our students with their peers throughout the nation.

In the past, each state set their own standards, which essentially meant that students throughout the country were being taught different things, with no clear measure of difficulty or expectation of college and career readiness. Adopting the Common Core allows us to equalize the conversation and put all students on a path to success in our competitive global economy.

By 2015, Florida will have these standards implemented in our classrooms, so these next few years will be critical in providing our teachers with the necessary tools to teach the new content to our students.

Along with teachers and other education experts, parents across the nation were also instrumental in creating these standards. In fact, the Parent Teacher Association has devised The Parents’ Guide to Student Success to address Common Core. This guide includes activities that parents can use at home to help their students with their studies and provides tips for building stronger relationships with your child’s teacher.

At the DOE, our Teacher Liaison Kelly Seay is a huge advocate for parental involvement. She recently created a podcast that encourages parents and teachers to work together to nurture learning, and showcases specific groups throughout Florida that are also available to help. Check it out!

How do you work with your child to ensure they are prepared for their classes? From helping Kindergarteners identify upper-and lower-case letters, to talking with your high schooler’s guidance counselor, all of these learning moments are important.

We’d love to hear your tips on how you work with your child to encourage learning at home. Share your ideas here!

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