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Common Core parents' meeting set

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A concerned parent has called together a meeting to discuss and explain the new Common Core Standards in education. The meeting will be held Tuesday, Dec. 3, from 6-8 p.m. at Stubblefield Brothers Roofing, 93 Big Creek Drive, in Atoka.
According to Teresa Cantrell, meeting coordinator, this is to be an informative discussion of how to understand and meet the new criteria.
“The new curriculum is concerning to me for my children’s future education,” said Cantrell. "I have a fourth grader, and there is a large learning curve this year. Ultimately, I worry about my children’s future down the line. How will this affect them in high school and college?”
According to Something in Common: The Common Core Standards and the Next Chapter in American Education (Harvard Education Press, 2011), nine important differences with the new Common Core Standards are as follows:

In Mathematics
1. Greater Focus. Common Core Standards focus on fewer topics and address them in greater depth.
2. Coherence. The Common Core Standards build on students’ understanding by introducing new topics from grade to grade. Students are expected to learn content and skills and move to more advanced topics.
3. Skills, Understanding, and Application. Students will need to know all aspects of mathematics, as all are considered equally central in the Standards. This means fluent knowledge of procedures, deep conceptual understanding, and application of knowledge to solve problems.
4. Emphasis on Practices. The Standards have eight criteria for mathematical practices. These include making sense of problems and persevering to solve them, reasoning abstractly and quantitatively, using appropriate tools strategically, and constructing viable arguments and critiquing the reasoning of others. These practices are intended to be integrated with the standards for mathematical content.

In English Language Arts
5. More Nonfiction. The Standards call for a much greater emphasis on nonfiction, proposing that about half the reading in elementary school and 75 percent in high school should be nonfiction. The Standards also expect students to write more expository prose.
6. Focus on Evidence. In reading, students will be expected to use evidence to demonstrate their comprehension of texts and to read closely in order to make evidence-based claims. In writing, students are expected to cite evidence to justify statements rather than rely on opinions or personal feelings.
7. “Staircase” of Text Complexity. Students will be expected to read and comprehend increasingly complex texts in order to reach the level of complexity required for success in college courses and the workplace.
8. Speaking and listening. The Standards expect students to be able to demonstrate that they can speak and listen effectively—this means more small-group and whole-class discussions.
9. Literacy in the content areas. The Standards include criteria for literacy in history/social science, science, and technical subjects.

The meeting is open to the public and attendees are welcome to voice their opinions pro/con.
Cantrell has been researching the Common Core in order to lead this meeting.
For more information, contact Cantrell at tmcantrell@aol.com.

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