Sunday, May 6, 2012

Part 2. Common Core

Taken Form
The Common Core movement is a collection of standards that have been brought about by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices. It has been approved for New York State in early 2011 by the New York State Deportment of Education. Now this grouping of standards was brought about to better suit the needs of teachers, and parents. The subjects that are effected by this movement are Mathematics and English.
The low grades seen by standardized testing within these areas has shown that teaching of math and English to students has become ineffective. The mentality of the United States "do more, learn more" has actually been the total opposite of what is shown to be effective. Doing less and focusing on fewer subjects with more depth has actually been shown to more effective as represented by other countries. What the Common Core standards focus on is improving the general knowledge that students can attain in these subjects. In math the goal is to teach processes, and not just have students memorize equations. This will lead to more real world application of math. Within English something that I find interesting is that one of the goals is to increase their knowledge of other subjects like science and history through literature. What was found is that students leave school with a centralized point of view, and do not have much knowledge of outside subjects. This is a problem I have witnessed first hand. The way in which this similar to "No Child Left Behind" is that the best interest of the student is in mind. The need for the student to be able to learn in a more efficient and meaningful manner is essential to both of these programs. The difference though is that with "NCLB" only the final outcome is being measured, and there are not too many programs set in place to make sure students are learning in a meaningful manner. Now this assessment of the final outcome of teaching can be associated with the APPR.
The Annual Professional Performance Review is a new program that is being put in place to evaluate teachers and principals within the school district. This has been put in place by the New York State Department of Education in an effort to hold teachers accountable for their teaching. Now this idea to me is good, but I am not sure if this plan was thought out with respect to teaching. The teacher is being assessed by standard test scores of their students.This though does not account for students with different abilities within inclusive classes. Their test scores are averaged with everyone else. Improvement may have been made with these students that is quite significantly, but the final grade on the test may not be representative of it. This is one flaw with the program. Also in no part of the program are the guidelines for Physical Education outlined. All classroom teachers and principles are required to participate in these program, but where does P.E. fit? No answers have been given for this. I feel as though a teacher has been truly effective when the knowledge they have taught can be applied within the real world. This is something that you cannot really measure, unless the test given consist of actual real world questions. To evaluate learning is extremely difficult. Learning is a concept, and it is hard to assess a concept. Maybe an assessment of the teachers ability, and not the students ability would be a better way of evaluation. Students cannot learn unless they have an effective teacher.
This is a subject I am sure will appear more often, especially now that I am venturing into the Physical Education career.
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment