The District recently adopted the Common Core Standards in English language arts and mathematics for grades K-12. These standards reflect the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. These standards, and the assessments based on them, will raise our expectations for our students, holding everyone accountable for providing equal access to an excellent education for all students.
Through Race to the Top, school leaders and teachers will be mobilized, trained, and ready to implement the Common Core Standards for the 2011-2012 school year. New Common Core Standards, and high-quality assessments aligned to them, are essential for ensuring the District’s students reach their maximum potential and are ready for college and the workforce. These standards define the knowledge and skills students should have from kindergarten through grade 12. The standards:
- Are aligned with college and work expectations. This will help ensure that students have the knowledge and skills necessary to enter college without needing to take remedial courses.
- Are clear, understandable, evidence-based, and consistent.
- Include rigorous content and application of knowledge through higher-order skills.
- Build upon strengths and lessons of current District standards.
- Are informed by other top performing countries, so that all students are prepared to succeed in our global economy and society.
Every local education agency (LEA) will develop interim assessments aligned to these standards to provide real-time feedback to teachers and schools on how their students are doing. The District will continue to use the DC CAS, with slight modifications to account for the new standards, to allow us to continue to measure the city’s progress. In 2014-2015, a new assessment system, being developed by the District in conjunction with 25 other states, will be implemented. The District will create a Race to the Top Common Core Standards Task Force to guide DCPS and charter schools in developing their implementation plans for the new standards and curriculum and share professional development activities and best practices.
The District’s commitment to an internationally competitive education for its students requires a successful transition to and implementation of Common Core Standards and high-quality assessments:
Quality standards for Students:
- The new standards mean increased, but focused, expectations to ensure they receive the support they need to master the skills necessary to be successful in life.
- The District will create a framework for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities so that they can access the standards in a meaningful way and receive appropriate, grade-level instruction.
Professional Development for Teachers:
- Every LEA will provide all teachers and staff with high-quality professional development to prepare them for the new standards and support them during the transition.
- Teachers of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities will be trained on using the new framework for accessing the standards in a meaningful way.
Keeping You informed:
- Parents, students, schools, the public, and the broader business and education community will have access to clear materials and regular communication about the new standards, from informational materials and pamphlets to a user-friendly website about the standards and assessments.