Building on the Common Core
    Dr. Brad Gibson
    A potential sea change is underway in US education.  New York State has joined 47 other states in the reform movement.  The reform movement replaces our NYS content standards with the recently developed Common Core State Standards.
    These developments have created the opportunity for NYS schools to move beyond test prep instruction that fosters shallow learning.  The new standards and assessments will be used to focus instruction on developing key cognitive strategies and skills that our students need for college and careers.
    The standards focus on two areas: English language arts and mathematics.  In high school, however, the English language arts standards for reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language are also translated to literacy standards in history and social studies, science, and technical subjects.  The expectation is that students will develop literacy skills specific to these subjects.  The expectation is that East Aurora students will develop literacy skills specific to these subject areas in addition to what they learn in their language arts class.
    Last school year, East Aurora educators began the translation of the Common Core State Standards into practice with the support of workshop training provided by Erie2 BOCES.  On September 1 and 2, our K-12 teachers will continue to translate the Common Core State Standards into practice.  The focus for this session will be the Math Common Core.  During the 2011-2012 school year, our teachers will begin to design and implement curriculum aligned with both the ELA and Math Common Core Standards.  Our staff development efforts will take advantage of this opportunity to redesign curriculum and instruction in ways that fully engage students in cognitively challenging tasks.
    The final result will be that our East Aurora students will be better prepared to succeed in college and careers.  For more information about the Common Core State Standards, see www.corestandards.org.