Common Core State Standards (CCSS) has currently been adopted by 40 states, including California. The primary difference between California’s previous curriculum and the Common Core—is that CCSS focuses more on conceptual comprehension and problem solving. To gain a further understanding of how this has changed education in the state of California—continue reading.
More Technology In The Classroom
There are a few ways that CCSS affects technology in the classroom. Technology will now be used more for class room assignments, testing, and even homework. The increased use of technology will ensure that students learn the computer skills and electronic communication skills required in today’s workforce. This also means that students will require school headphones to ensure that the audio does not overwhelm the classroom. Many students will also choose to have a secondary set of school headphones for home use, meaning that students will need access to a computer after school hours.
Less Subjects Of Study
California has always had an increased focus on mathematics, English, science, and history—but the new curriculum leaves less room for more elective subjects. What this means is that the subjects of study that remain within the curriculum will be studied with greater depth. However, this also means that the lower exposure to elective subjects and broader understanding of primary subjects provides students less areas of interest that they may excel in personally.
New Testing Standards And Metrics
With the new CCSS curriculum, comes new standards and metrics of testing to determine if the curriculum is successfully—and 2014 will be the first year that the new CCSS testing will be introduced. While this comes as no surprise, the shift to CCSS testing standards is likely to garner lower test scores for the first several years of testing. The reasons are twofold—the curriculum is new therefore students have not yet had time to benefit, and teachers are still tweaking and perfecting their new curricula.
Less Creativity In The Curriculum
While teachers must always deliver a curriculum that meets high standards, they used to have far more freedom within their lesson plans. With CCSS teachers only have 15% room for their own creativity, and the remaining 85% must meet standards. Teachers will also have to adjust their teaching style to include an increased focus on utilizing technology in teaching—where a larger portion of communication is written or delivered through audio via school headphones.
Funding is always of concern for public schools, and more of an issue for some school districts than others. To help with CCSS planning, training, and curriculum development California schools have received an additional $1.25 billion in the 2013 to 2014 budget. These funds will play a vital role in the success of the new curriculum—and even the overall success of improving education as a whole.
Ongoing Changes Over The Next Few Years
Changing school curricula is not something that happens overnight, and even with the additional funding—the new lessons plans created by teachers will need tweaking to perfect. Not only that, all teachers will require additional time to get comfortable with their new lessons plans. The first few rounds of national testing will help teachers to identify their areas of opportunity, as well as the new standards for general classroom testing and results.
Below are just a few ways in which the new Common Core State Standards have changed education in California. More will be learned about the success of the roll out as the first few rounds of standardized tests scores come in.