Camdenton R-III School District played host to a Common Core Standards meeting organized and put on by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Thursday night. The meeting brought concerned and curious educators, business owners and residents from outlying areas to Hawthorn Elementary in Camdenton.
Representative from School of the Osage, Camdenton, Versailles, Columbia and Lebanon schools attended the meeting. Four of Camdenton R-III district's school board members, President Chris McElyea, Vice-President Nancy Masterson, Treasurer Selynn Barbour and member Tom Williams along with Superintendent Tim Hadfield and various other school staff and administrators all showed up to learn more about Common Core and to hear from residents. State Representative Diane Franklin also appeared at the meeting to hear concerns and questions about Common Core.
State Supervisor Jay Reese led the meeting. He spoke to the attendees about the importance of Common Core and attempted to explain the standards. In a video, state school board members told the crowd that the standards offered 'more rigorous' content and a 'real world focus' that is designed to help prepare students for college and careers immediately after high school.
Reese also answered the question, 'Why Common Core?'
He said the standards are to "raise the bar" of education, align with college and career skills, be more rigorous for students, be research/evidence based, provide equity among districts inside and outside of each state.
"It will bring more consistency to expectations," Reese said.
Reese did not give specifics about the standards, but those can be found at corestandards.org.
Common Core standards apply to only Math and English/Language Arts. For each grade level, there are expectations that each student must meet by the end of the school year.
For example, under the counting and cardinality facet of math, a kindergarten student must learn to count to 100 by ones and tens, count forward beginning from a specific number within the known sequence and write numbers from zero to 20 along with representing a number of objects with a written numeral. They also must be able to understand the relationship between numbers and quantities, count objects by saying the number names in standard order and pairing each object, understand that the last number name tells the number of objects counted, understand that each successive number name refers to a quantity that is one larger, count to answer 'how many?' questions, identify whether the number of objects in one group is greater than, less than or equal to a number of objects and compare two numbers between one and 10.
Each state has control over their curriculum Reese told the group. Teachers also have control over how they teach and what texts they use to get their students to meet the standards for their subject and grade level.
Page 2 of 2 - During the meeting, each table held a discussion about the standards and presented their discussion to the full group before the meeting ended.
Many groups liked the consistency the standards lend across states and that the standards claim to raise the bar for students on a national level. They also liked the real world application of the standards and that each teacher has control on how to teach a standard.
Some were concerned on the practicality of implementing online assessments and jumping in to more rigorous work for all students right away. Some attendees also questioned if the Common Core standards were a direct defiance of the 10th amendment and wondered why some states were attempting to drop the standards. The question of how much implementing the standards cost and who would pay that cost also came up. Since only two subject areas were included in the standards, attendees asked if the others would ever receive Common Core standards.
Reese collected all the questions and comments and said he would take them back to Jefferson City for review. Concerned residents and organizations can view answers to the questions on www.dese.mo.gov in a few weeks.