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Common Core



What are Common Core Standards?

Common Core Standards are a set of standards developed by national and global leaders to ensure that students graduate high school well prepared for college and the workforce. The State of Tennessee, along with 45 other states, has adopted the Common Core Standards. Following partial implementation during the 2011-2012 school year, all K-2 public school instruction will now be aligned with the Common Core math and reading standards beginning with the 2012-2013 school year. This is exciting news as these new standards reflect rigorous, globally research-based learning benchmarks while allowing teachers to focus more on a reduced number of focused standards in the subject areas of math and reading/language arts. As such, students will be expected to learn more "deeply" in their content than ever before while being required to explain and justify their thinking and understanding as it relates to the standards.

What about grades 3-5?

With the full implementation of Common Core Standards taking place for students in grades K-2, there will be a partial implementation of the Common Core math standards for students in grades 3-5 during the 2012-2013 school year. As the partial implementation takes place, our teachers will balance their instruction to provide the increased rigor required to meet the Common Core expectations while still applying the current Tennessee State Standards as students in grades 3-5 will still be tested under the TCAP assessment that continues to reflect the current standards. This transition will better prepare all of our students as the 2013-2014 school year will require full implementation of the Common Core Standards in both math and reading/language arts across all grade levels K-5.

Will there be changes in assessments?

Beginning with the 2012-2013 school year, there will be some changes in the way that students in the State of Tennessee are assessed for understanding. Last year, 3rdgrade students across the State were assessed with a Constructive Response Assessment (CRA) that involved students explaining and representing their thinking while providing correct computation in math. During the 2012-2013 school year, all students in grades 3-5 will participate in the CRA for math with the annual TCAP assessment still taking place in the spring. With the pilot completed, the 2012-2013 CRA math assessments will be given three times each year and will require students to represent their thinking and understanding through multiple representations. The TCAP assessment will follow in the spring with the continued assessment of students under the current State standards in all subject areas for grades 3-5 until the PARCC assessment is scheduled to replace the TCAP during the 2014-2015 school year. In addition, there will also be some change in regards to the 5thgrade Writing Assessment over the next few years as well. Traditionally, our 5thgrade students have been required to write in narrative in accordance to a provided prompt. As this assessment progresses, students will be required to not only be able to write in narrative form, but also in expository and persuasive form while responding to and comparing text selections.

What is the PARCC Assessment?

PARCC, or the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career, is the consortium of states working together to develop a common set of K-12 assessments in math and reading aligned with the Common Core Standards. The PARCC Assessment is scheduled to replace the TCAP assessment during the 2014-2015 school year, and is slated to assess students with both short and long response opportunities in addition to performance-based assessments and richer multiple choice selections to better reflect the full range of content and skills representative of the Common Core Standards. Instead of one end-of-the-year assessment, students will be tested at key points throughout the year as to provide teachers, parents, and students better information in regards to student performance. Looking ahead to the 2014-2015 school year, students are tentatively scheduled to take these assessments online with test results being available shortly after each assessment period.

What are our Nolan teachers doing to prepare students for these shifts?

By understanding the aforementioned changes in both instruction and assessment across the State of Tennessee, our Nolan teachers and Hamilton County as a whole have been working well ahead of the curve. With the partial implementation of Common Core Standards in grades K-2 taking place during the 2011-2012 school year, our teachers and students are well prepared for the full implementation of Common Core. This has been and will continue to be accomplished as our teachers continue to be professionally developed in best practices related to the Common Core while our students continue to learn more deeply than ever before while being able to explain and justify their thinking and understanding. With our teachers understanding the progression of the standards implementation, and the gradual movement toward the PARCC assessments, our Nolan students will continue to be well prepared as they move from one grade level to the next while working toward high school graduation and college and career readiness.

Where can I find more information related to the Common Core Standards?

For more information related to the Common Core Standards and the PARCC Assessment, please visit the following sites: