Standard Confusion?

     What do you think of the Common Core State Standards?  One of the bright lights of the effort, I think, is the emphasis on a continual progression of standards from kindergarten through 12th grade.  Students will work to develop the same important processes from the minute they walk through the doors all the way through their school careers, and this consistency is exciting!  If teachers emphasize the same processes, and they are the right ones, imagine how students will develop over time!

     A few questions to think about: are all of the CCSS created equal?  Do you find any of the standards confusing or of questionable value?  Are there still too many standards?  Certainly, we want students to have a balanced experience that covers the essentials and helps them learn how to learn in today's information-saturated society.  We want them to develop critical thinking skills and the ability to analyze and utilize information.  So, what standards are most important?  Those that address argumentation say Mike Schmoker and Gerald Graff's in their latest online article "More Argument, Fewer Standards" (http://mikeschmoker.com/more-argument.html).   Looking critically at information and creating and substantiating an argument is motivating (students love to decide what they think and why instead of being told what to think) and involves all those higher level thinking skills we want so desperately for them to develop.  Along with that naturally comes the heightened importance of classroom discussion.  Sadly, dialogue and conversation is often short-changed in the over-packed, over-scheduled school day.  To that end, I'll resolve to update my June 14, 2011 blog post about Open Ended Discussions, including a link to my most recent document on the topic. :)

   That's a lot to think about for a Sunday.  I'm thinking, I'm thinking.  I appreciate being part of the discussion and learning from so many incredible sources.  I follow Mike Schmoker like a groupie!
  

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