What is the Common Core?
The Common Core State Standards are a set of academic standards for math and English originating through the efforts of the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Forty Six states originally signed on to the Common Core and are moving towards aligning assessments to the new standards, either through participation in a consortia or individually by state.
What is the Status of Common Core in Montana?
The Montana Board of Public Education adopted the Common Core in replacement of then-existing content and performance standards for math and English upon recommendation of State Superintendent Denise Juneau. The standards were adopted effective November 2011. The Board of Public Education held informational meetings pertaining to the Common Core throughout the state over the course of two years prior to adoption. Additionally, the State Superintendent consulted with math and English teachers and curriculum personnel on the Common Core prior to presentation of her recommendation for adoption to the Board of Public Education. Assessments developed through the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, of which Montana is a member, are scheduled to formally begin in the spring of 2015. A practice test was made available starting May 29, 2013 and will remain available for us through the 2013-14 school year.
How was the Common Core developed?
The Common Core was developed through the cooperation of various state governors and state superintendents, not by Congress and not by the Obama Administration.
The Common Core does not require any particular curriculum. Additionally, the subject matters covered, consisting of math and English, are not susceptible to manipulation to a particular point of view as might be the case in history or social studies, for example.
"The standards are designed to provide teachers and parents with a common understanding of what students are expected to learn at each grade level," stated Mel Riddile, NASSP National High School Principal of the Year. "Standards define expectations, they're not a curriculum."
For more information regarding the Common Core State Standards Initiative please click on the following link: "An Essential Truths Issue Spotlight Prepared by the MT PEC September 6 2013 (Prepared by the Montana Public Education Center (MT-PEC), September 6, 2013)
Learn more about the Common Core - links are provided for your review. It is important that individuals examine the Montana Common Core Standards Mathematical Practice and Content as well as Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects and Mathematics.
Montana Office of Public Instruction, July 2013: Myths vs. Facts: Montana Common Core State Standards
Montana's Common Core Standards Information for Legislators: Montana's Common Core Standards Information for Legislators
Montana Office of Public Instruction - Curriculum Development Guide: http://opi.mt.gov/Curriculum/Curriculum-Developmen...
Smarter Balanced Assessment: http://www.smarterbalanced.org/k-12-education/