Common Core State Standards for Arkansas
The Lonoke School District has been and is implementing the
Common Core State Standards. We have been transitioning for over five years now
from Arkansas State Standards to Common Core Standards. Common Core Standards
are standards that are deeper, broader, and take a more hands-on and
problem-solving approach to learning that places more emphasis on critical
thinking skills and effective communication skills. . One of the goals of
Common Core is to provide consistency from state to state in all classrooms. It
is designed for students to gain more in depth mastery of knowledge and skills
so that the students can succeed and compete in college and the workforce. The
Common Core State Standards were developed by teachers, administrators, other
educators, and parents. Teachers still get to create their lessons but follow
the standards for what students should know at each grade level.
Arkansas, in the
years past, had more state standards than other states. We now have fewer
standards to cover but must go deeper with our teaching strategies so that our
students can grasp the concepts of the learning that is taught. The standards
cover reading, writing, listening, and language. Students read more non-fiction
materials and are expected to read with more complexity. Students perform more
writing in all classes and participate in critical thinking activities, where
they must support evidence and state opinions and ideas from their reading.
Students also participate in research and projects. Students give more oral
presentations and gather information. Students will work more increasingly complex
math concepts and are expected to make sense of problems and reason abstractly.
Students will construct valid arguments and critique others’ reasoning’s. Students will also apply their learning to
real-world problems and identify and use patterns in solving problems.
This year our students are transitioning from the Benchmark
Test to the PARRC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and
Careers) Test. This test will be given
twice this school year; once in the early spring and once in the late spring.
There will be a performance task portion of the test which is the first part of
the exam. The students must create a product for this section of the exam. The
second test is more of a traditional standardized test format.
We have been
equipping our students with more technology to be able to be better prepared
for the testing. The school board has approved more technology funds to be
spent by the district in order for our students to be more prepared. The
administration, faculty, and staff are working to implement technology plans
and goals in order to utilize, train, and equip classrooms with the appropriate
resources to ensure success for all students. Our students are testing on-line this school year to give them more
practice for when they are testing for PARRC.
We are seeing growth in our students from performance tasks
and the students are enjoying the interactive involvement with the technology
which these standards have brought about for our school system. If you have any
questions, please feel free to schedule an appointment with your child’s
teacher or administrator.