Meeting of the Board of Regents | June 2010
THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234
Standards Work Group
John B. King, Jr.
New York State Common Core Standards Review and Adoption Process Update
June 8, 2010
Issue for Discussion
New York State Common Core State Standards Review and Adoption Process Update
Procedural History and Background Information
In December 2009, the Board of Regents approved a Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Review and Adoption Process that includes engaging the field in a review of the CCSS. In April 2010, during the Regents Standards Workgroup meeting, the group approved adjustments to the overall review and approval timeline based on a delay in release of the draft materials. The Board of Regents is scheduled to act on the CCSS in July 2010, which is prior to the August 2, 2010 Race to the Top Round Two application deadline for states to adopt the CCSS.
After a period of public feedback in March, the Nation Governors Association for Best Practices/Council of Chief State School Officers (NGA/CCSSO) revised the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects. Concurrent with the national feedback period in March, the State Education Department engaged the public by gathering feedback from two surveys (one for ELA and one for Mathematics) and providing an online toolkit to guide local discussions about the draft materials. Several groups, including Teacher Centers, hosted group dialogues on the draft materials and then asked participants to respond to either the SED survey or the NGA/CCSSO survey. New York State’s survey data and recommendations were compiled and sent to NGA/CCSSO as New York’s response to the March draft.
Overall, respondents to both SED surveys were positive about the CCSS drafts and indicated that the standards adequately represent what students should know and be able to do in Mathematics and English Language Arts, with some exceptions.
Suggestions for both Mathematics and ELA include the following recommendations:
- Exemplars for teachers, educators, and other stakeholders to use for additional guidance and clarity on how these standards can be successfully implemented in the classroom;
- A glossary of terms or definitions for both sets of standards, to inform curriculum development; and
- Examples of how to help special populations (e.g., English language learners; students with disabilities) achieve these standards.
The final versions of The Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects were released on June 2nd, 2010.
Both Common Core State Standards:
- align well with our current New York State Learning Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics;
- include some new or updated areas of knowledge and skills; and
- provide opportunities for adding some additional content to ensure New York has the best set of learning standards for our students.
Attachment A includes a general overview of the alignment between the final Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects and our current New York State Mathematics and English Language Arts Learning Standards.
Information will be disseminated to interested individuals throughout the State on the release and availability of the CCSS in ELA and Mathematics through electronic communications mechanisms, including an updated SED Common Core Standards Initiative website. In July, two groups of professionals (including teachers, administrators, college faculty members and administrators, and cognitive psychologists) will develop recommendations for additional standards to add to the CCSS (up to 15%, as necessary). The two educator committees, including leaders from the Standards Review Initiative, will meet in Albany from July 20th-July 23rd to:
- review the final set of NGA/CCSSO CCSS, with respect to the 2005 English Language Arts Core Curriculum, draft ELA/ESL learning standards, 2005 Mathematics Core Curriculum, the SRI Working Principles, and other pertinent documents, and
- develop a proposed draft of P-12 NYS Learning Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics that includes the Common Core Standards (85%) and additional recommended NYS Standards (up to 15%, as necessary) for statewide public comment (Phase III).
Additionally, the current phase of the review and adoption process will include individuals who will be charged with providing an independent paper review to assure completeness, clarity, developmental appropriateness, and rigor.
Information from this phase will be compiled and the Department will provide a report with recommendations to the Board of Regents in the fall. After the Board of Regents responds to the information, the report will be shared with the public for feedback.
General overview of the CCSS for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects and how the standards relate to our current English Language Arts Learning Standards
- The CCSS for ELA and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects (henceforth referred to as CCSS for ELA & Literacy) contain 32 College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards and grade-specific standards that cover expectations in reading, writing, listening, speaking, and language in English Language Arts and literacy in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects. The CCSS appendices include a glossary of terms, text exemplars, and samples of student writing. The CCSS for ELA & Literacy cover the same basic expectations as the four current NYS English Language Arts Learning Standards, but are framed differently (with various subheadings and levels of specificity).
For example, the CCSS for ELA and Literacy include the following main strands (illustrative points are included):
- The standards establish a “staircase” of increasing complexity in what students must be able to read so that all students are ready for the demands of college-and career-level reading no later than the end of high school.
- The ability to write logical arguments based on substantive claims, sound reasoning, and relevant evidence is a cornerstone of the writing standards, with opinion writing—a basic form of argument—extending down into the earliest grades.
Speaking and Listening
- The standards require that students gain, evaluate, and present increasingly complex information, ideas, and evidence through listening and speaking as well as through media.
- The standards expect that students will grow their vocabularies through a mix of conversations, direct instruction, and reading. The standards will help students determine word meanings, appreciate the nuances of words, and steadily expand their repertoire of words and phrases.
- Overall, the CCSS for ELA & Literacy contain rigorous and developmentally appropriate K-12 student achievement expectations, with some areas to which New York State should consider adding to strengthen the State’s learning standards. These areas will be recommended by the committee that will convene in July.
- As expressed in the introduction, the CCSS for ELA & Literacy were developed for all students; however, it is clear that additional guidance materials will be needed, including those for students with disabilities and English language learners. New York has a diverse student population, so it is essential that the appropriate resources are provided to ensure that educators who teach students in special populations will have guidance on how to assist students who will need extra support to achieve these standards.
- The CCSS for ELA & Literacy are grade-specific for kindergarten-grade 8, then expressed in grade-bands at the high school level (9-10 and 11-12) and in the 6-12 literacy section. The current English Language Arts Core Curriculum and Standards Review Initiative draft ELA/ESL Standards contain grade-specific student expectations for each grade, prekindergarten-grade 12.
- The CCSS for ELA & Literacy do not contain expectations prior to kindergarten. The educators convening in Albany in July to develop recommendations will address prekindergarten expectations. The current ELA Core Curriculum and Standards Review Initiative draft ELA/ESL Standards include prekindergarten expectations.
- The CCSS for ELA & Literacy contain a grade 6-12 Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects section, which includes reading and writing standards in grade bands (6-8; 9-10; and 11-12) that express literacy expectations in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects. Since these expectations are included for subjects other than English Language Arts,
New York will need to determine what implications these have for instruction in
other New York State Learning Standard areas.
General overview of the CCSS for Mathematics and how the standards relate to our current Mathematics Learning Standards
- The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Mathematics are similar to the New York State Mathematics Core Curriculum (revised 2005). The CCSS for Mathematics are organized as Standards for Mathematical Practice (e.g., reason abstractly and quantitatively; use appropriate tools strategically; and model with mathematics) and Standards for Mathematical Content (e.g., number and operations; algebra; geometry; and statistics and probability).
- The CCSS for Mathematics Standards for Mathematical Practice describe various types of expertise that mathematics educators should seek to develop in their students. There are eight Standards for Mathematical Practice that are to be woven throughout the curriculum and taught in conjunction with content and procedures. These standards correspond to NYS’s current process strands in Mathematics (e.g., reasoning and proof, representation, and problem solving).
- The CCSS for Mathematics Standards for Mathematical Content define what students should understand and be able to do. These CCSS for Mathematics are grouped into clusters (e.g., understand the place value system; represent and interpret data; and summarize and describe distributions) and domains (e.g., operations and algebraic thinking; ratios and proportional relationships; and expressions and equations). Clusters summarize groups of related standards. Domains are larger groups of related standards. Standards from different clusters and different domains may sometimes be closely related, because mathematics is a connected subject. These standards correspond to NYS’s current content strands in mathematics (e.g., number sense and operations; statistics and probability).
- The K-5 standards provide students with a solid foundation in whole numbers, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions and decimals--which help young students build the foundation to successfully apply more demanding math concepts and procedures, and move into applications. Having built a strong foundation K-5, students can do hands on learning in geometry, algebra and probability and statistics. Students who have completed 7th grade and mastered the content and skills through the 7th grade will be well-prepared for algebra in grade 8.
- The CCSS for Mathematics stress not only procedural skills but also conceptual understanding, to make sure students are learning the critical information they need to succeed at higher levels. This corresponds to NYS’s three underlying components in mathematics: conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, and problem solving.
- The CCSS middle school standards are robust and provide a coherent and rich preparation for high school mathematics.
- The CCSS high school standards call on students to practice applying mathematical ways of thinking to real world issues and challenges; they prepare students to think and reason mathematically. The high school standards set a rigorous definition of college and career readiness, by helping students develop a depth of understanding and ability to apply mathematics to novel situations, as college students and employees regularly do. The high school standards emphasize mathematical modeling, the use of mathematics and statistics to analyze empirical situations, understand them better, and improve decisions. This corresponds to NYS’s current process strands in Mathematics that highlight ways of acquiring and using content knowledge.
- The CCSS for Mathematics are grade specific for kindergarten through grade 8. Grades 9-12 are organized in conceptual categories or modules/progressions under the headings of Number and Quantity, Algebra, Functions, Geometry, Statistics and Probability, and Modeling. The high school portion of the Standards for Mathematical Content specifies the mathematics all students should study for college and career readiness. These standards do not mandate the sequence of high school courses. However, the organization of high school courses is a critical component to implementation of the standards. To that end, sample high school pathways for mathematics – in both a traditional course sequence (Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II) as well as an integrated course sequence (Mathematics 1, Mathematics 2, Mathematics 3) – will be made available soon. It is expected that additional model pathways based on these standards will become available as well. The traditional course sequence corresponds to NYS’s current commencement level pathway in mathematics.
- The CCSS for Mathematics includes a Glossary of terms. The Glossary of terms within NYS’s mathematics toolkit is much more extensive and inclusive of all mathematical terms in NYS’s current mathematics core curriculum and the suggested lists of mathematical language by grade level. Additional terms will need to be included as part of the guidance materials created to support the CCSS.
- In the introduction, it states that the CCSS for Mathematics were developed for all students; however, it is clear that additional guidance materials will be needed for students with disabilities and English language learners.
- In kindergarten, the standards follow successful international models and recommendations from the National Research Council’s Early Math Panel report, by focusing kindergarten work on the number core: learning how numbers correspond to quantities, and learning how to put numbers together and take them apart (the beginnings of addition and subtraction). The CCSS for Mathematics do not contain expectations prior to kindergarten. The educators convening in Albany in July to develop recommendations (up to 15%) will address prekindergarten expectations. The current Mathematics Core Curriculum includes prekindergarten expectations.