first day back at school

Students and teachers get introduction to Common Core

2013-08-14T00:45:00Z Students and teachers get introduction to Common CoreLauren Foreman/ Santa Maria Times

Students at Santa Maria, Pioneer Valley, Delta and Righetti high schools entered classrooms for the first day of the 2013-14 school year Tuesday.

They received teacher contact information and listened to course introductions.

“I’m going to pose questions to you that don’t have answers,” Curt Greeley, a history teacher at Righetti High School, told his students.

He said students would be asked to postulate and explain their reasoning. They would reenact signing of the Paris peace treaty, the Versailles conference and the French Revolution.

“We’re actually going to experience history,” Greeley said.

This year Central Coast teachers would be intertwining instruction strategies that invoke deeper thinking and explanation as part of a statewide move to a new set of internationally benchmarked curriculum standards known as Common Core State Standards.

Teachers throughout the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District attended the first district-wide Common Core training session Monday.

The training spanned differences between the old and new standards and accompanying assessment systems, inclusion of 21st Century Skills and the shifts necessary to invoke a deeper level of understanding for students, John Davis, assistant superintendent of curriculum, said in an email.

“It was mostly foundational knowledge that many of our teachers already possess but needed to be shared on a total district scale as many have not had any training yet,” Davis said.

The district partnered with Pivot Learning Partners, a nonprofit that assists school districts in the transition to Common Core State Standards through what the organization calls a “multifaceted leadership and system-building approach.”

Steve Molina, Righetti High School principal, said teachers of core subject areas (math, English, science and social studies) participated in a needs assessment last year and built a base for future implementation needs and professional development.

On Monday, teachers looked at sample math and English assessments that align with the new standards, and the next day teachers like Greeley informed students of the level of critical thinking instruction would probe.

While some Righetti students said they had not heard of Common Core, others were familiar with the general concept of the new standards.

Erinn Freeman, a sophomore at Righetti, said one of her teachers had informed her class of the shift.

“It’s better than now,” she said comparing current and potential future instruction at Righetti. “Now, it’s just boring. You sit and listen to the teacher.”

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(3) Comments

  1. NuniCan't
    Report Abuse
    NuniCan't - August 24, 2013 8:14 am
    45 of the 50 states have adopted common core...
  2. John Q Public
    Report Abuse
    John Q Public - August 14, 2013 11:22 pm

    So-called "Common Core" reforms are the flavor of the month for school bureaucrats and multinational companies that make money off of selling equipment, trainings, updated texts, technology, etc. , to our public schools.

    We will not improve the quality of our public schools by embracing one-size fits all schools, and like the several reforms tried previously, this one will run its course then die a quiet death. They all have.

    Real teachers and students know the the common core movement is doomed to fail and just another way for bureaucrats to justify their too-high salaries and for companies to fleece the taxpayers by selling new 'stuff' to our schools.

    Lets get back to basics and COMMON SENSE, not Common Core.

    Just Saying,

    Juan Q Publico

    Restore Phony Reforms
    Restore Common Sense
    Restore No Common Core
    Restore REAL Teachers
    Restore Reading
    Restore Writing
    Restore Arithmetic
    Restore American Values
    Restore Local Education Control
    Restore Parental Cooperation
    Restore Letting Teachers Teach
    Restore Back-To-Basics
    Restore No Educational Fads

    Vote No on Makdonado!!!

  3. JeannineW
    Report Abuse
    JeannineW - August 14, 2013 2:08 pm
    How awful! I never would have thought that SMJUHSD would have capitulated on receiving government monies to teach our kids this garbage! Common Core is a U.N.-based educational program. It teaches by videos (made by Scientology... yes, THAT one), and covers world history and information that our GOVERNMENT wants kids to know... NOT even our own American history! It also indoctrinates kids in the socialist, sorry... PROGRESSIVE program that everyone "should have the right to food, housing, clothing, medicine, even a job"... given by the government, of course. As if this isn't bad enough... it teaches all kids, in all schools, in many countries, the SAME THING!!! It also doesn't take into consideration that some kids learn quicker, some slower, and some are college bound, others not. When the government wants to reach ALL kids across the nation at the same time, they now have their vehicle - and it is remarkably like STATE MIND CONTROL! This is why MANY STATES have said, "NO WAY" to Common Core and have told the government to back off! It's too bad that once again California has taken the Progressive route, and paved the way for indoctrination of our kids. Parents... either put your kids in private school or home school them!

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