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Superintendent asks for opinions on new Common Core Standards

September 10. 2013 3:45PM
School in Brandon Valley is off to a great start with students (mostly) excited to be back in school and staff eager to facilitate learning. Enrollment is up again this year as predicted and the middle school is getting more cramped for space. The athletic teams are in full swing and the early morning marching band practices have begun. Of course the weather made a switch to hot and muggy just to test us and our resolve to create great learning environments.

Last week I relayed an article provided by the SD Department of Education on the Common Core Standards in English, language arts and math. Just like clockwork, the news lit up with articles and broadcasts that questioned the value of those standards. The Common Core Standards have been adopted by the SD Board of Education so Brandon Valley is clearly bound to teach them if we want our students to perform well on the state assessments.

I have read the standards and, quite frankly, cannot see where the controversy lies. I am asking for volunteers who have concerns about the standards to help me understand the specific problems in the standards. Most people who are familiar with the old South Dakota standards and the Common Core standards would say the Common Core is more rigorous and expects more from students at younger ages. I have read articles that have said the Common Core is still not rigorous enough and would welcome comments about where rigor is lacking.

I would like to request that people with concerns first read through the standards which can be found at the SD Department of Education’s website: in the Quick Links on the left side of the page. As you read through the standards make a list of the things you think are a problem and/or that we should not teach and then send me your list. This will hlp me zero in on where the problems are so we can decide what to do next. I want the district to have the opportunity to understand the specific problems so I need your help if you are willing. You can send your lists to:

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