Over the next couple of years, parents probably will notice
differences in the kind of work their children are doing in the classroom and
Across San Diego County and much of the nation, students
will be expected to explain their reasoning, deepen their understanding and
think critically about what they’re learning more than they were in the past.
Many of these changes are being driven by the Common Core
State Standards, which outline what children are expected to know by the end of each grade level in
English language arts and mathematics classes.
The standards are designed to ensure that students graduating
from high school ready for college or the workforce.
“To meet the expectations of Common Core, instruction needs
to change from a teacher-centered model to a student-centered model,” said
Mindy Shacklett, mathematics coordinator for the San Diego County Office of
Education. “Under Common core, teaching is about providing opportunities to
develop connections and orchestrating student engagement.”
In mathematics, students will be asked to engage in
performance tasks that require them to apply learning to real-world situations.
They might work on one in-depth problem for homework instead of the multiple
shorter ones parents are used to seeing.
In English language arts and other subjects, students will
read more nonfiction and will be expected to study and interact with the text
more closely than in the past.
“As a result of these kinds of tasks and the other
problem-solving experiences, students will develop stronger conceptual
understand and, as a result, will become more adept at thinking about, talking
about and doing something with what they are learning,” said Scott Sypkens,
senior director of curriculum and instruction at the San Diego County Office of
The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led
effort that established a single set of clear educational standards for
kindergarten through 12th grade that 45 states, including California, have