Sunday, November 15, 2015

What Happened to the Common Core?

 Roughly 4 years ago the entire educational community was spun into a tizzy and the alarms were sounding as if our entire universe and all that we stood for was about to explode because of the Common Core Learning Standards  (CCLS). Mass confusion, hatred, fear, assessment, optimism, APPR (New York's teacher evaluation system), money (yes we can't forget to mention Federal/State financial aid), and many other things ensued following the arrival of the CCLS. Back then, it almost felt as if the world of education was being terminated in light of a new effort, an effort that none of us could explain or figure out.

Fast forward to today and I ask, what ever happened to the Common Core? All the hysteria, panic, fear.... education was being ruined... where did it go? Schools look very similar today as they did then and one could even argue that schools that implemented the CCLS with fidelity are finding increased academic outcomes. Of course we are still dealing with the stress and issues related to over assessing kids and the APPR process, but neither of those are the Common Core. Still, the CCLS have been a positive shift in education if not for any reason other than we haven't abandoned them yet after the scrutiny they have caused. Most educators feel the standards are positive, productive, and worth while. The CCLS have also caused schools to think collaboratively and combine efforts in regard to reading and writing while bringing our issues in math to the forefront. While we may not all agree about the approach to implementation and curricular decisions made as a result of the CCLS, hopefully we can all see the standards themselves are well written and provide a good foundation for developing our curriculum.

To that end, our new commissioner in New York State, MaryEllen Elia, has asked our help in collecting feedback about the Common Core. This link: will take you to a survey to provide her with your feedback regarding the Common Core. While the survey is not a referendum on the CCLS, it is an opportunity to provide feedback about the standards. I encourage all educators to take a moment and let your voice be counted.

Black Knight Kudos ...

Congratulations to Jed Musch and the VEX Robotics team who are being recognized by the Genesis Group's "Celebration of Education" awards program.

Congratulations to Marian Draper for her performance this weekend at the NYS Cross-Country Championships.

Congratulations to the Black Knights VEX Robotics team on their performance this weekend at Liverpool High School.

This Week at RFA...

11/16 - Second Marking Period Begins
11/16 - College Application Assistance Night, 5-7 pm, RFA Library
11/16 - Parent Advisory Committee Meeting
11/17 - Rotary Interact Club Field Trip
11/17 - Jill Pekarski Guest Speaker for Journalism and Knight Times
11/17 - Discipline and Attendance Meeting
11/18 - NYS Academic Excellence Scholarship Announcement
11/18 - MDA Lock-Up Fundraiser Event
11/18 - Smart Schools Investment Planning Team
11/18 - Board of Education Meeting
11/19 - Field Trip to 9/11 Memorial and Museum
11/19 - Sophomore Seminar, Law Enforcement & Fire Department
11/19 - SBIT Meeting
11/19 - Dr. Monger Guest Speaking from Cornell University
11/19 - Teacher Coordinators Meeting
11/20 - West Point Museum Field Trip
11/20 - PBIS Meeting
11/20 - Area All-State Music Festival
11/20 - Field Trip to Munson William Proctor Art Institute
11/20 - Shop With A Cop Fundraiser, Basketball Game @ Strough Middle
11/21 - Mathletics Competition at Westmoreland
11/21 - Area All-State Music Festival
11/22 - JROTC Basket Raffle Fundraiser
ONGOING - RFA Ceramic and Sculpture Display at Jervis Library
ONGOING - STASS Canned Food Drive
ONGOING - Sophomore Class Turkey Collection
11/24 - Open Mic Night

Worth the Read...

Take a Moment to Self Reflect and Grow...

When was the last time you allowed your students to run the lesson? Hopefully it was sometime last week or anytime other than never. Instead of doing the traditional worksheet to demonstrate knowledge or review for that test, let your students develop the review lesson and tasks associated. You may be pleasantly surprised with their knowledge and may learn something about their learning styles you didn't already know.