Thursday, September 19, 2013

Iowa Core Talking Points

About the Iowa Core...A note from the AEA Communications Directors
One foundational component to a great school system is a clear set of expectations, or standards, that the education system helps all students reach. In Iowa, that effort is known as the Iowa Core. 
The Iowa Core represents our statewide academic standards, which describe what students should know and be able to do in math, science, English language arts and social studies. The Iowa Core also addresses 21st century skills in areas such as financial and technology literacy. The Iowa Core represents a set of standards that have been vetted and customized by Iowans and for Iowa.
Iowa was the last state in the nation to adopt statewide standards in 2008. State legislators led this shift away from locally determined standards, which had caused inconsistent expectations in schools across the state. Iowa educators identified and wrote the essential concepts and skills that make up the Iowa Core.
As the state worked to develop and implement the Iowa Core, a consortium of states across the nation formed to develop common standards for English language arts and math. These are called the Common Core State Standards. The Common Core State Standards build on the best academic standards states have developed and the academic standards of top-performing school systems around the globe. The Common Core grew out of a desire to make sure teachers and parents share high academic expectations for children so they can succeed. Most states have voluntarily adopted the Common Core.
In Iowa, the State Board of Education in 2010 voted to blend the Iowa Core with the Common Core State Standards. This was an easy decision since the Iowa Core was already similar to the Common Core but embodied some higher academic standards. The goal of the Iowa Core is to make sure Iowa students meet high state academic standards so they’re ready for college or career training after high school. We owe it to our students to give them a world-class education.
The Iowa Core is not perfect. We want to continually improve the standards and look to Iowa education stakeholders to help us make the Iowa Core the right fit for Iowa.
State-led Effort, Local Decisions
·      The Common Core State Standards were developed by a coalition of states, not by the federal government.  The bipartisan effort led by state education chiefs and governors grew out of concern that many high school graduates were unprepared for the demands of college and career training in a globally competitive economy.
·      The standards set rigorous expectations, but leave decisions about teaching and lessons to schools and teachers. The standards do not define the curriculum educators teach.
Internationally Benchmarked
·      The Common Core State Standards incorporate the best of state standards in the United States and are internationally benchmarked to the world’s top-performing nations.
Real-World Ready
·      The Common Core State Standards emphasize complex, real-world skills rather than basic skills. This is critical in a knowledge-driven economy that demands problem-solving, creativity, and critical thinking both in careers and in personal decisions.
Clear and Consistent
·      The standards serve as a roadmap of academic expectations that provide students, parents, and teachers with a clear, common understanding of what should be learned at every grade level. This allows them to work together toward shared goals.

Key Features

English/Language Arts
·      Build knowledge through content-rich nonfiction and informational texts plus literature.
·      Reading and writing grounded in evidence from the text.
·      Regular practice with complex text and its academic vocabulary.

English Language Arts – Reading: Literature – Grade 8
-       Craft and Structure
·      Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.
·      Compare and contrast the structure of two or more texts and analyze how the differing structure of each text contributes to its meaning and style.
·      Analyze how differences in the points of view of the characters and the audience or reader (e.g., created through the use of dramatic irony) create such effects as suspense or humor.
·      Focus: 2-3 topics focused on deeply in each grade.
·      Coherence: Concepts logically connected from one grade to the next and linked to other major topics within the grade.
·      Rigor: Application of knowledge to real-world situations, and deep understanding of mathematical concepts.

Mathematics – Grade 3 – Measurement & Data
-       Solve Problems Involving Measurement and Estimation of Intervals of Time, Liquid Volumes, and Masses of Objects.
·      Tell and write time to the nearest minute and measure time intervals in minutes. Solve word problems involving addition and subtraction of time intervals in minutes, e.g., by representing the problem on a number line diagram.
·      Measure and estimate liquid volumes and masses of objects using standard units of grams (g), kilograms (kg), and liters (I).[1]  Add, subtract, multiply, or divide to solve one-step word problems involving masses or volumes that are given in the same units, e.g., by using drawings (such as a beaker with a measurement scale) to represent the problem.[2]


[1] Excludes compound units such as cm3 and finding the geometric volume of a container.
[2] Excludes multiplicative comparison problems (problems involving notions of “times as much,” see Glossary, Table 2).

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