Common Core curriculum begins this school year
Published 9:14 am Friday, July 27, 2012
Special to The Post-Searchlight
Educators across Georgia will begin teaching the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS) in mathematics, English language arts, as well as literacy in science, social studies, and technical subjects, when they return to school this year, according to a press release from the Georgia Department of Education.
The CCGPS are part of the Common Core State Standards, a state-led initiative developed two years ago in conjunction with the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). The goal is to establish a uniform set of expectations for what students will learn no matter where they attend school and to ensure that students are ready for college and careers after high school graduation.
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“These standards will better prepare our students for success beyond high school and allow us to see how we measure up against other states,” said State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge. “Also, because we are such a transient society, these standards can help ensure some level of consistency in what is taught from state to state.”
The standards have been adopted by 46 states, the U.S. Department of Defense’s education programs and three U.S. territories. Georgia formally adopted the standards in July 2010.
In Georgia, educators have been training on the new standards since March 2011. The GaDOE has offered numerous resources, both online and in person, throughout the state.
School administrators from across the state will gather at the Centreplex in Macon on July 31 for a summit on Common Core. Speakers at the summit will include Bill McCallum, head of the University of Arizona’s mathematics department and a lead author on the math standards. It also will include Cheryl Dunkle, president of the Colorado Association of Elementary School Principals.
For Georgia teachers and students, the move to CCGPS won’t create drastic changes because the state’s curriculum already closely matched the standards outlined in the Common Core.
Below are some examples of changes students will see under Common Core:
• Third-graders will learn how to multiply and divide large numbers. They also will learn the function of adverbs, which was previously taught in fourth and fifth grade.
• Fourth-graders will tackle adding and subtracting fractions, which was not taught until fifth-grade under the former curriculum.
• Eighth-graders will be taught the Pythagorean Theorem, rather than learning the concept in ninth-grade.
• Under Georgia Performance Standards, students were taught pronoun-antecedent agreement in seventh-grade. Common Core will teach that grammar rule in third-grade.