A few years ago, a school district in Colorado did away with grade levels – instead of being a kindergartner, a third grader, or a sixth grader, students began to be defined by how much they knew.
Starting in the 2009-2010 school year, Adams County School District 50, a 21-school district serving 10,000 students in the Westminster area that had struggled academically, began implementing a system they called competency-based education. Students, regardless of their age or grade level, are now tested into levels in areas like math and literacy, and then learn at their own pace.
Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 9:52 am
Two new polls this week attempt to quantify the public's feelings for the Common Core State Standards. The K-12 benchmarks in English and math were little known this time last year. But they've since become the subject of a high-profile political fight. Now a majority of the public opposes them.
Or do they?
Poll No. 1, out today, puts support for the Core at just 33 percent. But Poll No. 2, released yesterday, puts it at 53 percent. That's a big difference.
Which one is wrong? Or can they both, somehow, be right?
Right now, America's schools are in a sprint. Forty-four states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Common Core State Standards. That means new learning benchmarks for the vast majority of the nation's young students — millions of kids from kindergarten through high school. And, for many of them, the Core Standards will feel tougher than what they're used to. Because they are tougher.
Mike Neal gets annoyed when he talks about politicians in his state. Just three years ago, when the Common Core State Standards for education were implemented, no one had a problem with them, says Neal, president of the Tulsa, Okla., Regional Chamber of Commerce.
"It's been a really frustrating situation to the business community in Oklahoma in that we've all been on the same page, from the governor, the House, the Senate, school board members," Neal says. "They've all been behind this."