Core Talk: Opinions Aired in Indiana

The Core Talk team got to tap-in to some of the standards hubbub radiating out of Indiana this week!  Indiana standards enthusiasts may recall recent legislation advancing through the state legislature that would void the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).  As a potential replacement for the CCSS, the Indiana Department of Education (INDOE) and its partners drafted the Indiana Content Standards for College and Career Readiness—state-specific K-12 standards for Math and ELA.  If adopted, these standards would replace CCSS next fall in Indiana. With that background in mind, our team listened-in on the live webcast of Indiana’s Academic Standards Review Public Hearing on Monday, February 24.  The window into the dialogue regarding CCSS retraction in Indiana was illuminating to say the least:

Superintended Glenda Ritz began the session by saying, “The purpose of the public hearing is for the State Board of Education to hear testimony on draft standards, I want to emphasize the word ‘draft’, as it is a process and this is part of the process for having final standards.”  As parents, educators, and community-members voiced their opinions on the draft standards, we observed that two “camps” seemed to emerge: those in support of the Indiana draft and those who want to retain the CCSS.  In either camp, emotions swirled through the debate.

Those in support of the Indiana standards generally expressed that:

  • The draft IN state standards should not only replace the CCSS but avoid any verbatim repetition of CCSS content
  • Ample resources/money spent on CCSS implementation did not yet yield measurable change in achievement
  • Education should be grassroots and address the needs of local communities (while CCSS has a “national” bent)
  • CCSS is not rigorous enough and limits educators’ freedom and discretion
  • Widespread use of the CCSS created a blind devotion to pro-standards education
  • The CCSS does not take different learning styles into account

The pro-Common Core camp countered:

  • US  mobile society necessitates consistency from state to state
  • “Straying” from the Common Core will isolate Indiana schools from education trends and resources
  • Indiana students might not be on the same page with other students across the country.
  • Vertical-alignment in the CCSS facilitates smooth transitions between grade levels.

While this forum certainly echoed many of the prominent CCSS critiques and endorsements, this was one of the first debates we’ve heard that included a viable alternative to the CCSS in the mix—quite fascinating indeed!  For those Indianans who want to participate in the development of state standards, there is still time. The Indiana DOE will accept comments online until 11:00 pm EDT on Wednesday, March 12. April 9th, 2014 is the anticipated deadline for adopting or rejecting the proposed IN Content Standards for College and Career Readiness.  Meanwhile, the INDOE also has online surveys, roundtable discussions and more hearings on the docket to measure support for abandoning CCSS implementation. Our team will keep our fingers on that pulse as news develops, and until next time…

…stay classy, Standards Enthusiasts!


Core Talk: All aglow for AL’s English and Math Standards Updates

Happy Valentine’s Day, Standards Enthusiasts!  Core Talk positively loves that we get to report-out to you on the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) freshly-revised Course of Study Mathematics and English Language Arts. For Course of Study Mathematics, ALSDE added further standards and benchmarks to the following courses:


  • Algebra I
  • Algebra II
  • Algebra II with Trigonometry
  • Geometry
  • Pre-Calculus


Course of Study English Language Arts contains additional benchmarks as well; however, descriptive information also now accompanies existing benchmarks for further clarification on the grade 6-12 standards.

In words of ALSDE, “we encourage each system to use this document to develop local Curriculum guides that determine how students will achieve these standards and perhaps go beyond them.”

We hope you’re as head over heels for these updates as we are!  Until the next time…

…stay classy, Standards Enthusiasts!

Core Talk: Kansas’s 2013 Early Learning Standards!

The Core Talk team is excited to report that the Kansas State Department of Education published their freshly-finalized Early Learning Standards (ELS). This final revision is now available in your Atlas system.

According to the Early Learning Standards revision document, “the format and the language describing the standards matches that of the K-12 College and Career Ready Standards, resulting in a new look.”

The standards (or indicators) consist of six grade levels with eight strands or “domains” (the document uses both the term “strand” and “domain” somewhat interchangeably). [Read more...]

Core Talk: Massachusetts Localizes NGSS!

The Core Talk team is excited to report that Massachusetts has recently published their own draft of the Next Generation Science Standards – Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering standards (MA STE). The Massachusetts Department of Education edited the NGSS into science subject-specific frameworks (as opposed to the original NGSS Topical arrangement or Disciplinary Core Idea arrangement).  The MA STE arranges the standards into grade levels then further into subjects. [Read more...]

Core Talk: NGSS, From Understanding to Implementation

The Core Talk team is proud to share our latest work of art, a visual representation of the WHAT and HOW of the Next Generation Science Standards! This infographic will help you to understand the key shifts, get familiar with the three dimensions, comprehend key vocabulary, and align  to the NGSS!

NGSS-Button-to-Download [Read more...]

Core Talk: In Florida…CCSS, Calculus, and Cursive, oh my!

As news, whisperings, and strong opinions swirl out of Florida, the Core Talk team has put together some basic facts about the whirlwind of CCSS updates for the Sunshine State!
Firstly, we can confirm that there are proposed changes to the CCSS in Florida, details include:

  • 98 overall changes (For a complete list of these changes, check out this resource!)
  • Adding cursive writing standards
  • Adding Calculus to the high school math standards [Read more...]

Core Talk: Reworked CCSS out of Arkansas

The team at Core Talk is excited to report on another new “take” on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)—this time, the update comes out of Arkansas! The team at the Arkansas Department of Education (AR DOE) restructured the CCSS high school standards into course-specific frameworks. For example, the English Language Arts Frameworks contain such framework subjects as:

Core Talk: Where are the Behavioral Sciences in the C3?

NCSS compilation
Our NCSS 2013 Core Talk conference team discovered the answer to this controversial question that has orbited the C3 framework discussion since (at least) the NCSS 2012 Conference in Seattle.  The primary content of the C3 addresses economics, history, geography, and civics, which left many K-12 social studies stakeholders concerned by the behavioral sciences’ conspicuous absence (especially when the College Board offers exams and coursework for AP Psych and Soc, for example). So, where in the C3 are the behavioral and social sciences? …in the C3 appendices! [Read more...]

Core Talk: C3 Framework Lowdown at the NCSS Conference!

image (1)

(Panel on the C3 Framework at the NCSS Conference)

Since NCSS released the College, Career & Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies in September, Social Studies teachers in schools and curriculum creators, have buzzed around the new frameworks and what it means for the classroom. After only a day at the 2013 NCSS conference, the Core Talk team has discovered plenty of new information on the C3 Frameworks that we just can’t wait to share! [Read more...]

Core Talk: New CCSS-Aligned National PE Standards from NASPE

The National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) released the latest updates to its National Standards for Physical Education.  NASPE is the non-profit arm of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD).  Schools, districts, departments, and teachers who are AAHPERD members often align to NASPE PE Standards, and many states have adopted similar or corresponding PE standards to NASPE as components of their state curricula (Minnesota and Kansas, for example). [Read more...]

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