Why have the core standards changed?
As a result of Business and Industry asking for more critical thinkers, Arizona teachers, education leaders and experts, along with similar participants from 46 other states, joined together to create a set of K-12 learning expectations or standards to help prepare our children for post-secondary education and the 21st century workplace. There is no federal law requiring the Arizona College and Career Ready Standards (AZCCRS) and they are not curriculum. Arizona adopted the AZCCRS on June 28, 2010.
What do these changes mean for the average classroom?
When presented with a situation or task, students must use the knowledge and skills they have learned to communicate and justify solutions. In all content areas, students will be collaborating with other students, critiquing the reasoning of others, and providing evidence for solutions.
What are schools doing to support and train teachers on these standards?
Great school districts value and plan for continuous professional development classes for their teaching staff. Professional development in Kyrene now mirrors the methods used in AZCCRS teaching. Teachers are learning by collaborating with one another across content areas, critiquing each other’s reasoning and providing evidence for their agreed upon solutions. These type of training opportunities are offered to insure ensure high quality instruction in our classrooms.
How long has Kyrene been implementing new curriculum to cover the state standards?
The standards were adopted in 2010. Kyrene is in full implementation of the AZCCRS at this time. However, due to the state’s budget, we have not received funding for textbook purchases in several years. By analyzing our current resources, we have identified gaps and are supplementing instruction using low or no cost online resources.
What should parents understand about the changes?
Kyrene is fortunate to have a very involved parent community. Parents are seeing and will come to understand that student learning is different from when we grew up. Students now have the opportunity to learn the why’s behind the math so they can apply math concepts in college and the workforce. In English Language Arts, students are expected to cite evidence for arguments or inferences, applying these skills in all content areas. Students are learning to justify their answers, using 21st century skills and evidence from text. What we think of as text has changed as well. Text can be hard copy books, magazines, newspapers, online resources, and videos. Business and industry leaders in our rapidly evolving world have asked us to prepare students to be more critical thinkers and we are adapting to better prepare our children for post-secondary education and the 21st century workplace. Kyrene began this shift in student learning several years ago and will continue to provide parent communication and information.