Our students in Berkeley are in the middle of taking the new online SBA tests. It is a field test year, and no results will be tied with individual students. But I can assure you that you’ll be hearing lots about the Common Core in the coming months as the statewide results come in. So, what’s my attitude? I believe that there are positive aspects to the Common Core and concerning aspects. I’m both a glass half-full and glass half-empty type of person.
Please try to separate what you hear about the assessment from the curriculum. In my opinion, many of the standards are based on solid, important teaching goals. That’s my focus today -- to help you see how our library work can support those teaching goals. As librarians, we pour in more water, improving students’ skills by providing access to engaging, relevant material.
What do librarians have to do with all this anyway? The Common Core asks students to read more nonfiction, to use more primary sources, to consider author’s perspectives and opinions, and to read more. Can teachers provide all this material for students? I don’t think so. Can families? No -- no one can do it on their own. Librarians can provide essential support to students, teachers and families in their communities.
Below is a presentation I gave this week to the California Library Association. I've tried to encapsulate my views on key ways librarians can support students, teachers and families. We are all in this together.
Common Core State Standards: a presentation for the California Library Association from Mary Ann Scheuer
If you'd like further information, I recommend exploring these sources:
- California Department of Education
- EngageNY - especially their video library and parent resources
- ALSC Common Core Resources
- SLJ webinar archives
- Blog features like Common Core IRL
If you have any questions, I'd love to hear from you. We are all on a learning journey together. Many thanks to all of my colleagues at Berkeley Unified School District. I have learned so much from all of you. The views expressed here are mine alone, and do not represent my employer.
©2014 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books