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Harper: Plainfield Schools to Begin Implementing New Common Core Standards

District 202 superintendent's community column.

The national election cycle has just ended. Inevitably, there is much change on the horizon for public education as the dust settles and the President and Congress look to the future. 

One of the most significant changes will be the transition next year to the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for learning.

Illinois is one of more than 45 states that have adopted and will implement the new CCSS, which are national learning expectations that align with international learning standards. The new national CCSS will replace the current state learning standards. This will be the largest education reform to happen in decades.

The CCSS emphasize developing critical thinking skills to help our students better compete and succeed in a global economy. They will improve teaching and learning because:

  • There are FEWER CCSS than the current state learning standards. Schools will be able to focus more effectively on a shorter, more meaningful set of learning objectives, and teach those objectives to greater depth.
  • The CCSS are CLEARER, so teachers can understand and explain them better in the classroom.
  • The rigor in the CCSS is HIGHER, so all students will be challenged to apply learning through problem solving activities.

Many District 202 educators have already worked to align our Math curriculum to the new CCSS. Work is ongoing to align the English Language Arts curriculum as well. New learning standards for Science and Social Studies are being developed.

Our teachers already do a wonderful job preparing students for life after high school, but the new learning standards will help us to equip students even more with strong skills to be life-long competent learners.

District 202 will implement the new CCSS math standards in Fall 2013, and the CCSS English and Language Arts standards in the Fall of 2014 at all levels.  

New standardized tests aligned to the CCSS will also begin in 2014-15. The new tests will be given several times a year to third through eleventh graders, to help teachers better gauge and adjust their instruction through the school year. 

We will continue to share information about this significant change throughout the school year. However, please visit www.psd202.org/commoncore for more information now about the new CCSS. 

This is an exciting and challenging time for everyone in education. We hope and trust that our parents and families will continue to support District 202 as we work together to prepare learners for the future.

Dr. John Harper

Superintendent of Schools

John Tips November 15, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Mr. Harper, My daughter (Plainfield North Graduate) and some of her friends (also Alumni) did not learn enough in District 202 about our Federal Government to know how many judges sit on our Supreme Court! Perhaps it is time you reviewed the graduating class’s scholastic achievements before you graduate them? I could understand if it was just one person, who could not answer correctly - but four could not answer a simple question on our judicial branch of government! The odds are challenging when four fail! With the amount of money we here in Plainfield spend on education, it appears that our kids are NOT being properly taught the basic principles of being an AMERICAN! We all need to remember that these young people are the new voters who will determine the future direction of this country! Without having ingrained in them the reasoning and how our constitution and laws were written - they cannot become the defenders of our American way of life! We parents depend on our school system to educate our children, and pay good money for your services! With dismal failures as this becoming apparent - the entire education system may require a closer inspection and perhaps an overhaul! Perhaps teacher salaries should be based upon test results rather than tenure or on contracts! Today we set blame upon the board - for not having the proper oversight and on you as the controlling overseer!
Olddeegee November 15, 2012 at 03:42 PM
If your kids didn't learn in school it's because your little snowflakes didn't listen. All basic government structure is covered in the 8th grade and is revisited several times in high-school. Do you provide a learning environment free of bias and open to all ideas at home? There's your failing. Bad parenting.
John Roberts November 15, 2012 at 04:05 PM
But you can bet they spent a month talking about black history month then did some work during black history month and reviewed for another month about black history month....I am with ya..some of the work that comes home read it a lot of it asks mor or less an opinion and I have seen kids papers marked wrong on these opinions...or they spend months on subjects like the civil war...ok it happened,understand it,the causes of it,to prevent it from happening again..but it's high time the kids start learning important stuff like a computer chip,volts,watts,current,programs,inventions,engineering,civil rights,personal liberties,judicial system...and less on the past...
John Tips November 15, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Oldeegee, Perhaps she and her three friends were a part of the students in one our Plainfield Schools which failed the minimum state requirements in 8th grade? If so our teaching problems have been greatly underestimated! Seems as we hit on your Hot-spot by bringing this to a point! Without either confirming or denying that these FOUR "snowflakes" did or did not listen in school – the lack of this basic principal of American education should have been caught at some point BEFORE their graduation! So now you've confirmed my initial observation that their method of instruction or their curriculum has failed them. The only other path left to explore would be that all FOUR girls should have been singled out and scrutinized by the Special Education Department in this school for developmental disabilities, which I doubt any of the FOUR have! Would you happen to be a teacher or other associated/employed person with district 202? BTW - thanks John, it seems that you see the light as well!
Cathy Kalnicky November 15, 2012 at 06:37 PM
As a mother of 3 students that have in or graduated from Plainfield schools I can tell you they are grossly unprepared to attend college. The interfence from the state is what should be examined; are the schools tailoring the curriculum to the standards (ie the standardized tests) or to a full rounded education? You be the judge I know how I feel.
John Roberts November 18, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Today my kid is doing his homework and here is some of the questions on his homework...he has to rhyme and make a sentence with these words..and here is some of the material that is printed up for his homework... Now tell me exactly how this is going to help in job creation,search,knowledge..to get a job... Prophet...A person who speaks words inspired by god...Example...Mohammed was a prophet of the Muslim Religion Sacrifice..The act of giving something up...Example...I sacrifice pop during Lent every year.. The home work is a worksheet for the book The Devils Aritmetic....this is also in a public school here in Joliet.... Now this helps how?...what does this train him for?..how is is even graded or put into the "have to know" knowledge...and they spent a while reading this book and studying it...nice that they spent school time teaching my kid about religion that is supposed to be up to the parents to teach...
Seer's Daddy November 19, 2012 at 01:54 AM
Teachers don't set up the curriculum John. They have to teach certain things and in a certain way. No I'm not a teacher. I agree things should change as do many teachers but it is the admin that dictates this.
Tony Laker March 09, 2013 at 05:02 PM
Common core is being resisted by several states. A Texas senator has uncovered some disturbing information about this change. See link to article from the Townhall newspaper. copy and paste in your browser. http://townhall.com/columnists/michellemalkin/2013/03/08/rotten-to-the-core-the-feds-invasive-student-tracking-database-n1528581/page/full/

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