Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Heather's Corner: Arizona Board of Education Seeking Public Input for Academic Standards Review

Every five to six years the Arizona Board of Education reviews the current Academic Standards in our schools.

The state sets academic standards
There is no federal law requiring specific academic standards. Standards are solely the authority of the State Board to approve, and modify when necessary. Examples of standards are a student's ability to "multiply or divide to solve word problems, analyze how complex characters develop over the course of a text, Count within 1000; skip-count by 5s, 10s, and 100s."

Standards differ from curriculum in that standards are what students are expected to learn from kindergarten through 12th grade or minimum competency requirements. Standards are taught by way of curriculum used, as in educational material, types of math problems, and books. Curriculum, of which neither the Board nor the Arizona Department of Education can mandate, is adopted under local governing boards (district and charter) and through public input.

What does "common core" mean to you
Currently the Arizona Board of Education is in a process of reviewing state Standards. This is a time when they actively seek public input, both positive and/ or negative, and use this input to implement changes if necessary. There have been polarizing debates on whether our standards are politically motivated. Some agree they should be the tried and true methods of research based approaches. Others feel the "Common Core Standards" are "internationally benchmarked" placing them more comparable to standards in other countries. Both have pros and cons.

Make your voice heard before October 22
Please visit the Arizona Board of Education's website and view the current standards. There is a comment section where you are allowed to voice comments. Your comments can be more general based or more specific as to your support or opposition of a math or English language art standard.

We encourage all to become involved in this process. Public input is only open until October 22nd and your recommendations will be heard.

Please take the time to voice what you think is appropriate for our youngest citizens.
Heather Nenadovich has lived in Oro Valley for 6 years. She has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Arizona. She loves gardening, nature, art, and travel. Currently her two young children fill up most of her days (and nights) with chaotic bliss. Oro Valley favorites: memorial bench at the entrance of Romero Canyon Trail in Catalina State Park, Toscana Studio and Gallery, OV Fall Festival, the gumption and determination of OV residents!

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