WEST LONG BRANCH: Local school districts will soon have tougher standards for students with the adoption of the National Common Core State Standards (CCSS) by the state of New Jersey and 45 others.
A letter to parents by Oceanport School District, West Long Branch School District and Shore Regional High School Superintendent Thomas Farrell explained the change in standards.
“The objective of the ‘standards’ movement in American public education is to hold all schools, teachers and students to high standards for teaching and learning,” Farrell said. “These standards come from a national set of expectations for English language arts and mathematics.”
Proponents of CCSS and the assessment that tests them, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) believes they will help close the achievement gap in lower socio-economic and special education students and the international achievement gap between the United States and other countries, according to Farrell.
“Up until now, each state had their own set of standards and assessments,” he said. “This has made it exceedingly difficult to accurately compare one state’s results with another state’s results. This will no longer be the case with the CCSS and the PARCC achievements”
He said younger students will have to learn at higher levels than before under the CCSS.
“Pre-kindergarten will be more important and skills students used to learn in fourth grade would now need to be taught in second grade,” he said.
Farrell said he understands that the transition to CCSS will be difficult for students and teachers and that the results will not change overnight.
CCSS and the PARCC testing will begin in 2015, according to the Department of Education, and all schools will be educated on the necessary changes that need to be made to begin their implementation.
Farrell has invited parents to come to the Common Core Community Academy at Shore Regional High School on April 22 and 30 from 6:30-7:30 p.m.