The upcoming school years will bring more rigorous challenges to Washington, DC students in grades K-12. School districts nationwide have been tasked to adopt the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in an effort to provide educators with specific, yet flexible, guidelines as to what a student should know instructionally before, during and after their current grade level. Like most curricula out there, CCSS ensures that educators have the necessary skills to make students’ college, career, and life ready. Another benefit of adopting CCSS is that states will be able to compare and discriminate students’ achievements to those of students around the country.
According to DCPS’s official website, there are specific purposes for adopting this type of curriculum: 1) DC students need to graduate from high school ready to be successful in college, careers and life. Yet, only 9 percent of 9th grade students in DC graduated from college within five years of finishing high school. Moreover, if you’re a DC student who just makes proficiency on the DC CAS, That level of proficiency translates to only a 16th percentile score on the SAT, 2) Given DCPS’s transient population, their current standards create challenges. When you inherit a 6th grade student from Maryland or Virginia, there are inevitably some standards that students already have mastered and others that will fall into a gap. 3) The current system of standards is comparing apples to oranges. Students in different states receive completely different educations, and this makes it difficult to discuss student performance across states.
There are specific guidelines as to how this new curriculum will be assessed, time expectations to be fully converted over, professional development for educators, and other qualitative and quantitative data, as it becomes available. For more information on this matter visit DCPS CCSS to learn more.