Common Core and Smarter Balanced

Common Core State Standards and the Smarter Balanced Assessments
Adopted by over 45 states in the U.S., the Common Core State Standards are a set of shared K-12 learning expectations for students in English-language arts and mathematics. These two new sets of content standards replace Oregon’s current standards in English language arts and mathematics. While the new standards are similar in ways to Oregon’s current standards, some content has been shifted and the level of rigor has increased to ensure college and career readiness at the end of high school.

Ashland Public Schools began phasing in the Common Core State Standards in 2011-12, providing professional development to teachers and aligning core curriculum.  Beginning in 2014-2015, students will no longer take the OAKS exam and will take the Smarter Balanced Assessment instead.

What are Common Core State Standards?
Common Core State Standards:
  • Reflect today’s college and workplace expectations.
  • Were released nationally in 2010, are evidence-based and are similar to standards for top-performing educational systems such as Finland and Singapore.
  • Reflect a clear progression of skills and knowledge in math and language arts.
  • Are more advanced and rigorous than current standards.
  • Will be consistent across school districts and states.
  • Will be phased in over the next three years, with students taking a state test on the higher-level content beginning in 2014-15.
What does this mean for my student?
Starting fall 2012, students in sixth grade and seventh grade will be expected to master mathematics content that previously was not taught until higher grades, as well as some brand-new content. Similar changes began in the eighth-grade math this year. Teachers will work with all students to master the higher expectations. Those who traditionally have skipped to higher-level math classes will now find that advanced content in their grade-level class. The option of moving t[to be added]o a high school-level math class will remain for students who need it.

When do Students take the Smarter Balanced test?
The State allows schools to test students in grades 3 – 8 beginning in March and ending in June.  High school assessments may start in April and end in June.  Your child’s school will keep you apprised of test dates by posting on this website and through newsletters or through the PowerSchool Daily Bulletin.

How can I learn more? Additional Resources for Parents
Oregon Department of Education:  Education Northwest: CCSS- What do Parents Need to Know?
Council of the Great City Schools CCSS FAQ
National PTA: Parent Guides for Student Success (K-12)
National Education Association: Five Facts for Making Sense of the Common Core
American Federation of Teachers: Debunking Myths of the Common Core

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