NC Academic Standards Review Commission- Meeting Minutes 21 Sept 2015

ASRC meeting minutes.   Sept 21, 2015

All pre meeting handouts:

Ann Clark, Jeannie Metcalf, Denise Watts, Jeff Isenhour, are on conference call

Dr. Ted Scheik, Bill Cobey, Jo Herrera (staff), Tammy Covil, Andre Peek, Dr. Olivia Oxendine are present

Dr. Laurie McCollum and Katie Lemons are absent.

Andre Peek: Continuing to get input from key stakeholders, emails and other correspondence from across the state, they receive and appreciate all input and will consider the input as they come to set of recommendations for the State Board and General Assembly.

Approve minutes of the last meeting, Ann made motion to approve Jeannie Metcalf 2nd, passed.

Old business: Jo: Update on timeline activities, this is last time we have guest presenters scheduled. October focus will be on focus group meetings with teachers in various parts of the state. Handout on the schedule and locations on the ASRC site (

Dr. Oxendine:   Talks about regional meetings for teachers in region 4. Three scheduled meetings in October.   October 6th, at UNC Pembroke, maybe 40 to 50 teachers expected to attend. On the 8th, Richmond County, same number expected, will be held at Richmond County Central office. October 15, at Moore County central office. Her question is, while she can speak to the English Language Arts questions, she is asking for someone from the math team to go to answer the questions and address recommendations. She feels like in fairness to the teachers they need to have someone speaking that can talk about Math. Looking to assign other commissioners. Will have skype capabilities. Andre will attend at least one of the meetings in person, Ted has back problems, doesn’t know about skype, Tammy askes about someone from the work group, stated that several of his team is working, and will have to ask and see.

Andre: Offers to drive Ted, Ted has problems sitting, not just driving.

Tammy, wants some representation at least at one of the meetings.

Olivia wants someone at each of the meetings.

Shares that the teachers will be assigned to small groups, and will have questions based on the draft findings that were reported last month.

Ted:   Doesn’t want to go a meeting to listen to a person brag about attributes of CC, if they want to ask intelligent questions ok, but he doesn’t want to hear… we completely support CC and finds himself sitting there with lots of criticism and biased comments.

Cobey: Tells Olivia to thank Dr.Simeon, for organizing the teacher interactions in the Central Region.

Cobey: Wants to know about hiring someone to write the reports for the final recommendations.

Andre: thinks Jo can do the report writing just fine.

Olivia Oxendine: Shares a draft outline of a report to use as a framework to get in the ballpark of how the final report should look. Asked Jo to begin to look at the framework, and is confident in her writing abilities also wants to have someone record the focus group meetings so everyone can see and post the report for the public. Jo is working with each contact person in Sandhills district

Andre: Point raised from time to time, point is we (commissioners) are not looking for reiterations, re hash of past Common Core discussions, we are looking on how to improve the standards as our feedback. It is incumbent on commissioners to set the tone and expectations of the meetings, intending to get reactions to what is working and what is not, look at the draft report as only a draft, and question attendees, does this represent an improvement to the process and standards versus what they currently have?

Andre: Illuminating event from Raleigh Charter School, read a report that they took an unpacking document for the standards, and developed a curriculum.

Ted: Shared that it was a 2013 curriculum used by Raleigh Charter, and is what they based their opinion on, the standards are consistent, the unpacking documents are not and were not part of the standards.

Olivia: The state requires a review of standards, the revision process began last year, part of the state’s law that this happens every 5 years.

Tammy: Are the unpacking documents from the spring of this year, the documents were revised, so the clarification is ongoing with the unpacking documents, changes will continue to happen, but they are based on the standards themselves.

Andre: Point he wants to make is there is good information coming out of the focus sessions, it was the implementation of the standards, and different districts are interpreting the standards differently.

Ted: What are we going to do in the classroom, because it is not clear in the classroom. Teachers   have to rely on local education authority for guidance on expectations. He has 2 people in his work group that are from In Wake County and they got advice on what to do.   There were not resources.

Cobey: Has the county provided unpacking documents?

DPI representative, Dr. Curtis: Notes and unpacking documents have been given to the field. Math standards with clarifications for spiraling through integrated Math. These tell teacher where to start and stop in each course on standards, may have something that will go through all 3 classes. Purpose of unpacking document is to be sure everyone is on the same page for testing and accountability.

DPI, Dr. Curtis: With conceptual understanding, the way we learned math, you learn an algorithm, the teacher showed how to do it, many of us can’t remember that approach, so when we adopted CC at elementary level, and learned different ways to approach a problem, so if you can’t remember an algorithm, you may be able to reach back and remember a strategy to get this problem solved. Says it was a digitized approach. (Whatever that means!)

Ted: We need people to know standard stuff, standard rules, and logic, doesn’t care how they get there, fine with multiple approaches, but in K – 8 emphasis on math models is a mistake, thinks if you take an average student having a hard time with place value (borrowing) and try to tech 3 or 4 other novel methods, that are overelaborated, kids will zone out.

Andre: Key point we need to keep in mind is standards must be developmentally appropriate, what they are capable of. Feels like there is a lot of confusion on teaching methods versus the standards. If you are accountable to the standard, how you get there should be decided at the school and district level. Integrated math, he believes is a method, not a standard.

Olivia: to Dr. Curtis: we are still going to be plagued with math issues, we have to continue getting math right, she read in research that if a kid has a few years of problems in math, they become fearful of math, her question is on the end of year test, are kids tested on being able to do the problem several different ways, a way to discern technique?

DPI: In the past, taught only algorithms and problems, easier than multiple approaches, however there is research that says multiple strategies is more advantageous. Want the methods of teaching to address different ways kids learn.

Tammy: In previous standards was this method of multiple strategies discouraged?

Point of introducing critical thinking strategies too young, confusing students and creating more problems than we are attempting to solve, thinks it is dangerous to play with as time progresses, and we are losing students through this process.   Child development specialist last month said we are shortchanging students.

Andre: Good teacher feedback from teacher stakeholders surveys, interested in hearing from the teachers on how they look at the statements they make, and how they simplify the standards. Good discussions to have. Up to the Commissioners to take the feedback and use it in the direction they are taking.

Action: Get a math member into the sessions that they will be having in Olivia’s group.

Ann: at a minimum, Ted could do a video, have it available at the sessions if his team cannot be there. At least he could have an overview with greater depth. One solution.

Ted: Point, are teaching methods a valid part of the standards? Going into the unpacking, what topics are we going to study, what skills, and when will the kids meet those skills. MN and VA let the teachers dictate that pace, ditch CC and get the teaching methods of CC out, and get back to basics of the standards.

Andre:  Kathy Young may be able to help in Math presentations.

Has a list of questions to add to focus group questions: 1. how are you using the unpacking documents, are you using these and calling them the standards? If the documents shows 5 different ways to do question, do the teachers have to teach all 5? 2. How are you managing sequencing between grade levels and school calendars (traditional vs nontraditional calendar) 3. What are the key issues that you hear from the parents? Impact on family, what they see as an issue, standards vs, rollout vs curriculum. 4. Considering that several steps may be needed to improve the NC standards, what is the most significant step we can take now, our reports don’t prioritize recommendations on what to do on day one. Interested to know what they would advise as far as approach, where would we start? 5. Current resource constraints aside, would like to hear about constraints on implementation of recommendations, positive or negative.

Olivia: Suggests review of questions, be sure to use appropriate wording, for instance, his list of questions, question 3 asks which standards seem to be lacking in clarity, and how, wants that word changed to why? (From the list of questions that Jo passed out)

Jo wants the list of questions to be distributed before the meeting so teachers can think about them, maybe send in some written correspondence ahead of time.

Will direct the conversation into some of what we want to hear for improvements.

Ted: Wants to add to question list: Do the standards specify the teaching method?

Olivia: Preliminary draft reports need to go out to the teachers prior to the meetings. Jo will link the reports to Dr Simeon. Sandhills teacher have requested them, and have not been able to get online.

Andre: Back to the timeline, no speakers currently scheduled on timeline, does not preclude any of the commissioners from adding a speaker if there is someone they want to hear from. Timeline is to set a target for when we give teacher input to the commissioners, collect and digest that information, so they all have a common view on what occurred, should occur shortly after the last meeting, Oct 15, no more than 5 days, definitely before the Nov meeting. Catalog the various recommendations and prepare those for commissioners input, recognize that Laurie put together a survey doc on google docs for them to use where she itemized recommendations and asked for input from the other commissioners. He would like to put together a similar document for both math and English Language Arts so each commissioner can be prepared to take a position on each recommendation made up to this point. They have collected and understood recommendations, but they will all need to be prepared to take a position and come to consensus.

Olivia: Suggests in regards to a google doc, pull each preliminary report, pull out the recommendations and begin to think about them, the ELA report is very detailed, so just focus on recommendations.

Andre wants this to be as detailed and actionable as possible.

Tammy: This has to lay out the issues that were determined during the review board, will become the framework of the final reports.

Olivia: When report goes to state boards there will be significant questions around the methodology and report needs to be clear on that methodology.

Andre: Timeline to teacher groups and to establish a point of view on budget impacts, by implementing this plan, we save dollars or we will need to invest additional dollars, so the General Assembly and State Board know that recommendations implemented will have these budget impacts. Feels like if impact is not addressed, we may be told this is great input, but we can’t afford it.

Say in math, we recommend that we adopt MN standards, as a way to simplify the standards, ok, what does it take to do that?

Ted: Stotsky said to take another states standards and tweak to NC needs would probably cost a few million dollars.

Andre: What does it cost to modify standards?

Tammy: Talked about we (commissioners) were not qualified to write standards, she says she is not qualified to say what something will cost, Feels that the emphasis on technology, digital learning is costly.

Olivia: Suggests instead of budget analysis, it is wise to lay out in their recommendations on what they have decided would make strong standards for NC and, will have the data that we can say this is what makes a good set of standards.

Andre: Agrees they won’t do the budgetary impact

Turn over to Tammy to introduce the speakers. Have their bios from the ASRC site (

Carrie Tulbert:

Collaborated on this presentation, Common Core standards, a Principal’s Perspective

Slides: talked to their colleges. Overall Positives Logic is sound, huge transition, appreciate purpose of CC and feels like it does prepare kids for College and career

Collaboration: likes teachers working together, depending on each other instead of alone. Conceptual thinking is better for the students and right for the students, and levels the playing field from drill and kill. Learning together, will make kids globally competitive. Is harder to teach and harder to do, but is worth it. Feels it works beautifully the way it is written. Is a more student centered process.

Dale: Think about how to separate what you are looking for, board or teachers or parents, students, local employers, different groups want different things, how do we mesh all those to make it work and satisfy everyone. Take politics out if it, what is best for the kids, what is good for the state and the country, is what the schools are in place to do. Glad that more people are getting involved in writing standards. In his 19 years, has seen the transient population is growing, jobs changing, careers changing, at Havelock, in military population, kids around the world, when kids move, helps to have consistent standards. Student centered approach, likes that move.

Dale: Overall concerns:   Time spent on testing, every minute spent on testing is a minute less of instructional time. No getting around this, want to be sure accountability is in place, but not more than we need. Kids take different amounts of time in learning, need time. Concern over evaluation of teachers based on test scores can create positive and negative interest, standards and assessments must be closely aligned, important to roll out together, can’t separate them. Concern about local influence for curriculum, is there money to access (test) the standards, conceptual development and assessments in place. Focus on learning how to learn instead of content specific. Walk around knowledge, when you talk to the student, they want to know why they can’t use their phone to look up the information they need instead of memorizing it. The employers are saying the same thing, the Chamber of Commerce too, especially for kids not going to 4 yr. College.

Tammy: reiterates what she is hearing, overall positive, they feel logic is sound, collaboration of teachers, all positive, yet you anticipate that the student will take off from the standards, why would accountability be a concern if you anticipate improvement from the students,

Dale, it takes time, how much time, gaps in student knowledge, tests that align, gaps in knowledge, kids won’t do as well on the tests at first, time to fill in knowledge gap. Issue, teachers feel like even though the results are honest, the scores are being used to attack them because people expect improvement over night.

Tammy: NC adopted this program, they are looking for results, but keeps hearing CC is great, but can’t quantify improvement, is a concern for her.

Ted: Positives listed, but didn’t see anything that was specific to the CC standards, this review can be done under any standards, and except for desirability of universal standards, and you haven’t said anything specific about standards. Same standards in 2 districts, have 2 different tests, so the kid’s knowledge was different.

Carrie: Standards are solid as far as principal, implementation has been the hard part, speaking on part of colleagues.

Bullet point on logic (Dale) saying that it is logical to think kids should have the same standards as kids in different states and schools.

Ted: Says there will be “No excellence in the USA if everything is uniform”, look at MN used to be excellent in Math, NAEP MN comes out better, if you make everyone do the same thing, scores will come down, doesn’t see how uniform standards makes our education better, helps those that move,

Carrie: High expectations of standards are due to all kids.

Olivia:   We hear a lot about misalignment of standards and tests.

Dale: High School level, every 11th grader takes the ACT, stand to reason that they would learn what the ACT measures, to see how many of the kids are college ready. Not all students want to go to college. Some want to go straight into careers. Work Keys graduates, ready for the job. Stands to reason to get accurate data they should measure data against what the kid wants to do vs what we want them to do.

Olivia: what should be said about test standards and alignment?

Dale, difficult to get accurate assessment from multiple choice questions. (COMMENT: If CC does what it promises, kids should be able to do well on any test given to them).

Jeff: The assessments they get doesn’t give enough information, from DPI, what the large areas of goals are. Don’t know where the weakness are.

Carrie: reading is 3 goals, cc has more than 3 goals. Is a DPI issue.

Andre: seems to me that the challenge you mentioned (Work Keys, ACT, end of course, etc.) as this relates to standards, rigorous enough to provide kids the knowledge to pursue whatever they wish to pursue, college, but it is troubling that it sounds like we are frustrated with the ability to align the standard to a specific path or direction. If student applies himself to a test ACT to do well, because of what their choice is, but another kid that doesn’t want to go to college so doesn’t care, will not test well.

Tammy: Careful, some students ask why we have to know this if I can google it, she says the ability to find the resources needed is important, what if the technology is not available. How much of this approach is pushed by business interests and how much is academic application, or theory. Regardless of direction they (kids) are heading, allot of business has influence that doesn’t have the academic expertise of the leaders in academics.

Olivia: heart of relationship between standards and curriculum, how work curricula is worked around them.

Carrie: how do we teach this skill, not necessarily through a textbook, teachers use whatever they can get their hands on. (COMMENT: Who is vetting these resources for appropriateness? Who is accountable when no one is vetting curriculum?)

Olivia: problem, teachers get resources the best way they can, some teachers don’t know how, or have no resources, this creates inequality across the board, if resources are not as rich or available, or teacher doesn’t have the initiative to gather the resources themselves. How do the Principals be sure the teachers are doing this job?

Carrie: District resources are different, in an F school, the resources she has, is embarrassing, and then she is tasked with what is she going to do for the teachers, everything costs money, they don’t have the money, and digital online resources are available. Have to trust the teachers as professionals that they know what is appropriate.

Dale: rural district, 5 math teachers. Have to collaborate across all the schools to find resources. Having common standards lets teachers collaborate across state and country. Digital resources, online help.

Andre: Math specifics around current standards.

Carrie: differences in conceptual thinking, we assume Kindergarten students have prior knowledge and they don’t. This has changed more recently than in the past. Colleagues share that this causes frustration in parents and the teachers missing out on prior knowledge, but conceptual thinking is a good thing, they need the time to get this knowledge. Elementary kids not all ready for conceptual thinking.

Andre: How do you deal with this, fail them, what?

Carrie:   Is a difficult issue, do you want a 15 year old in a third grade class?

Dale: In a perfect world, we should let kids move along at the speed they can, as fast as they can. You would list what a kid should know at the end of their education, feels like it would be beneficial to know and pass kids when they know, they advance, specifically state skills all the way through a degree in engineering, (or whatever) as they showed mastery of skills, check them off, don’t slow them down, keep them going. (COMMENT: Interesting to me that he is acknowledging that every child is different, learns in a different way, at a different pace, and at the same time professes to support the SAME SET OF STANDARDS, and EXPECTATIONS for ALL the kids? Seems to be contradictory to me!)

Andre: What keeps you from doing that now? (Comment, CC will not allow this, kids all follow a pacing guide)

Dale: Accountability

Dale: Students have to want to learn, some choose not to, so an evaluation piece is not fair to the teacher.

Carrie: Doesn’t like the accountability system, doesn’t like multiple choice questions.

They want specifics to be measured, ELA has and likes some flexibility in what is taught. Math likes it more regulated, black and white.

Dale: His teachers like our specific ELA standards, feel they are flexible enough that they let us teach concepts, and they were happy with their assessments. Math was a different answer. Best students take math 1 in middle school. Math I exam is very difficult……….required up to 4 concepts to solve a single problem.

Andre: Math sequencing seems to be an issue.

Olivia:   Point about logic, Feels ELA in 4th and 5th grade is not logical would recommend, they work on it, along with elementary grades. Principals and ELA teachers need to go through the 4th grade writing and 5th grade writing standards. When she thinks about logic, she is thinking about content logic and is a huge problem in those areas.

Carrie: What gets tested gets taught. K-5 colleagues frustrated with the writing standards. In a pure curriculum, writing resides in ELA, informational writing could be in other areas, science, social studies.

Tammy:   Contradicts critical thinking if you can’t express your thoughts in written form. Said she has seen letters from high schoolers that would “make your toes curl”

Carrie: Writing is not tested, you would have to create the time to teach.

Tammy: Testing is driving the curriculum. It takes time for the student to learn, time for the teacher to grade, this is subjective.

Ted: Does she think in their opinion, that the state needs to put emphasis on writing, and that it should be tested?

Carrie: too much testing, now, the assessment system we have now is too much. Can’t add another thing, would have to take something away,

Tammy: Would like to see end to NC final exam, because it is only used to evaluate teachers.

Olivia: Assessments in writing: does this and loves it. SAT requires a writing component, why would we not prepare our students to write if we don’t do this? Our students have to do it, but we don’t assess their writing in a format in NC

Dale, what do we want the students to learn, how do we add rigor? Make the kids write out their answers, takes time, to do and to grade. We don’t have that time.

Tammy: Her son had a graduation requirement project: why not use that written format to develop a resume, to apply to the direction the kid is headed. Emphasis on other things takes time away from writing.

Dale, Walkthrough observation, at his school, their goal is that every student read, write, and think in every class every day, track this data over time. When a teacher knows there is no writing assessment, it is hard to make the argument of why they need to take the time to do this.

Carrie: Larger issues: Transition into Common Core for the teachers was quick, too much, too fast, very different than what we had before, to transition and be evaluated this fast is causing frustration. Differences in NC on resources, feels this is wrong, inequity across the state.

Andre: regarding roll out, we recognize the transition was disruptive, could have been done better, one of things they heard about was from KY, they actually suspended evaluations for one year to give teachers a chance to get familiar with new standards. Recommend that maybe we slow down this process? Where would they slow things down if they had the opportunity?

Carrie: Educators need to teach what we currently have, with more teacher professional development, they need time to transition, time to find resources, if the commissioners choose to stick with CC, remove the high stakes accountability to evaluate teachers. Parents are having questions and concerns, they need to train everyone better, and the standards are not the devil, it is the implementation and they need time to develop. Rollout was not done well.

Andre: Different interpretations of what is standards and curriculum, have blurred lines, the Public Relations point to make, with that as the backdrop, is, if we communicate to the parents that these are terrific standards, read them for yourself, do you think they would understand?

Carrie: NO: parents are not educators! Teacher interrupts standards, they don’t expect the parents to read the standards. (Comment, nor do they want the parents to read them!)

Dale: This is a change in thought process. Standards used to be written for educators, now everyone wants to know what they mean, if it is for everyone, it needs to be written in a way they all can understand them.

Tammy: Biggest indicator of child success, is an involved parent, so why the standards shouldn’t be written in a way that the parents can follow along?

Olivia: Teachers should be so fluent in their understanding of the standards that they can convey them clearly. The teacher should be able to break down the standard when talking to a parent, so the parent can talk with their child and do something to help and support the child.

Ted: Math standards need to be cleaned up, too much jargon. He doesn’t like it when someone says leave it to the experts. Thinks that the K-8 math standards can be made lucid to everyone. Doesn’t know why we are having 8th grade teachers explain things that kids should already know.

Teachers speaking:

Ms. Mally: has handouts for the board, from Chapel Hill Carrboro schools, Commissioners were asked about and accountability, alignment of standards and testing, (This will be an attachment to the e mail as it was not in pre meeting handouts on the web)

End of grade math proficiency, 3 to 8th grade broken by race, when standards changed, the scores show an implementation dip, in 2003, and in 2013, with CC is another implementation dip. Recognize which subgroup most affected is the blacks, says they need to recognize it takes time for teachers, to learn, curriculum to align, and be aware of who it affects. (Comment, the achievement gap is evident in Latino’s as well)

Issue about standards and curriculum. Their district uses a program called “Understanding by Design” to develop curriculum based on standards. How it works, Identify what are the learning goals, (the standards), then what is the evidence that the students have mastered, (then access), then build the curriculum to teach and students show us what they know. This is a “backwards design model“. Professional design model in the Central region. (Comment: Seems bass ackwards to me, I feel like this is ripe for indoctrination. You have your goal, and then you set about to make the kids prove your point.)

To answer the question from commissioners about what shows positive evidence of achievement to these standards? On the 2nd page of their handout, what they will see in Math I is a big gain in proficiency this last year over previous year, have to wonder why, on the right is a list possible reasons, We do have coherent curriculum. Scope and sequence is better understood by teachers.

“Math vision” free online resource, have been using for 2 years, and have seen great results, and it is aligned to CC for the integrated math. (From Utah) Utilize high school trainers to unpack standards and train teachers. Gains because teachers have used for several years. Dramatic gains in scores shown in sub groups on the chart. They feel it is their curriculum that is cohesive and coherent, professional learning, using unpacking documents, and instructional focus for teachers in the classroom.

Coby: Graph in 2010, shows not much gap between subgroups and top performers, gets what they say about subgroups improvement, but they went down so far that any improvement would be dramatic. Still sees more of a gap than there was before. Graph is grades 3 –8, the other data is Math I.

Ms. Mally: Takes time for the results to show up. There is a lot of reading in this math that impacts the subgroup data. Improvement over time with these standards, scope and sequence. In math I, students have had CC all through middle school, so they are better prepared, but results take time to show up.

Coby:   Asks am I hearing that drop of proficiency in K-8 is due more to literacy than math?

Ms. Mally: Some of both

Cobey: What kind of plan do they have to close that gap? In Chapel Hill, this is the biggest challenge, this is a statewide problem. We have to close the achievement gap.

Ms. Mally:   Math I data shows that the idea of content standards, that the students are writing in math contexts, talking about it, how to orchestrate talking about math, takes time and attention to undue misconceptions. How to learn from common errors. Take a critical look at common errors, fix it with a process they call “Growth mindset”.

Olivia: So, they design their tests before they design their curricula? The test drives the curriculum. Understanding by design,

Understanding skills and knowledge, then evidence, (performance tasks), “Understanding by Design” is what the process is called. (How it works: goals equal the standards, understanding the essential questions, skills and knowledge is stage I. Evidence is stage II, results from what the students will know and do, they design performance tasks, after they test what they know, and they design instructional guides and curriculum to get them to what they want them to know.)

Ms. Bowers: Person County, N of Durham. Not clear why she is here, has been an educational afternoon, has learned some good things. Tells us she is in her 29th year teaching, but if this is pulled, she will be quitting. CC is not perfect, nor is any set of standards, but this is a basis. Can it be tweaked, yes.   Can it be improved on, yes, but it doesn’t need to be tossed. During the last 5 years, she has literally been through it all with CC, and she and her students are doing better.   Common themes she heard today, 1, heard that the problem is not the standards, but the resources, or lack thereof, CC was implemented poorly without resources. Previously they have been handed a set of standards and a curriculum that was handed to them, textbooks, curriculum handouts teacher’s edition books. With CC they were handed standards and told to develop their own resources and curriculum. They are in a rural district, do not have resources to put in kids’ education that other schools do. She goes to Pinterest for ideas and projects on functions. It takes time and effort to find the activities for the class. There are 4 others that teach math with her, they work together, come together every day, collaborate, and access day’s activities. In 1987, in Durham, she had lots of resources, she was in a trailer with 30 students, given a teacher edition book and told, see you in June. This changed with CC. She would love to have more clarification as to what the standards mean and how it will be tested. Wants to teach for a test, not TO a test. She then reads a standard, (Comment: We can’t understand what she read,) she, as a teacher, has the skills to interrupt the standard and to teach what is asked, but does that mean no clarification is needed to connect it to the children?. The Letter from 4th grade parent disturbed her, because the parent is saying that because I can’t understand, it means the way it is taught is not good for anyone. She would hate to think there was only one way to solve every problem. CC challenges them to come up with different ways to do things, they use a method called “do-undo”. A different methodology. Teaching the same concept using more than one method. Are there problems, yes, should they be thrown away, no. Do what is best for the kids, fix what we have if necessary and then move forward. If she has to start them over again, she can’t do that again to her students. Knew the drop in testing would happen because of the changes in the data. When they implemented CC and Math I, there were things that were tested that had been moved to 8th grade, but those kids did not have that in 8th grade with previous standards so they were tested on things they didn’t know. Knew the dip would come, knew there would be a knowledge gap.   Last yr. 9% of kids in Math I were proficient, this year 43% were. The standards can be the same, but the kids are coming from different backgrounds. Kids are different, the results will be different even if the standards are the same.

Andre: How to move forward, clarity and simplicity would be helpful.

Ms. Bowers: Clarity is what she would like to see. With CC came allot of money, there are times when she thinks the writers had to earn what they were writing! Making them wordy etc. She comes from a simple background, she can figure out the how and the why, if she knows the what!

Always questions, what skill is my kid applying this to? What type of problem am I applying this to? A concern is we don’t problem solve in a vacuum, and we don’t do the solving alone, when there is a problem, we put together minds to solve, she has a concern if kids can take skills and problem solve in a vacuum on their own on a multiple choice test.

Problem is lack of support from implementation, lack of resources, and lack of alignment. (Comment: Common Thread today, wonder if these guys aligned their comments!)

Ms. Hubbard: Lindsey Hubbard : Person County, a first grade teacher, currently a third grade teacher, is a supporter of the common core. Likes it. When CC came out, first grade had no state test like other grades did, but had benchmarks through their district. 20% of her kids were proficient, and what to do now to improve this, they had to pull from the professional leadership skills from other districts, teacher leaders. The objective is all teachers would understand and agree that the standards say the same thing, the expected action from the standard. Feels they need to collaborate and decide on the best way to teach the standards. As a result of this collaboration, at end of year, on same benchmark, 95% kids passed. Traditional algorithms are not wrong, but education is not one size fits all, everyone has the same endpoint, and how the particular kid may get the answer in a different way. Pulling together, taking success of others and create leaders within their district to help others, help me be more successful. (Comment: Common Core is a One Size fits all, this is contradictory)

They have good curriculum. Review teams, what is the standard, what is the essential question, student is focused on what they are learning.

In her opinion, K-3, keep standards, revise if necessary and clarify. Starting over will create more problems, time and money and apply across state to create a constant.

Andre: Theme throughout, today….. Teacher collaboration, encouraging to see this happening in the schools. Curious about the feedback he has seen, is when you teach math at the lower grade, kids are being challenged to know 4 or 5 ways to solve a specific problem, know them all in order to pass.

Lindsey:   It comes down to the child, when you collaborate with other teachers, you say this didn’t work, they may say, try this instead, and see if this will work. She thinks kids shouldn’t be forced to do other strategies. (Comment: Then why are the kids having to learn 4 or 5 strategy’s instead of just the ONE that works for them?, Which one of the many strategy’s will be tested?) Goal is for the kids to explain to the parents what they learned. End of grade EOG, use “Ready” that aligns with EOG, EOC.

Olivia: Students are required to describe their methodology in solving a math problem in a constructed response that is graded on a rubric. This requires a student that can’t read well to frame sentences, spell, punctuation etc., and doesn’t just deal with the math.

Lindsey; if we are testing math, she will judge the content of response, not because of punctuation or spelling, agrees that writing should be taught and assessed, but not take the math grade down for writing errors, the content of the answer is what she is looking for.

Mr. Ferguson: Trey, teaches math III in Wake County at Leesville High School. Feels the Commissioners have a flawed conception of the Math based on his reading of the draft report from the commission. States that the integrated concepts are broken into standards, this gives educators vertical alignment, not their complaint of repeated concepts.

Math standards system of skills Math I, Math II, and Math III, (in unpacking documents, includes the pacing of concepts and lists skills required for graduation)

Andre: Points out from earlier conversations, teaching methods and clarification, unpacking document, we see standards as confusing because of where specifics on what needs to be known, the specifics should be in the standard, not the unpacking document. If it is a method, we want to know if it is in the proper place to achieve the standard.

Ferguson: We need resources. High School standards are set with pacing guides for when things are taught.

Andre: Need to be addressed as far as clarity.

Ferguson: All districts should have access to unpacking documents and consistent resources. The draft recommendation says would be easier to return to old instead of revising CC, he disagrees with this and wants to keep the integrated Math.

Ted: Interrupts, says basic foundational things are missing from CC. He doesn’t align with all the unpacking comments.

Andre: Integrated Math, not every teacher is prepared to teach this way, flexibility needs to go back to LEA’s, if you can achieve the goal of the standard. What can we do specific to the standards, and how we get there is up to the local ELA.

Ferguson: Keep these standards, clarify them, they are improving scores, the final recommendation focused on missing things, that the unpacking documents address, and these things may spiral through the I II III sequencing.

(Central region input)

Andre: thanks folks for participation.

Jeannie: thanks those here, doesn’t want to lose sight of what the commission is tasked to do, the reports from last month on brain development that should influence every decision. Thanks Ted for work and attitude!

Andre: additional business: Cobey moves to adjourn

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