October 14, 2013
There has been a “buzz” in the media this past summer over the implementation of the national Common Core (CC) standards. There have been comments that the standards are too difficult for students or that key standards have been removed.
The following is important information regarding the Common Core implementation in Mill Valley schools:
The Mill Valley School District is moving foward to fully implement Common
Core math and language arts in all grades K-8. Our teachers have been
undergoing extensive professional development over the past year and will
continue training efforts in the near and long term future.
Deep Content Instruction
Last year, the district hosted Dr. Phil Daro, one of the authors of the common core. He stressed that the California state standards were a “mile long and an inch deep.” The new common core standards are less in number and stress deep content learning. Dr. Daro’s presentation to Mill Valley parents was recorded and is online at www.mvschools.org/Page/2420
Match for Mill Valley
All teachers in Mill Valley are afforded the academic freedom to develop deep content lessons that are not found in a text book. These lessons are often project based and provide greater opportunities for students to think critically, research, and create solutions to problems.
The basic philosophy of the Common Core is already found within the Mill Valley School District’s instructional program. Implementation of the Common Core will help foster additional resources to Mill Valley teachers to provide deeper and richer content instruction.
What assessment will students take this year?
We are waiting for the details to emerge, but we anticipate Grades 3-8 Mill Valley students participating in the field test for the new Smarter Balance Assessment computerized (SBAC) test. More information will be forthcoming.