By Jonathan Tsou
Since 2010, Arcadia Unified School District has been implementing the Common Core Standards. The Common Core is an initiative promoted by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and National Governors Association (NGA). These standards not only allow students to study on the level of many other international students, but also allow students to get a better education, even if they change districts or move to different states. It also ensures that students graduating from high school are prepared to enter four- or two-year colleges and successfully enter the workforce.
Although the Common Core State Standards have drawn criticism from numerous politicians, educational analysts, and parents, most teachers and staff in the Arcadia School District support these standards.
This year, for the second year in a row, Arcadia Schools will prepare for the Common Core end of the school year test, or Smarter Balanced Assessment Field Test. However, this year, Arcadia Schools will fully implement the Smarter Balanced Assessment Field Test – which means, this year’s Common Core test will affect Arcadia Unified School District’s rankings in the California School System. The previous two years’ pilot test will not be used to evaluate Arcadia High, but to allow staff to correct errors and to survey how students and teachers felt about the test. The pilot test allows teachers to familiarize themselves in how the software and tools work.
In order to prepare for these standardized tests, students are released early seven times throughout the school year. All students in the Arcadia Unified School District will be released at 12:40 p.m. From 12:40 p.m. to 3 p.m., teachers and staff members are trained and familiarized with the Common Core Standards. Teachers are also allowed to broaden, to reinforce, and to contribute in creating Common Core curriculum. Additionally, support from the AUSD Common Core Mentor Coaches and AUSD Technology and Information Services staff allow teachers to prepare lessons and to teach students about the Common Core Standards. These coaches and staff members also host parent and community meetings that educate parents with the Smarter Balanced Assessments. Videos of the meetings are available on their YouTube Channel.
Previous year, more than 3.5 million students throughout California took the Common Core test. This year, more than 6 million students should be taking the Common Core test.
The early release dates for the 2015 – 2016 school year are listed here:
– Sept. 17, 2015
– Oct. 8, 2015
– Nov. 5, 2015
– Jan. 7, 2016
– Feb. 4, 2016
– March. 4, 2016
– April. 28, 2016
For more information relating to the Common Core test, visit the Arcadia Unified School District’s webpage.