Understanding the Common Core: Cincinnati Public Schools Weighs In

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A Q&A about the Common Core with Andrea Faulkner, English/Language Arts Curriculum Manager for Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS).

1. Is Ohio combining Ohio standards with the Common Core standards or using the Common Core standards only?

Ohio will be using what is being called the Ohio New Learning Standards. These standards are made up of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English/Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics, along with the state-created standards for other areas (including but not limited to: science, social studies, the arts and foreign language).

2. There’s a lot more writing involved in the new standards and not all kids are at the same writing level … what will be in place for kids who can’t keep up?

As with any subject area, the curriculum is scaffolded to make sure that students are able to grow epidemically to meet and exceed the expectations of the standards. As for writing, CPS has had writing portfolios in the ELA classroom for the last year, and are updating them to meet the expectations of the new CCSS, which includes writing across the curriculum.

3. Do the Common Core standards recognize that all kids learn differently? How will teachers be able to address kids’ individualities?

CPS has frameworks for instruction to assist teachers in having built-in time to make sure that they are meeting the diverse needs of the students in their classroom. Our teachers are continually offered additional professional development to ensure that they have a collection of different teaching strategies to use with their students.

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