As an educator, I embrace the Common Core Standards as an opportunity to personalize the education of our students. However, I am wary of the high-stakes nature of the testing that most "reformers" are advocating. Assessment should be for the benefit of the teacher and the student to see where the current growing edge of the student is. To tie testing results to school grades, teacher evaluations, and promotion of students from one grade to another is counter-productive.
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Instead of grouping students by age-level or grade as they learn, CCS would allow students to be grouped according to what SKILLS they need to master. Pull-out groups of kids who have the same learning need (based on sophisticated learning analytics) can be formed. This can be done very well in some subject areas right now (especially math) using online technology.
One innovative high school in New Hampshire is allowing students to tailor their learning to their own interests by allowing them access to open-source standards based curriculum. This allows kids to delve deeply into an interest as they acquire new skills. Here is a link to the article
A change in pedagogy is necessary for personalized learning--no more "sage on the stage" to a group of same-aged kids. Technology, new and common standards, and a new pedagogy is making it happen. The transition is not easy, but it is happening.
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