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Serving the public every step of the way!

UNITED VOICES VOL. 1 NO. 2 SPECIAL EDITION

READY OR NOT

Common Core is Here!

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Oct. 17-18, 2013 at Bismarck’s Century High School

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Attend the ND United Common Core Conference

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A Summary of Core Components

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The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium is one of two multistate consortia award NDU Common Core Assessment assessment system based on the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS). To achie Conference is first of its kind and career, Smarter Balanced is committed to ensuring that assessment and instruction North Dakota United (NDU) is hosting a Common Core languageAssessment or subgroup status, have the opportunity to learn this valued Conference Oct. 17-18, 2013 at Century Highcontent and to s

School in Bismarck. This Conference will replace what was With strong supportcalled from participating states,Conference institutions of education formerly the Instructional or higher as some still and indus and tools,prefer each designed to serve specific purposes. Together, these components will pr - the ‘Teachers’ Convention.’ instruction, guide interventions, help target professional development and ensure an ac college-readiness. NDU Common Core Agenda Check out the agenda for the ND United Common Core The core components Smarter Balanced Assessments ConferenceofOct. 17-18, 2013 at Bismarck’sare: Century High School. - use Summative assessments: lim  Mandatory comprehensive accountability measures that North Dakota chooses Smarter - sup include computer adaptive assessments and performance Balanced toinDevelop Learning cou tasks, administered the last 12 weeks of the school year Assessments in grades 3–8 and 11 for English language arts(ELA)/literacy Formati The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium is one of and mathematics; Prov  two multistate consortia awarded funding from the U.S.  Designed to provide valid, reliable and fair measures of info Department of Education to develop an assessment system students’ toward and Core attainment of the knowledge basedprogress on the new Common State Standards (CCSS).  Will and skills required to bethat collegeand career-ready; To achieve the goal all students leave high school ready und on the strengths of computer adaptive testing to  Capitalize for college and career, Smarter Balanced is committed misc (e.g. ensuring efficient and precise measurement across the full that assessment and instruction embody the range CCSS towa and that all students, of disability, language of achievement and quickregardless turnaround of results); and, or subgroup status,content have thearea opportunity learn on thisthe valued composite scores,to based  Produce content and to show what they know and can do. Syst computer adaptive items and performance tasks.  En Interim assessments: READY OR NOT m  Optional comprehensive and content-cluster measures that COMMON CORE IS HERE! lev include assessments and performance Thecomputer goal of theadaptive Common Core State Standards is to se tasks, administered at locally determined intervals provide a clear, consistent understanding of what students te throughout the school year; are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what re onto the same scale the summative theyreported need to do help them. Theas standards are designed  Results  Pr to be robust and relevant to the real world, theare assessment to provide information about howreflecting students te knowledge and skills that young people need for success in progressing; so college and careers.  Serve as the source for interpretive guides that use publicly te released items and tasks;  Pr Common Core Myths and Facts  Grounded in cognitive development theory about how Here are the myths and facts about content and quality in learning progresses across grades and how college- and general, math, Language Arts, and the process on the career-readiness emerge over time; Common Core.  Involve a large teacher role in developing and scoring LEAR ND United constructed response items and performance tasks;Voices Visit Sm  Afford teachers and administrators the flexibility to:

5 United Voices is the official publication of North Dakota United, 301 N 4th Street, Bismarck, ND 58501. Postmaster, send address changes to: North Dakota United 301 N 4th Street Bismarck, ND 58501 Armand Tiberio Executive Director/Consulting Editor Linda Harsche Communications Director Kelly Hagen UniServ Director/ Field Communcations Specialist Image Printing Design/Publisher

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President’s Post

Looking Forward to Seeing You Oct. 17-18

By Nick Archuleta NDU President

As the Common Core is rolled out in your community,

NDU encourages you to be proactive in its implementation. That is the reason behind this fall’s NDU Common Core Assessment Conference which will be held at Century High School in Bismarck October 17 and 18.”

It is a distinct pleasure to welcome all of you to this Special edition of United Voices dedicated to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Assement. As you know, the Department of Public Instruction has adopted the Common Core for use across the state of North Dakota. It is vitally important for teachers, students, and parents to understand what the Common Core is and what it is not. On June 10, 2010, Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Arts were released. They were designed with the intention that students who master these standards will be career or college ready in literacy and mathematics by the time they graduate high school. These standards describe what North Dakota’s students should know and be able to do to ensure that they are indeed ready to succeed in higher education or the world of work upon graduation from high school. The Common Core standards are designed to increase achievement through their focus on essential concepts, skills, and knowledge which education experts see as necessary to guarantee success in the 21st century. The CCSS provide a way forward with very clear expectations of what children should learn. It is incumbent upon teachers and administrators to see that this learning takes place. As the Common Core is rolled out in your community, NDU encourages you to be proactive in its implementation. That is the

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reason behind this fall’s NDU Common Core Assessment Conference which will be held at Century High School in Bismarck October 17 and 18. We have asked local presidents to accompany an English Language Arts instructor and a Mathematics instructor from their district to the conference. The CCSS Assessment Conference will include presentations by ELA Specialist Nikki Elliot-Schuman and Mathematics specialist Tracy Gruber. Both presenters come to us from The Smarter Balanced Consortium, which North Dakota has joined to develop student learning assessments that will become effective for the 2014-2015 school year. Participants in the Conference will work with these two specialists in “hands on” activities designed to provide unique insight to Common Core assessments. Finally, at the conclusion of the conference, all participants will receive valuable materials that they can take with them to their individual communities to share with their colleagues. NDU’s commitment doesn’t end there, however. Each participant can expect NDU staff to communicate with them regularly throughout the implementation process. On behalf of the NDU staff, I very much look forward to seeing you in Bismarck on October 17 and 18. I am confident that the NDU CCSS Assessment Conference will be a very rewarding experience.

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NDU COMMON CORE ASSESSMENT CONFERENCE The Cover of this special issue of Public Voices is designed by Michigan Education Association member Dennis Preston.

is first of its kind

North Dakota United (NDU) is hosting a Common Core Assessment Conference Oct. 17-18, 2013 at Century High School in Bismarck. This Conference will replace what was formerly called the Instructional Conference or as some still prefer - the ‘Teachers’ Convention.’ Credit is pending. Course requirements include: Attending three days of training (one day in the Spring), and sharing Common Core information collected at the conference with colleagues. This conference is entirely focused on Common Core Assessments and Smarter Balanced. Thursday Smarter Balanced will present on their assessment system. After Smarter Balanced representatives present a general overview of the system in the morning, participants will transition into ELA and Mathematics Smarter Balanced sessions. Thursday, Oct. 17, is limited to 300 participants. Friday, Oct. 18 will focus on building Common Core Local Leaders. Teams from districts will be provided additional training on the Common Core. Sessions will range from the novice to the advanced Common Core learner. A special invitation has been sent to local association presidents by President Archuleta. All training material will be provided to participants. Friday, Oct. 18, is also limited to 300 participants.

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GUEST LECTURERS INCLUDE: Thursday, Oct. 17 ••

Rob Bauer, North Dakota Department of Public Instruction Assistant Director-Standards and Achievement and State Coordinator for Smarter Balanced. Tracy Gruber: Tracy is a member of the Validation and Psychometrics/Test Design work group for Smarter Balanced and has been part of the math content working group since it was established. She has represented Smarter Balanced at the ASSM National Meeting and many other Consortium events.

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ELA – Nikki Elliott-Schuman is the director of English language arts and literacy for the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. Nikki works to ensure that the assessments effectively measure the depth and breadth of the Common Core State Standards in ELA/literacy and is the best person to provide the ELA deep dive.

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Jody French, EduTech Director and/or Darin King, Director - North Dakota Educational Technology Council. They will provide information on the state technology capacity to implement Smarter Balanced assessments in the schools.

Following the conference, participants will: understand and become familiar with the new assessment system (Smarter Balanced); determine their school’s capacity to deliver an assessment through this format; and become local Common Core leaders. Participants will be provided Continental Breakfast on Friday lunch on Thursday, and materials at the workshop from presenters. Talk to your local presidents about bringing teams.

Friday, Oct. 18 •

NEA Representative Rebecca Wissink, will provide information about what is happening nationally with CCSS as well as provide participants with multiple resources. Marlene Srock, 2007 North Dakota Teacher of the Year, teaches in the Minot Public Schools. She attended the AFT Professional Development Academy and is a certified trainer for the Reading Comprehension Instruction course. This session is appropriate for all K-12 teachers wanting to help increase their students’ comprehension of text- whether that text is a literature selection or a subject area textbook. The focus will be on exemplary practices that help students acquire strong reading comprehension skills. The strategies that will be presented support the K-8 Reading Literature and Reading Informational Texts strands. The session content also aligns to support the Vocabulary Acquisition and Use substrand of the Language strand of the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts.

Michelle Bertsch holds a M.A.T. Mathematics from Minot State University, is a 2007 Presidential Awardee for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, and was Fargo Public Schools Teacher of the Year in 2011. She has been a member of the standards writing team for the state of North Dakota for the past 10 years and has been actively involved in the writing and implementation of the Common Core State Standards at the state level. Michelle is utilizing the knowledge and expertise gained from that experience toward her current work with the North Dakota Vertical Alignment team in the area of mathematics content as it relates to the Common Core State Standards expectations of student college and career readiness. This session will focus on resources currently available through the Smarter Balanced Consortium in assessing student proficiency on the CCSS. Participants will also be exposed to the design and use of quality formative assessments aligned to the CCSS which can be seamlessly embedded into daily lessons. In addition, examples of rich tasks/activities illustrating the mathematical practices associated with the CCSS will be demonstrated.

Registration will only be taken online at www.ndunited.org. ndunited.org

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NDU COMMON CORE ASSESSMENT CONFERENCE OCT. 17-18, 2013 CENTURY HIGH SCHOOL, BISMARCK Thursday, Oct. 17: 10:00 – 10:15 am

Welcome, Nick Archuleta, NDU President Kristen Baesler, Superintendent of Public Instruction

10:15 – 11:00 am

Common Core Assessment, Rob Bauer, NDDPI Asst. Director – Standards and Achievement

11:15 am – 12:30 pm General Over of Smarter Balanced Assessment System, Nikki Elliott-Schuman & Tracy Gruber – Smarter Balanced 12:30 – 1:00 pm Lunch 1:00 – 3:00 pm

Two Breakouts: • Smarter Balanced Mathematics, Tracy Gruber • Smarter Balanced ELA, Nikki Elliott-Schuman

3:00 – 3:30 pm

TFFR 100 Years Celebration

3:30 – 3:45 pm Regroup 3:45 – 4:45 pm

Continue Breakouts

4:45 – 5:15 pm

ND School Systems Capacity, Jody French and/or Darin King

5:15 – 5:30 pm Closing

Friday, Oct. 18: School Teams 8:30 – 9:30 am

Common Core Resources, NEA

9:30 am – 12:00 pm

Two Breakouts: • Common Core ELA – Marlene Srock • Common Core Mathematics – Michelle Bertsch

12:00 – 1:30 pm

Team Time

By March 15: Reconvene School Teams 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

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Presentation Feedback • Review survey results for future Common Core needs • Planning for future needs • Smarter Balanced Assessment Discussion ND United Voices


A Summary of Core Components The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium is one of two multistate consortia awarded funding from the U.S. Department of Education to develop an assessment system based on the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS). To achieve the goal that all students leave high school ready for college and career, Smarter Balanced is committed to ensuring that assessment and instruction embody the CCSS and that all students, regardless of disability, language or subgroup status, have the opportunity to learn this valued content and to show what they know and can do. With strong support from participating states, institutions of higher education and industry, Smarter Balanced will develop a balanced set of measures and tools, each designed to serve specific purposes. Together, these components will provide student data throughout the academic year that will inform instruction, guide interventions, help target professional development and ensure an accurate measure of each student’s progress toward career- and college-readiness.

The core components of Smarter Balanced are: Summative assessments:  Mandatory comprehensive accountability measures that include computer adaptive assessments and performance tasks, administered in the last 12 weeks of the school year in grades 3–8 and 11 for English language arts(ELA)/literacy and mathematics;  Designed to provide valid, reliable and fair measures of students’ progress toward and attainment of the knowledge and skills required to be college- and career-ready;  Capitalize on the strengths of computer adaptive testing (e.g. efficient and precise measurement across the full range of achievement and quick turnaround of results); and,  Produce composite content area scores, based on the computer adaptive items and performance tasks. Interim assessments:  Optional comprehensive and content-cluster measures that include computer adaptive assessments and performance tasks, administered at locally determined intervals throughout the school year;  Results reported on the same scale as the summative assessment to provide information about how students are progressing;  Serve as the source for interpretive guides that use publicly released items and tasks;  Grounded in cognitive development theory about how learning progresses across grades and how college- and career-readiness emerge over time;  Involve a large teacher role in developing and scoring constructed response items and performance tasks;  Afford teachers and administrators the flexibility to: - select item sets that provide deep, focused measurement of specific content clusters embedded in the CCSS; - administer these assessments at strategic points in the instructional year;

- use results to better understand students’ strengths and limitations in relation to the standards; - support state-level accountability systems using end-ofcourse assessments. Formative tools and processes:  Provides resources for teachers on how to collect and use information about student success in acquisition of the CCSS;  Will be used by teachers throughout the year to better understand a student’s learning needs, check for misconceptions and/or to provide evidence of progress toward learning goals.

System Features  Ensures coverage of the full range of ELA/literacy and

mathematics standards and breadth of achievement levels by combining a variety of item types (e.g., selected-response, constructed response, and technology-enhanced) and performance tasks, which require application of knowledge and skills.  Provides comprehensive, research-based support, technical assistance and professional development so that teachers can use assessment data to improve teaching and learning in line with the standards.  Provides online, tailored reports that link to instructional and professional development resources.

LEARN MORE AND GET INVOLVED Visit SmarterBalanced.org to learn more about the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and sign-up to receive our monthly eNewsletter. For more information, please contact Info@SmarterBalanced.org.

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PRACTICE AND PILOT TESTS The Smarter Balanced Practice Tests provide an early look at sets of assessment questions aligned to the Common Core for grades 3–8 and 11 in both English language arts/literacy and mathematics. The following browsers are compatible with the Practice Test.

Operating System

OS Version

Supported Browsers

Windows

XP (with Service Pack 3), Vista, 7, 8 Windows Server 2003, 2008

Windows Secure Browser 6.0 Firefox 3.6 and above

Mac

10.4.4 (all) 10.5 (PowerPC)

Mac Secure Browser 5.5 Firefox 3.6 Safari 5

10.5–10.8 (Intel)

Mac Secure Browser 6.0 Firefox 3.6 and above Safari 5 (OS 10.5–10.7) Safari 6 (OS 10.7–10.8)

Fedora Core 6 (K12LTSP 4.2+) Ubuntu 9–12

Linux Secure Browser 6.0 Firefox 3.6 and above

Android

4.0+Supported Devices: − Google − Nexus 10 − Motorola Xoom − Motorola Xyboard − Samsung Galaxy Note (10.1) − Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1)

AIRSecureTest Browser for Android Default Internet browser on tablet Google Chrome 18 and above

iPad

iOS 6.0+Supported Devices:− iPad 2, 3, Retina Display

AIRSecureTest Browser for iPadSafari 6 and above

Chromebooks

Version 18 or above

Google Chrome

Desktops/Laptops

Linux Tablets/Netbooks

Explore the Smarter Balanced Practice Tests

To log in to the Practice Test, simply go to http://sbac.portal.airast.org/practice-test/. Important Limitations: The Practice Tests provide a preview of the Smarter Balanced assessments, but they do not encompass the full range of content that students will encounter on the spring 2014 Field Test or on the operational assessments, and should not be used to guide instructional decisions. In addition, students and teachers will not receive reports or scores from the Practice Tests.

Accessible for All Students

The Smarter Balanced Assessment System will provide accurate measures of achievement and growth for students with disabilities and English language learners. A variety of accessibility tools and accommodations are being developed to ensure that the assessments meet the needs of all students. The Practice Tests include an initial set of accessibility features that will be available to all students in the final assessment system, such as highlighting text, zooming in and out, marking items for review, notepad, and scratch paper. Several accommodations are available in the Practice Tests for selected grades and subjects. English Language Arts/literacy

Mathematics

Text to Speech (items only)

Grades 3-8, 11

Grades 3-8, 11

Braille

Grades 3-8, 11

Grades 3-8, 11

Customized pop-up Spanish glossary (mathematics only)

Grades 3-8, 11

*Smarter Balanced at http://www.smarterbalanced.org/

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GENERAL DESCRIPTION of Smarter Balanced

The U.S. Department of Education awarded grants to two consortia to develop assessment systems focused on the Common Core State Standards. North Dakota chose Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) www.smarterbalanced.org.

Below is the general information on SBAC: Assessment Consortium – Smarter Balanced Management – WestEd, San Francisco, CA Governance beyond 2014 – Smarter Balanced will become an affiliate of the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies through the Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST). Student Enrollment of Governing States – 17 million students

High School Math Assessment – Grade 11 only; Options for grades 9, 10 and 12 at additional cost Assessment Used for Accountability measures – End-of-Year Summative Assessment with Separate window for Performance Tasks. One ELA Performance Task; One Math Performance Task Summative Assessment type – Computer-based; Adaptive; Paper and pencil option

Grades assessed – 3-8, 11

Mark Your Calendars for

October 17-18, 2013 North Dakota United is sponsoring a workshop on Common Core

At Century High School in Bismarck Smarter Balanced will present on the new assessments for North Dakota. The Smarter Balanced Consortium was selected by DPI to develop state assessments which will be implemented in the 2014-15 school year.

To learn more about the Common Core workshop go to www.ndunited.org. ndunited.org

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READY OR NOT COMMON CORE IS HERE! What are the Common Core State Standards? The goal of the Common Core State Standards is to provide a clear, consistent understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that young people need for success in college and careers.

EXAMPLES OF COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS English Language Arts-Literacy Compare and contrast a written story, drama, or poem to its audio, filmed, staged, or multimedia version, analyzing the effects of techniques unique to each medium (e.g., lighting, sound, color, or camera focus and angles in a film). - Reading Standard for Literature, Grade 7 (Integration of Knowledge and Ideas) Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic. - Writing Standards, Grade 4 (Research to Build and Present Knowledge) Mathematics Draw and identify lines and angles, and classify shapes by properties of their lines and angles. - Mathematics Standard, Grade 4 (Geometry) Use probability to evaluate outcomes of decisions. - Statistics and Probability Standards, High School (Using Probability to Make Decisions)

Implementation The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Initiative is a state-led process to develop a common core of state standards in English-language arts and mathematics for grades K-12. North Dakota’s State Content Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics, based on the Common Core Standards were adopted June 30, 2011. These content standards become effective July 1, 2013, after which all local school districts and state’s assessment system must be fully aligned to these standards. The assessment of the standards will take effect in the 2014-15 school year.

Top 10 Common Core Facts 1. Why do we need new standards? Not every student in the

United States has access to a great public school. Not every school is offering its students the rigorous coursework necessary to transition smoothly to postsecondary educational options without remediation. Graduation rates are improving incrementally, but it is clear that gaps that fall along ethnic and racial lines still persist and that the enduring dropout rates cannot persist if this country is going to be globally competitive in the future

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2. Who? States developed the common core state standards (CCSS) together and most voluntarily adopted them

3. How many? To date, 45 states plus the District of Columbia have adopted the CCSS

4. What’s covered? Mathematics and English language arts and literacy (ELA), with science coming soon

5. When? States must implement the mathematics and ELA common core standards by 2013-14 school year

6. What’s different about these standards? They are fewer

in number, clearer, encompass broad academic goals, and are designed to prepare students for a variety of postsecondary experiences. The CCSS also are more challenging than most of the current state standards and provide clarity and consistency about what is expected of students

7. Will there be new tests? Yes, states must use the related

mathematics and ELA assessments by the 2014-2015 school year

8. Will these tests be different? Yes, the ‘next generation

assessments’ will provide better and more timely and useable feedback to students, parents, and educators

9. Will these standards tell teachers how to teach? No, they will provide teachers flexibility to use professional judgment to design instruction for student success

10. What about students with disabilities and English

language learners? The CCSS provide an historic opportunity to improve access to rigorous academic content standards for ALL students. For students with disabilities and English language learners to meet the standards and fully demonstrate their knowledge and skills, their instruction and assessments must incorporate necessary supports and accommodations

Beginning with the 2014-15 academic year, the state will begin the administration of a new generation of state assessments based on these 2011 content standards. The state is participating in two multi-state consortia to develop the next generation of state assessments, based on the national Common Core Standards.

What are the new assessment consortia? The U.S. Department of Education awarded grants to two consortia to develop assessment systems focused on the CCSS. North Dakota chose the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) http://www.smarterbalanced.org/.

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FACT MYTH

COMMON CORE MYTHS AND FACTS

MYTHS ABOUT CONTENT AND QUALITY: GENERAL Myth: Adopting common standards will bring all states’

Fact: The Standards are designed to build upon the most

Myth: The Standards are not internationally benchmarked.

Fact: International benchmarking played a significant role in

Myth: The Standards only include skills and do not address the

Fact: The Standards recognize that both content and skills are

standards down to the lowest common denominator, which means states with high standards, such as Massachusetts, will be taking a step backward if they adopt the Standards.

importance of content knowledge.

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advanced current thinking about preparing all students for success in college and their careers. This will result in moving even the best state standards to the next level. In fact, since this work began, there has been an explicit agreement that no state would lower its standards. The Standards were informed by the best in the country, the highest international standards, and evidence and expertise about educational outcomes. We need college and career ready standards because even in high-performing states students are graduating and passing all the required tests and still require remediation in their postsecondary work. both sets of standards. In fact, the college and career ready standards include an appendix listing the evidence that was consulted in drafting the standards and the international data consulted in the benchmarking process is included in this appendix. More evidence from international sources will be presented together with the final draft. important.

In English, language arts, the Standards require certain critical content for all students, including: classic myths and stories from around the world, America’s Founding Documents, foundational American literature, and Shakespeare. Appropriately, the remaining crucial decisions about what content should be taught are left to state and local determination. In addition to content coverage, the Standards require that students systematically acquire knowledge in literature and other disciplines through reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

In Mathematics, the Standards lay a solid foundation in whole numbers, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, and decimals. Taken together, these elements support a student’s ability to learn and apply more demanding math concepts and procedures. The middle school and high school standards call on students to practice applying mathematical ways of thinking to real world issues and challenges; they prepare students to think and reason mathematically. The Standards set a rigorous definition of college and career readiness, not by piling topic upon topic, but by demanding that students develop a depth of understanding and ability to apply mathematics to novel situations, as college students and employees regularly do.

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MYTHS ABOUT CONTENT AND QUALITY: MATH Myth: The Standards do not prepare or require students to learn

Fact: The Standards do accommodate and prepare students for

Myth: Key math topics are missing or appear in the wrong

Fact: The mathematical progressions presented in the common

Algebra in the 8th grade, as many states’ current standards do.

grade.

Algebra 1 in 8th grade, by including the prerequisites for this course in grades K-7. Students who master the K-7 material will be able to take Algebra 1 in 8th grade. At the same time, grade 8 standards are also included; these include rigorous algebra and will transition students effectively into a full Algebra 1 course. core are coherent and based on evidence.

Part of the problem with having 50 different sets of state standards is that today, different states cover different topics at different grade levels. Coming to consensus guarantees that from the viewpoint of any given state, topics will move up or down in the grade level sequence. This is unavoidable. What is important to keep in mind is that the progression in the Common Core State Standards is mathematically coherent and leads to college and career readiness at an internationally competitive level.

MYTHS ABOUT CONTENT AND QUALITY: ENGLISH-LANGUAGE ARTS Myth: The standards suggest teaching Grapes of Wrath to 2nd

Fact: The ELA Standards suggest Grapes of Wrath as a text

Myth: The standards are just vague descriptions of skills; they

Fact: The standards do include sample texts that demonstrate

Myth: English teachers will be asked to teach science and social

Fact: With the Common Core ELA Standards, English

Myth: The standards don’t have enough emphasis on fiction/

Fact: The standards require certain critical content for all

graders.

don’t include a reading list or any other similar reference to content.

studies reading materials.

literature.

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that would be appropriate for 9th or 10th grade readers. Evidence shows that the complexity of texts students are reading today does not match what is demanded in college and the workplace, creating a gap between what high school students can do and what they need to be able to do. The Common Core State Standards create a staircase of increasing text complexity, so that students are expected to both develop their skills and apply them to more and more complex texts. the level of text complexity appropriate for the grade level and compatible with the learning demands set out in the standards. The exemplars of high quality texts at each grade level provide a rich set of possibilities and have been very well received. This provides teachers with the flexibility to make their own decisions about what texts to use - while providing an excellent reference point when selecting their texts. teachers will still teach their students literature as well as literary non-fiction. However, because college and career readiness overwhelmingly focuses on complex texts outside of literature, these standards also ensure students are being prepared to read, write, and research across the curriculum, including in history and science. These goals can be achieved by ensuring that teachers in other disciplines are also focusing on reading and writing to build knowledge within their subject areas. students, including: classic myths and stories from around the world, America’s Founding Documents, foundational American literature, and Shakespeare. Appropriately, the remaining crucial decisions about what content should be taught are left to state and local determination. In addition to content coverage, the standards require that students systematically acquire knowledge in literature and other disciplines through reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

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MYTHS ABOUT PROCESS Myth: No teachers were involved in writing the Standards.

Fact: The common core state standards drafting process relied

Myth: The Standards are not research or evidence based.

Fact: The Standards have made careful use of a large and

on teachers and standards experts from across the country. In addition, there were many state experts that came together to create the most thoughtful and transparent process of standard setting. This was only made possible by many states working together. growing body of evidence. The evidence base includes scholarly research; surveys on what skills are required of students entering college and workforce training programs; assessment data identifying college - and career-ready performance; and comparisons to standards from highperforming states and nations.

In English language arts, the Standards build on the firm foundation of the NAEP frameworks in Reading and Writing, which draw on extensive scholarly research and evidence.

In Mathematics, the Standards draw on conclusions from TIMSS and other studies of high-performing countries that the traditional US mathematics curriculum must become substantially more coherent and focused in order to improve student achievement, addressing the problem of a curriculum that is “a mile wide and an inch deep.”

MYTHS ABOUT IMPLEMENTATION Myth: The Standards tell teachers what to teach.

Fact: The best understanding of what works in the classroom

Myth: The Standards will be implemented through No Child

Fact: The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led

Left Behind (NCLB) - signifying that the federal government will be leading them.

comes from the teachers who are in them. That’s why these standards will establish what students need to learn, but they will not dictate how teachers should teach. Instead, schools and teachers will decide how best to help students reach the standards. effort that is not part of No Child Left Behind and adoption of the Standards is in no way mandatory. States began the work to create clear, consistent standards before the Recovery Act or the Elementary and Secondary Education Act blueprint was released because this work is being driven by the needs of the states, not the federal government.

Myth: These Standards amount to a national curriculum for our

Fact: The Standards are not a curriculum. They are a clear

Myth: The federal government will take over ownership of the

Fact: The federal government will not govern the Common

schools.

Common Core State Standards Initiative.

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The NGA Center and CCSSO are offering support by developing a State Policymaker Guide to Implementation, facilitating opportunities for collaboration among organizations working on implementation, planning the future governance structure of the standards, and convening the publishing community to ensure that high quality materials aligned with the standards are created. set of shared goals and expectations for what knowledge and skills will help our students succeed. Local teachers, principals, superintendents and others will decide how the standards are to be met. Teachers will continue to devise lesson plans and tailor instruction to the individual needs of the students in their classrooms. Core State Standards Initiative. The Initiative was and will remain a state-led effort. NGA and CCSSO are committed to developing a long-term governance structure with leadership from governors, chief state school officers, and other state policymakers.

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THE COMMON CORE “SHIFTS” Here are the shifts in pedagogy from today’s standards to the Common Core Standards: For ELA/Literacy: Building knowledge through content-rich nonfiction Reading, writing and speaking grounded in evidence from text, both literary and informational Regular practice with complex text and its academic language. For Mathematics: Focus strongly where the Standards focus Coherence: Think across grades, and link to major topics within grades Rigor: In major topics, pursue conceptual understanding, procedural skill and fluency, and application.

COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS RESOURCES: www.smarterbalanced.org/k-12-education/common-core-state-standards-tools-resources/ Resources for Educators and Administrators •

“From the Page to the Classroom: Implementing the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Literacy” These professional development videos were developed by the Council of Great City Schools for central office and school-based staff and teachers as an introduction to the instructional shifts required by the CCSS. The videos feature some of the content writers speaking about the CCSS at professional development conferences hosted by the Council. www.commoncoreworks.org/domain/127 and www.commoncoreworks.org/Page/345 Share My Lesson Developed by the American Federation of Teachers and TES Connect, Share My Lesson’s Common Core Information Center offers facts, figures, and tips about the CCSS and high-quality resources aligned to the standards across all subjects. www.sharemylesson.com/article.aspx?storyCode=50000148 Teaching Channel Teaching Channel offers a free library of high-quality videos featuring real teachers demonstrating their best educational practices. The large library of CCSS videos includes tags that specify the exact standards to which a lesson is aligned. www.teachingchannel.org/ videos?page=1&categories=organizations_national,topics_common-core&load=1 Common Core in Practice: Great Teachers Demonstrate Moving to Deeper Learning America Achieves developed a series of videos demonstrating effective instruction aligned to the Common Core. These five videos show how teachers are putting the new standards into practice in their classrooms and how enthusiastically their students are responding. www.americaachieves.org/issues/common-core-in-practice-great-teachers-demonstratemoving-to-deeper-learning Student Achievement Partners Student Achievement Partners’ website offers a variety of free, high-quality materials to help educators align their instruction to the Common Core State Standards and raise student achievement. Resources include materials and guides aligned to the standards, essential actions for school and district leaders, professional development modules, and information on how educators can support the CCSS outside of the school. www.achievethecore.org/

• EduCore Developed by ASCD, the EduCore tool provides secondary teachers with high-quality teaching and learning resources aligned to the CCSS. www.educore.ascd.org/default.aspx

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NEA Common Core State Standards Toolkit The National Education Association’s Common Core Working Group produced this toolkit to ensure members have the knowledge and understanding necessary to prepare for the implementation of CCSS. www.nea.org/assets/docs/14047-CommonCore_Toolkit_14.pdf

North Dakota Curriculum Initiative (NDCI) The NDCI provides a wealth of information and resources about the standards. The standards and resources are also broken down by grade level. www.ndcurriculuminitiative.org/common_core/

North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (NDDPI) The NDDPI site provides a variety of information about the standards. At this site you will find information about the standards and assessment, information you can provide to parents, and implementation information. www.dpi.state.nd.us/standard/common_core.shtm

National Parent Teacher Association: www.pta.org/parents/content.cfm?ItemNumber=2583

Resources for Educators Working with Students with Disabilities www.ccsso.org/Resources/Programs/Assessing_Special_Education_Students_ (ASES).html or http://ideapartnership.org/ or www.achieve.org or http://www. ccsso.org/Resources/Digital_Resources/SERGE.html

Common Core Videos:

TCH: Teaching Channel www.teachingchannel.org. This site has many videos of common core in the classroom.

Resources for Parents:

Parent Roadmaps to Common Core Standards www.cgcs.org/Domain/36 National PTA www.pta.org/advocacy/content.cfm?ItemNumber=3552 Spotlight on the Common Core Standards - What do Parents Need to Know? educationnorthwest.org/resource/1547 A Parent’s Guide to the Common Core Standards www.education.com/magazine/article/parents-guide-to-common-core-standards/ For more information on Common Core State Standards be sure to attend the Common Core Assessment Conference, Oct. 17-18, 2013 in Bismarck. References: National Education Association (NEA), Smarter Balanced, Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (NDDPI), Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).

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A child’s 13-year journey through Common Core Kindergarten: Billy Smith enters kindergarten and actively engages in group reading activities. With prompting and support, he is expected to be able to ask and answer questions about the text, identify characters and retell major events in the story. He should be able to draw, dictate or write an opinion piece about a topic, such as “my favorite book is…” For math, Billy is counting to 100, seeing addition and subtraction equations and describing shapes and space. Grade 1: By first grade, Billy is reading prose and poetry and should be able to tell the difference between a book that provides information and one that tells a story. He will begin comparing and contrasting the adventures and experiences of characters in stories. Billy will also write informative or exploratory text that names a topic, supplies some facts about that topic and provides a sense of closure. For math, Billy is adding and subtracting within 20, is measuring length and learning how to tell time. Grade 2: In second grade, Billy is recounting fables and folktales from diverse cultures and can determine their central theme, lesson or moral. He’s also able to compare and contrast two versions of the same story. Billy is creating audio recordings of stories and adding visual elements to clarify ideas or feelings. For math, Billy is able to determine whether a group of objects has odd or even numbers, understand what the three digits in a three-digit number represent, and is problem solving with dollars and cents. Grade 3: By third grade, Billy is distinguishing his own point of view from that of the author of a text. He’s decoding multi-syllable words

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and conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic. Billy is also able to explain the function of nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs in general and within a sentence. For math, Billy is now multiplying and dividing within 100. He’s starting to develop an understanding of fractions and is measuring and estimating the liquid volumes and masses of objects in units. Grade 4: Billy is writing extensively over longer periods of time and is engaging in a range of collaborative discussions one-on-one or in group settings. He’s differentiating contexts that call for formal English and informal discourse when appropriate. Billy is correctly using commonly confused words, such as there/their. For math, Billy is now gaining familiarity with factors and multiples, as well as understanding decimal notation for fractions, and conversion of measurement within units. Grade 5: By fifth grade, Billy is able to summarize a written text read aloud and is explaining the function of conjunctions, prepositions and interjections in general and within a sentence. For math, Billy is adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators, and is able to graph points on the coordinate plane to solve real-world and mathematical problems. Grades 6-8: In grades six through eight, Billy is comparing texts in different forms and genres. He’s gathering relevant information from print and digital sources, assessing their credibility and able to quote or paraphrase the conclusions. Billy is recognizing and correcting inappropriate shifts in pronoun number or person and

using punctuation to set off parenthetical elements. For math, Billy is now using ratios to solve problems. He’s finding the area of right triangles, quadrilaterals and polygons. He’s using statistics to draw inferences about population, working with radicals and integer exponents and solving linear equations. Grades 9-10: In grades nine and 10, Billy is using parallel structure and is writing or editing work so that it conforms to guidelines in a style manual, such as the “MLA Handbook.” He’s using effective selection, organization and analysis of content to write informative or exploratory texts that examine or convey complex issues. Billy is able to analyze seminal historical and literary documents, such as the Gettysburg Address. Grades 11-12: By his junior and senior years in high school, Billy is demonstrating knowledge of 18th, 19th and early 20th Century foundational works of American literature, including how two or more texts from the same period treat similar themes or topics. He’s now making strategic use of digital media in presentations to enhance his findings and evidence. In math, Billy is using complex numbers in polynomial identities and equations, representing and modeling with vector quantities, and solving equations and inequalities graphically. Billy is also using function notation, constructing and comparing linear, quadratic, and exponential models, and is proving and identifying trigonometric identities. He’s also proving geometric theorems and making geometric constructions. Billy also understands statistics and can use independence and conditional probability to interpret data.

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COMMON CORE STANDARDS

Designed for College and Career Readiness By Ryan Townsend Department of Public Instruction Director of Academic Standards

The idea of rigorous standards is not new to North Dakota, but what is fairly new is the addition of accountability based on a student’s mastery of those standards.”

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s a science teacher, a superintendent and the director of academic standards at the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (DPI), I know that standards are important. Standards set what is minimally acceptable. Imagine an airplane engine built from parts that did not meet manufacturing standards. Imagine if the standards of manufacturing for these parts were different depending on the state where those parts were made. Would you fly on an airplane that had parts from a state that had lower standards? Standards and benchmarks are nothing new to educators. While North Dakota and other states have long had content standards at each grade level, no two states have ever shared the same standards. North Dakota has had relatively high standards, but students coming in from other states could be far behind or ahead of our students. Our standards were also built from the kindergarten level up to senior year, unintentionally leaving a gap between what a student needed to know in 12th grade and what they needed to know to be successful in credit bearing college classes and their chosen careers when they graduated. The idea of rigorous standards is not new to North Dakota, but what is fairly new is the addition of accountability based on a student’s mastery of those standards. In 2001 with the passage of No Child Left Behind, state assessment scores became a part of a new formula to establish a school’s Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). Schools had to be working toward the goal of 100% of their students being proficient by 2014. For the first few years many of our schools were able to meet the goals established; however, as the bar continued to rise many of our schools began to fall below the bar. More and more schools began to ask what they could do to meet their AYP goals. For many it was the first time that

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they focused their curriculum and instruction around the standards set for each grade level. As of July 1, 2013, the North Dakota Common Core State Standards became the new standards for English language arts and mathematics. These new standards are more rigorous, coherent, and comprehensive than our old standards. They are designed starting at college and career readiness at the end of 12th grade back through kindergarten to make sure students are receiving the information they need to be successful after graduation. These standards are also the basis for curriculum and instruction in 46 other states allowing families to move without the fear that their children will experience gaps in their education. While the new standards ask more of our students they also ask a lot of our teachers and administrators. The standards are not going to change lesson plans and instructional methods, they won’t increase collaboration across content areas, and they won’t engage students with technology and real world connections to the content. The standards aren’t going to stay late and work weekends to grade papers. It is up to local teachers and administrators to take the new standards and develop relevant and engaging lessons. There are plenty of people working hard across North Dakota to help teachers create these lessons. The North Dakota Curriculum Initiative has created a lot of materials for teachers to use, our eight Regional Education Associations (REAs) are all working on Common Core implementation across the state, many of our state educational associations are focusing their conferences and professional development opportunities on the new standards, and EDUTECH has blogs and resources as well as trainings available. In addition, the DPI has created a new unit designated to work on academic standards. We

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want to help go beyond the analytical process of adopting the standards to providing resources for schools to use while implementing them. We want to collaborate with other stakeholder groups across the state and country to expand the pockets of excellence and share the really great things that people are doing in education today. There are three shifts in instruction in both ELA and math that have helped teachers identify where changes are required in the new state standards. In ELA the shifts are building knowledge through content-rich nonfiction; reading, writing, and speaking grounded in evidence from text both literary and informational; and regular practice with complex text and its academic language. In math the shifts are to focus strongly where the standards focus; think across grades and link to major topics within grades; and in major topics pursue conceptual understanding, procedural skills, fluency, and application with equal intensity. The descriptions of these shifts are taken directly from Achievethecore.org, an excellent resource for teachers looking to better understand the new standards.

2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the ND Teacher’s Fund for Retirement (TFFR). With nearly 20,000 active and retired members, TFFR has a long tradition of dedicated service to North Dakota’s education community.

The Common Core has come under attack for stealing creativity from teachers and is being discredited as a federal takeover of state education. Parents need to hear from educators in their schools that these new standards are what is best for our students in North Dakota. They need to hear from the people they trust—educators—that the curriculum in their classrooms is still theirs. Parents need to hear about the changes to deep thinking and skill based knowledge. They need to hear that students will not just be asked to fill in ovals on a test but will be asked to show what they can do with the knowledge they have learned in class. They need to hear that the combination of these new standards along with a dedicated local school district will better prepare their students to be college and career ready.

While benefit and contribution levels have changed over the

As educators, we knew when we adopted these new standards and raised the bar for our students that there would be work to do. No one said it would be easy work, but it is good work. Most of that work falls to teachers and administrators, but we have more collaborative power than ever. Forty-seven states have adopted the ELA and math standards, and thousands of teachers across the country are working together to offer the best lessons possible.

will host a reception at 3:00 p.m. on Oct. 17, 2013 at

years, the basic defined benefit plan has remained intact. From the beginning, TFFR has been dedicated to ensuring North Dakota educators have a reliable source of income during retirement. Still today their mission is “to advocate for, develop, and administer a comprehensive retirement program for all trust fund members within the resources available.” For the TFFR’s 100th Anniversary, North Dakota United Bismarck’s Century High School gymnasium. Please join us for the Celebration and cake, too!

Follow me on Twitter @sryantownsend to see my common core resources and join us in #ndedchat every Wednesday 9PM for a great weekly PD session. Contact me anytime at srtownsend@nd.gov or (701) 328-2629.

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PREPARING THE PATH TO COLLEGE and Career Readiness

An OpEd by North Dakota Teachers of the Year Mary Eldredge-Sandbo, Brenda Werner, Marlene Srock, Julia Koble, and Verna Rasmussen, and Karen Toavs

Mary Eldridge-Sandbo

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Juilia Koble

Brenda Werner

Verna Rasmussen

Marlene Srock

Karen Toavs

As the new school year gets underway, it is exciting, and at times, a bit overwhelming, to consider the changes that are taking place in schools and classrooms around the nation. Every new school year brings change – new classrooms, teachers, students, skills, and information to learn and build on from previous years. This year, however, the changes are far from subtle as we continue to understand and implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), also referred to as College and Career Readiness Standards for mathematics and English/language arts into the curriculum. It is rare to pick up an educational journal, skim through educational blogs, or review political discussions about education without finding multiple and diverse references to the CCSS. As the 2015 date for the first set of assessments based on CCSS comes closer, the opportunities for professional growth, collaboration, and leadership are exciting, important, and urgent. While there will likely be a few moments of panic from time to time, we think these changes have the potential to improve teaching and learning across the state. As a quick review, the CCSS were developed under the leadership of the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers to provide goals for what students should know and be able to do at each grade level in the areas of mathematics and English language arts. For the past few years, across the United States, educators at the state and local levels have been studying, evaluating, and planning for the implementation of the CCSS for mathematics and English/language arts. After much consideration, North Dakota adopted these standards in 2011 because they hold the potential for guiding school boards, administrators, and teachers across the state to provide an even better learning experience for every student in the state. This summer, the Department of Public Instruction announced the selection of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium to develop the state assessments for the 2014-15 school year. Sample items and performance tasks are available at http://www.smarterbalanced.org/sample-items-and-performance-tasks/. North Dakota is known for its excellent schools and outstanding education, and North Dakota students have always been taught to high standards. The CCSS provide direction for teachers and administrators to better prepare North Dakota graduates for college or a career. As our world changes, ND United Voices


Despite other changes that the CCSS will bring, it will not change the dedication, creativity, and expertise that teachers will continue to bring to the classroom as we work to implement the CCSS and make learning even more compelling, rigorous, and meaningful.”

the requirements and expectations of high school graduates are also changing. Whether starting a career, trade school, or college, graduates must know how to solve problems with creativity, analyze complex situations with precision, communicate and collaborate effectively and make well-informed decisions. The CCSS explicitly describes the skills and knowledge that students need as they progress from elementary through high school. For example, the new standards will help teachers plan instruction that will bridge the current gaps between the reading levels of secondary and college textbooks so that students are better equipped to read and analyze the complex texts they will encounter in college or careers. Perhaps the greatest potential impact on college and career readiness will come through the concerted focus across the curriculum to address the common core literacy standards. As teachers, we know the frustration and disconnect that can result if students move to or from another state because state standards vary significantly in terms of rigor, content, and skills. The CCSS will provide consistency across most states so that, no matter where students live, they will be learning similar skills and information. This consistency will also allow for better collaboration within schools, and across the state and nation so that teachers can share resources, learn with each other, and solve problems together. Any teacher who has taught for more than a few years knows that significant changes in the field of education are not new. The changes that can come about with the implementation of the CCSS, however, can make it more practical and more feasible than ever before for teachers to join forces, share best practices, and support each other as we use the standards to guide lasting and positive changes for our students. As with any change, the transition to CCSS raises concerns and questions.  There will probably be a few bumps along the way, but we believe the benefits will far outweigh temporary challenges as long as teachers, administrators, students, parents, and community members work together with the goal of improving student learning. The CCSS will help teachers make decisions as we develop ndunited.org

new lessons, let go of some old lessons, and make modifications to others. North Dakota’s professional educators know their content and their students, and they are in the best position to plan how to teach their students the specific skills and knowledge detailed in the CCSS. While the CCSS provide guidance, they also allow for a combination of the creative, common sense approach to education that is typical in North Dakota classrooms. Even the state assessments will align with the rigorous CCSS and provide feedback in a timely fashion so teachers may change what happens in the classroom and positively impact student learning. The CCSS provide an important guide to ensure that we are providing every student in the state an education that best prepares him or her for success from Kindergarten to high school to college or career. Every year, thousands of teachers across the state put tremendous effort into providing an outstanding education for every student in the classroom. Despite other changes that the CCSS will bring, it will not change the dedication, creativity, and expertise that teachers will continue to bring to the classroom as we work to implement the CCSS and make learning even more compelling, rigorous, and meaningful. From the Department of Public Instruction to North Dakota United, and from the largest district to the smallest rural classroom, we can work, learn, and grow together to continue to do our best for every child in North Dakota schools. About the authors: Mary Eldredge-Sandbo, Brenda Werner, Marlene Srock, Julia Koble, and Verna Rasmussen, and Karen Toavs are a group of North Dakota State Teachers of the Year who have had the privilege and honor of representing the many outstanding educators across the state. We have had the opportunity to view the field of education from multiple perspectives. In this capacity, we are grateful to be able to share our thoughts on the Common Core State Standards in mathematics and English language arts, and the potential these standards hold to improve teaching and learning in our state. 19


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North Dakota United 301 N 4th St Bismarck, ND 58501-4020

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United Voices, special edition  

"Ready or Not Common Core is Here!" This issue pertains to the Common Core Assessment Conference being held Oct. 17-18, 2013, at Bismarck'...