We believe that this initiative is a critical step in state efforts to provide every student with a comprehensive, content rich education. These standards can support the collaboration across states and stakeholders in providing programs, resources and policies that will help overcome the weaknesses and inequities in our schools today.”
—NEA President Dennis Van Roekel
Position: NEA-NH is committed to this project
NEA-NH believes the Common Core State Standards have the potential to provide all children access to a complete and challenging education. These voluntary standards allow educators far more manageable curriculum goals, providing more opportunities for greater professional judgment that promotes student success.
We support the goal of the Common Core State Standards, which 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.”
—Scott McGilvray, NEA-NH President.
The CCSS are not a curriculum. Standards are statements of the knowledge and skills that students need to master to be prepared for college and/or the workforce. Curriculum is the roadmap that teachers use to help young people acquire and master those skills. Depending upon the individual needs and learning styles of their students, teachers then develop instructional strategies and techniques to navigate the roadmap.
New Hampshire’s Plan
Under the New Hampshire Department of Education’s plan, school districts this fall must begin “instructional shifts” in math and English to meet the Common Core standards. Starting in the 2014 school year, assessment tests will be geared toward Common Core, in place of current the NECAP statewide testing system.
These standards define the knowledge and skills students should have within their K-12 education careers so that they will graduate high school able to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing academic college courses and in workforce training programs. The standards:
- Are aligned with college and work expectations;
- Are clear, understandable and consistent;
- Include rigorous content and application of knowledge through high-order skills;
- Build upon strengths and lessons of current state standards;
- Are informed by other top performing countries, so that all students are prepared to succeed in our global economy and society; and
- Are evidence-based.
The Need for Profession Development
NEA-NH believes that continuous professional development is required for education professionals to achieve and maintain the highest standards of student learning and professional practice. Preparation, communication and education are critical to the successful implementation of the CCSS in New Hampshire’s public schools.
We believe all educators, including classroom teachers, paraprofessionals, and support staff, must be trained in order to be prepared to teach to the new standards, and that they be provided time to bring their lesson plans and instructional materials into alignment with the new standards. Preparation for the CCSS should include informing instructional practice with strategies and curricular design methodologies and providing a continuum of support for implementing the Standards, as well as strategies for advocacy and parental and community engagement.”
—-Scott McGilvray, NEA-NH President
NEA’s History with the CCSS
The NGA and CCSSO invited NEA to be a partner in the standards project. NEA decided to join the partnership for two major reasons: to acknowledge and participate in the broad support for common standards from many thoughtful groups; and to ensure that the concerns and voices of teachers were considered.
CCSS staff and writers met with two groups of NEA members who were National Board Certified teachers in either mathematics or ELA teachers. The standards project staff listened carefully to our members and made substantive changes in the standards based on the recommendations of the NEA teachers, as well as those of teachers from other organizations including the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the International Reading Association (IRA), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). As the standards were expanded to include K-12, NEA teacher reviewers and staff continued to provide input to the various drafts. NEA in conjunction with other organizations including CCSSO, NGA, IRA, AFT, and others continues support implementation of the standards.
Resources and References:
NEA Common Core State Standards Toolkit
These resources are designed to give educators the tools they will need to effectively prepare for the implementation of Common Core State Standards.