Common Core Standards impact Hawaii education future
February 10, 2014
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii (Feb. 7, 2014) -- The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Initiative is a state-led effort developed in coordination with teachers, school administrators and experts to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare children for college and the workforce.
The initiative that will change the future of education for our nation was coordinated by the National Governors Association Center and the Council of Chief State School Officers.
In 2010, states began independently adopting the CCSS with no involvement by the federal government. Hawaii adopted the CCSS in 2010, and today there are 45 states, the District of Columbia, four territories and the Department of Defense Education Activity that have chosen to adopt the standards for kindergarten through 12th graders in English language arts and mathematics.
The five states that have chosen not to adopt the standards are Texas, Virginia, Alaska, Minnesota and Nebraska.
The intent of the standards is to establish clear goals for learning that are consistent across the 45 states. Standards are meant to ensure that no matter where a student lives, he/she will be well-prepared with the skills and knowledge necessary to compete with peers across the nation and abroad. This hope is beneficial for Army-dependent children who attend many schools prior to graduating from high school because of the mobile military lifestyle they live.
Although the CCSS is relatively new to Hawaii, the schools here are not unfamiliar with standards. In the past, Hawaii used Hawaii Content and Performance Standards III, also known as HCPS. Just as the HCPS changed over the years and is currently in its third revision, the advisory group that provided guidance on the CCSS initiative (such as Achieve, Inc.; ACT, or American College Testing; the College Board; the National Association of State Boards of Education; and the State Higher Education Executive Officers) believe that the CCSS is intended to be "a living work that will continue to be refined as new and better educational initiatives emerge."
This school year, Hawaii implemented the CCSS, and professional development is being provided to all public schools. Training will continue in school years 2014-2015 and 2015-2016. The biggest change, however, will be the move to a new form of assessments in 2014-2015.
The Hawaii Department of Education will no longer be using the Hawaii State Assessment tests, and Hawaii will be one of 23 states to implement the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium that will be aligned with the new CCSS.
Hawaii educators are anticipating this new initiative will be a step in the right direction for providing students with a high-quality education. The new CCSS will help students understand what they are expected to learn, and teachers and parents will know what they need to do to help them.