Herbie
Herbie, a large sculpted eagle with a wingspan of 17 feet, is perched on a piece of the wall from the 9-11 attack on the Pentagon. He serves as Dexter Elementary School's mascot.

FORT BENNING, Ga. (July 4, 2012) -- The Department of Defense Education Activity recently adopted the Common Core State Standards for math and languages arts.

The CCSS initiative is coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers and is a state-led effort without federal government involvement. Forty-six states -- including Georgia and Alabama, two territories and the District of Columbia -- have accepted the standards.

"We are very excited about these standards because … this way no matter what school (students) are in, no matter where they are from -- we know that they will have covered the same content material," said Lois Rapp, superintendent of the DoDEA's Georgia and Alabama District.

The standards eliminate redundancies or gaps students may run into when they move to another state, she said.

"That was part of the reason that DoDEA actually did adopt their own standards -- there would be at least some continuity, especially for our overseas schools," she said. "But it didn't address the issues of our children coming from outside the gate, from inside the gate and back and forth so we are very excited about these (standards)."

Implementation of the new standards will occur once teachers across the board are trained, Rapp said -- it could begin as early as the 2013-2014 school year.

CCSS used evidence-based research to develop the standards and top-performing schools in the United States and overseas were looked at as models, according to the CCSS website.

"They looked at our overseas areas where we do have higher-performing schools -- like Japan -- to make sure that we are really looking at every resource because we are a global society, especially our children in the military," Rapp said.

The process for creating the standards included teachers, parents, experts and administrators, according to the CCSS website.

"They want to make sure that not only does it have content but that it always talks about application -- no longer are we teaching just isolated facts," she said. "We want children to understand how things connect together and why are they learning it and what it has to do with their life. The standards also focus on higher thinking and getting kids to think outside of the box."

Rapp said the new standards are a win-win for parents and their children.

"Not only will their children have it in the states, but when their children go to overseas DoDEA schools, they will also have the same content as they transition back and forth between the systems," she said.

For more information about CCSS, visit www.corestandards.org.

Page last updated Fri July 6th, 2012 at 00:00