I live in a state (one of the few) that hasn’t adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). I’m at a school that was labeled PLA (persistently low achieving) based largely off one year of data. A lot of people are surprised by the label. I came in for just this year, and I’m not surprised. There are plenty of very high achieving kids taking Calc BC, along with seniors who are still trying to pass Algebra 1.
I bring this up because a few things really clicked for me today. First off, I’ve been thinking more about reasoning courtesy of Jason Buell, Shawn Cornally, and Dan Meyer’s (seriously no-one reading this needs Dan’s link) explanations the Ladder of Abstraction. And David Cox is talking about how they’re spending good solid time figuring out how to align with the CCSS .
It’s all clicking together, how much this stuff ties together, and how I want to push my students to keep re-using things they’ve learned to explore new ideas. I’m trying this a bit in my current physics class, but there is SO MUCH MORE I could do.
But testing season (why the FRACK do we have a “testing season” that takes MARCH, APRIL, MAY and JUNE???) is beginning, and there is no support for anything radical that I’d like to do unless it means more students getting As (from parents) or huge improvements in test scores. Otherwise, as a physics teacher, I am basically ignored.
I’m going to be at another school next year. I just hope I end up in a place that has adopted the CCSS. At least then reasoning and abstraction will be a required part of the curriculum.
p.s. that’s a bit rant-y. I should put up something positive that has happened in my classroom. Perhaps that will be my goal for this week.