Below are answers to frequently asked questions about Mathematics and the Mathematics Common Core State Standards.
When were the Common Core State Standards adopted by the Ohio State Board of Education?
Ohio’s State Board of Education adopted the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics on June 7, 2010. The standards can be viewed by going to www.corestandards.org.
Why is the format of the Common Core State Standards different from other content areas?
The Common Core State Standards were developed by a multi-state project in which Ohio participated, but was completed parallel with the other content areas. The national committee that finalized the standards decided on the titles of Domain, Cluster, Standard and Conceptual Category.
How should the standards be organized into courses for high school?
Following the completion of the standards, Achieve brought together many of the writers along with other state and national mathematics advisors to develop the Pathways for High School Mathematics. This document presents two course sequences for high school mathematics – a traditional pathway of Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II, and an integrated pathway of Mathematics I, II and III. It is located on the Common Core State Standards website at www.corestandards.org as Mathematics Appendix A.
Will Ohio be adding to the standards?
Currently, the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) is not planning on adding any content to the standards. As we continue the development of the Model Curriculum and the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, ODE will determine if additional content is required. However, because any additional content will not be a part of the assessments, any additions will require justification.
How soon do the Common Core State Standards need to be implemented?
Over the next couple of years, districts should begin to make the transition to the Common Core State Standards. Districts and teachers of Grades K-2 may want to consider implementing the Common Core State Standards sooner rather than later. In this interim period, the goal will be to identify and continue to teach the skills and concepts still required for the current standards and assessments that are not a part of the Common Core State Standards at a specific grade. These concepts and skills can then be phased out as we move closer to the 2014-15 school year.
What tools and resources will be available to help in transition and implementation?
ODE is developing multiple tools and resources to assist districts and teachers in the transition and implementation of the Common Core State Standards. They will be located on the Mathematics Common Core State Standards and Model Curriculum Web page. Model Curriculum will highlight instructional strategies and resources. Other documents on this Web page summarize the relationship between the 2001 Ohio Academic Content Standards in Mathematics and the 2010 Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, including a crosswalk document and documents that show the alignment of the Common Core State Standards, critical areas for K-8 and other learning progressions.
What will be included in the Model Curriculum?
Content Elaborations (in development): These sections will provide additional clarification and examples to aid in the understanding of the standards. To support shared interpretations across states, content elaborations are being developed through multi-state partnerships organized by the Council of Chief State School Officers and other national organizations. This information will be included as it is developed.
Expectations for Learning (in development): As the framework for the assessments, these sections will be developed by the Common Core State Standards assessment consortia (SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium and Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers Assessment Consortium). Ohio is currently participating in both consortia and has input into the development of the frameworks. This information will be included as it is developed.
Instructional Strategies and Resources: Ideas for these sections were influenced by teacher team meetings held across the state during the summer and fall of 2010. More than 500 K-12 mathematics teachers participated in these meetings. The instructional strategies and resources section is designed to be fluid and improving over time through additional research and input from the field. These sections will contain the following subsections:
- Instructional Strategies: descriptions of effective and promising strategies for engaging students in observation, exploration and problem solving targeted to the concepts and skills in the cluster of standards.
- Instructional Resources and Tools: models, manipulatives, tasks, online tools and other resources to help students learn the concepts and skills in the standards. Many resources are drawn from the extensive collection at the Ohio Resource Center of Mathematics, Science, and Reading (www.ohiorc.org).
- Common Misconceptions: descriptions of common misconceptions as well as strategies for overcoming them.
- Differentiation: ideas for adapting instruction to meet the needs of all students.
- Connections: descriptions of relationships between the cluster of standards and other standards in earlier or later grades or within the same grade.
How will the Model Curriculum help me better understand the Common Core State Standards?
The Model Curriculum will provide additional clarity, examples, resources and instructional strategies to aid teachers in the understanding of the standards.
How often will the Model Curriculum be updated?
The instructional strategies and resources section will be the only section to be updated regularly. As we obtain or identify additional strategies, resources, misconceptions and differentiation that are key to the learning of the content and skills, we will replace or add information in the Model Curriculum.
Who participated in the development of the Model Curriculum?
During the summer and fall of 2010, ODE sponsored Regional Teacher Team Meetings around the state to collect ideas for the Instructional Strategies and Resources section of the Model Curriculum. More than 500 teachers from across the state provided valuable information that has been incorporated into the Model Curriculum. ODE is working on future methods for collection and submission of ideas to be considered for the Model Curriculum.
Who is developing the new assessments?
The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers Assessment Consortium (PARCC).
How long will the current assessments continue?
The current assessments for grades 3-8 will continue through the 2013-14 school year. The Ohio Graduation Tests (OGT) will be required minimally through the graduation class of 2016. All assessment requirements are subject to change based on state and federal requirements.
When will we see examples of the new assessments?
We anticipate that assessment examples will be released after the field testing year for 2012-13.
Will new assessments continue at grades 3-8?
Yes. Assessments at grades 3-8 will continue with the Common Core State Standards.
Will the high school assessments be end-of-course, end-of-grade or a test like the OGT?
The answer to this question will largely depend on the consortia that Ohio decides to partner with in the development of common assessments. ODE anticipates that end-of-course exams will be the type of assessment developed. It is unclear as to how many or for which courses end-of-course exams will be developed. We also anticipate that the assessment will be Web-based, allowing for modification for either the traditional or integrated pathway.
Professional Development Opportunities
What professional development will be provided to help teachers implement the Common Core State Standards?
ODE continues to look for ways to provide quality professional development for teachers. Through Race to the Top and Mathematics and Science Partnership funds, we will be providing opportunities for districts to work with Educational Service Centers (ESCs), partner with colleges and universities, and participate in online professional development and other opportunities over the next year. To find state-provided professional development in your area, check STARS, contact your local ESC and look for future Requests for Proposals that will provide funding for partnerships between schools and Institutes of Higher Education.
Do students in middle school who take a mathematics high school course receive high school credit?
Yes. Students who take a mathematics high school course in middle school are to receive high school credit for the course. This course should not be for all students at the middle grades but designed for students intending to take high-level mathematics courses at grades 11 and 12.
The following requirements from Ohio Revised Code 3313.603 must be met.
(G) Every high school may permit students below the ninth grade to take advanced work. If a high school so permits, it shall award high school credit for successful completion of the advanced work and shall count such advanced work toward the graduation requirements of division (B) or (C) of this section if the advanced work was both:
(1) Taught by a person who possesses a license or certificate issued under section 3301.071, 3319.22, or 3319.222 of the Revised Code that is valid for teaching high school;
(2) Designated by the board of education of the city, local, or exempted village school district, the board of the cooperative education school district, or the governing authority of the chartered nonpublic school as meeting the high school curriculum requirements.
Each high school shall record on the student’s high school transcript all high school credit awarded under division (G) of this section. In addition, if the student completed a seventh- or eighth-grade fine arts course described in division (K) of this section and the course qualified for high school credit under that division, the high school shall record that course on the student’s high school transcript.
Can students take Pre-Algebra in high school?
The Education Management Information System (EMIS) description for Transition to High School Mathematics permits districts to offer Pre-algebra for high school credit. Since Pre-algebra is middle-grades mathematics, it should not count as one of the four courses required to meet the Ohio Core graduation requirements.
ODE recommends that students who are behind when they arrive in high school receive extra support to catch up to grade level. This is what Response to Intervention is about: access to the regular curriculum and differentiated instruction and support. Examples include providing support through an intervention specialist during regular class time, through a separate concurrent mathematics support class (e.g., Transition to High School Mathematics) or through a double-block class. Support for low-achieving students should begin in the middle grades, if not earlier.
The Ohio Revised Code states that the courses for High School should be designed to prepare students for the workforce and college. This goal is not served by enrolling a ninth grader in Pre-algebra as her or his only mathematics course. Here are some specific reasons to consider:
- Ohio Graduation Test. Tenth graders who have completed only Pre-algebra and Algebra 1 will most likely be unprepared for the OGT.
- College acceptance. Pre-algebra courses are not recognized as high school level mathematics and usually do not count toward college entrance requirements. In addition, Pre-algebra courses do not count toward NCAA requirements for Division I eligibility.
- Ohio Core. Although the requirement is that students complete Algebra 2 or its equivalent (A2E) by graduation, ODE recommends that programs be designed to complete A2E by the end of the junior year. This provides a chance to regroup when students haven't quite reached college and career readiness by then. When a program is structured to complete A2E by the end of the senior year, struggling students are likely to fall far short of that goal.
Finally, even though schools, teachers and students will not be responsible for the Common Core State Standards until 2014-2015, it would be wise for mathematics departments to begin using the standards as well as the Model Pathways (Appendix A) to inform discussions about their programs (see http://www.corestandards.org/the-standards).
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