47 states to implement new, rigorous school standards - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

47 states to implement new, rigorous school standards

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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - 47 states are united on implementing the new and rigorous Common Core Standards. For the first time, America can ensure some type of uniformity in every classroom. 

In Kentucky, graduating students will be ready to compete in college, in any chosen career and the global economy.  Jefferson County Public Schools has been doing its best to prepare parents for not only the academic changes the program will bring but also the change they will see as the district's and the Nation's first test scores are released.

Chief Academic Officer for JCPS Dr. Dewey Hensley strongly supports the program, "People that argue that the old system was what we need to retain are really arguing that we need to keep the bar lower so more kids can jump over."

There have been no arguments yet over Common Core Standards but there have been a lot of questions. Some parents have serious questions regarding exactly what the first test scores will mean for their JCPS student. Especially if their student's rank as novice, apprentice, proficient or distinguished decreases now that the difficulty of work has increased.

Dr. Henley stressed the drop in scores is expected in the beginning, "The test scores will be lower because the standard is so much higher."

Teachers and educators involved in daily with JCPS students have been sending home non-stop reminders to those at home that these new scores must stand alone.

"You can't compare the previous test scores to the common core test scores that are going to be released," Dr. Hensley stresses over and over again.

Tom Peterson, principal of Hazelwood Elementary has the same message, "You cannot compare it to any past assessments that were given by the state because it is completely new."

This is a new beginning. This is a whole new ball game.

Dr. Hensley's explained, "We're talking about a basketball game versus a soccer game. The score here may have been 101- 99.  The soccer game may have been 2- nothing,"

It's not only a whole new ball game, it's also a first. Kentucky is leading the way for the nation.

Peterson braged, "Kentucky was the first state to accept the common core standards."

The United States is watching and following much of what we do. Kentucky is one of the only states so far to implement common core and immediately access or test student's performance.

Peterson pointed out one of the difficulties with going first, "There wasn't any time really in between implementing the standards and then accessing them. There was no bridge."

No bridge for Kentucky students means no extra time for kids to make the transition to the more rigorous method of learning. For students who were already falling behind in the old core content, this could mean a few more hours with their nose in the books. 

Peterson emphasizes, "There are gaps in the children learning."

There are gaps but there was no extra time for students to prepare to make the big leap for that bar Kentucky says they are raising.

"They are very high expectations," Peterson exclaims.

Most educators in the system agree.  JCPS are asking the public, the parents and naysayers of Common Core not to jump to conclusions after the test results are released simply because the scores in most cases will be lower.  JCPS felt there was no time to waste in their mission to elevate their students. They jumped at the opportunity to lead the way to become the State with the Nation's first Common Core curriculum in place.

Hensley explained with excitement, "We get our kids to the destination more quickly if we are willing to go through the difficulty first."

Kentucky hopes parents will lean on common core, to lead their children to higher test scores in the future as well as getting them college and career ready.

Peterson agrees even if it was quick it was necessary, "There were standards, but now they're much higher and they needed to be." 

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