On March 19, the Milford School District held a public meeting to present and discuss information about the Common Core/State Standards. The meeting was attended by 50? people (my guess on number, and I’m often not very good with estimates) who had quite a wide variety of viewpoints.
District administrators and teachers presented an overview of the standards, which are the learning goals for students at each grade level. The standards tell districts what students are expected to know by the end of each year, but not how to teach students to get them to those levels.
Ohio schools have been held to standards for the past 20 or so years. Previously, all standards were developed by the state. Currently, standards for Math & English/Language Arts in Ohio are part of what is called the Common Core, standards developed over the past five years by a council of governors with educators, businesspeople and teachers also part of the committee. The Science and Social Studies standards have been developed through a similar process but are Ohio’s only.
After Dr. Chin and Mrs. House, Curriculum Directors, presented an overview of the Common Core standards and described how the curriculum development process works, several teachers presented some examples of Milford’s specific curriculum that has been developed to meet these standards. They stressed that our curriculum, as in all districts, is our own: it is developed locally and is not mandated by the state or federal governments.
The floor was then opened for public questions and comments. A number of people got up to speak. All were residents, and most (if not all) either had children or grandchildren in the district. They discussed concerns including curriculum moving too quickly; too much testing; and that Common Core is being pushed by the federal government. Many of the concerns are items that cannot be addressed at the district level; residents are encouraged to contact state or federal representatives with concerns about testing or the Common Core standards themselves.
The meeting was filmed and will be available on the district website soon. To view the Powerpoint overview presented by Dr. Chin and Mrs. House, click here: Milford Learning Standards Forum.