APS adopts new national curriculum standards
Ohio has adopted new learning standards for its students, and the Akron Public Schools (APS) are officially on board.
The Ohio Department of Education adopted the new nationally developed common core state standards for language arts and math in June 2010, according to APS officials. These were created by a group of people commissioned to write a set of common curriculum standards that would help assure American high school seniors would graduate ready for college or a career.
The new standards are internationally benchmarked to help Americans compete against students from other countries, according to APS officials.
The APS Board of Education approved the new standards at the Aug. 27 meeting, following a presentation by the district’s Curriculum and Instruction Department.
The national common core standards so far cover only language arts and math; Ohio has new college and career-ready standards for social studies and science, said Steve Miller, APS math learning specialist.
Forty-six U.S. states have adopted the common core standards, which will become mandatory in the 2014-15 school year, said Miller. Common core officials estimate that 62 percent of jobs will require college education by 2018.
Along with the new standards will come new assessments of students’ success in meeting them. Ohio is one of 23 states working together in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) in developing testing that is aligned with the common core standards, said Miller.
New assessments are being piloted that will replace the current Ohio Graduation Test (OGT) and Ohio Achievement Assessments (OAA), he said. They will be computer-based, end-of-course tests, which will be given from third through 11th grades, according to Miller.
The APS and Ohio Department of Education are collaborating in piloting assessments in physics, chemistry and math, said Karen Gegick, APS executive director of teaching and learning, and the district’s language arts teachers are working on implementing the English standards.
The APS is transitioning to the new standards now in preparation for the first testing in 2014-15, she said.
In other business, former school board member the Rev. Byron Arledge was on hand to announce a donation from Pastoral Counseling Service of Summit County of furniture — a conference table, chairs, a couch and a coffee table — to the APS.
Arledge works with the PASS (Positive Academic Support System) program, an alternative program collaboration with the APS that helps provide support for students with mental health issues that impact their ability to succeed in school, he said. The furniture will be used to help provide a more home-like setting for the counseling, he said.
The board’s next regular meeting is set for Sept. 10 at 5:30 p.m. at the Sylvester Small Administration Building, 70 N. Broadway in Downtown Akron.
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