Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

February 7, 2013

Common core curriculum being implemented in schools

CROSSVILLE — Tennessee is continuing to adapt and change its academic requirements to better prepare students for the challenges of post-secondary education and to take a place in the workforce following high school graduation.

Common core standards are currently being implemented in schools across Tennessee, and Cumberland County teachers and administrators are preparing for new teaching strategies and testing methods in the coming years.

"It is extremely important that our kids not just know the steps to get an answer," said Rebecca Wood, curriculum facilitator. "It's important for them to know why they got that answer, what does it really mean? And we want them to completely master those skills before they go to the next level."

The shift to common care standards came about due to several statistics on Tennessee's educational competitiveness, including ranking 46th in fourth-grade math and 41st in fourth-grade reading in the nation; only 21 percent of Tennessee adults having a college degree and only 15 percent of high school seniors in the state being college ready as measured by the ACT test. Also, most new jobs, 54 percent, will require the workforce to have some type of post-secondary education. Common core standards were developed by educators, parents and community and business leaders to determine what should be expected of students at every grade level.

Common core math and English/language arts standards were introduced to kindergarten teachers last year. This year, common core math is being taught in grades 3 through 8, though the state has not aligned the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program tests to these new standards. Woods said the state would pull out questions that did not align with the new standards. Grades kindergarten through second are teaching common core math and English.

Next year, common core math and English will be taught in all grades, but the TCAP tests will remain with online writing assessments. In 2014, schools will fully implement common core in math and English and will have a new assessment that will be taken online with portions completed in a student workbook that will also be scored.

The change to common core standards brings with it six instructional shifts. In math, teachers will focus strongly where the standards focus; think across grade and link to major topics at each grade level; and require conceptional understanding, procedural skill and fluency and application with intensity. In English and language arts, the instructional focus will be on building knowledge through content-rich nonfiction and informational texts; reading and writing that are grounded in evidence from text; and include regular practice with complex text and its academic vocabulary. The goal is for students to develop a higher intensity of understanding in fewer, deeper standards. Students will be expected to master the skills and build analytical thinking.

"Teachers will focus strongly where the standards focus," Wood said. "They will take fewer skills and teach them to mastery, following it across the grades as it builds on each other. Rigor will be required for that understanding. Students need the procedures and they do need that fluency, but it has to start with the understanding."

One of the major changes associated with the common core shift is the change in testing methods. Multiple choice tests will be replaced with questions requiring students to draw a diagram and explain their answers. In writing assessments, students will be asked to read a passage and respond to it, using information from the passage, rather than creative writing alone.

"When they go to the next grade, there will be the expectation that they have the skills so that teacher can move on," Wood said.

Josh Stone, 4th District representative, said, "In the sample problems, we're certainly expecting more from our students. I think they will achieve more. I've found with my own kids that when you push them a little bit, they usually respond by impressing you. Maybe we've been letting students off a little easy with picking C [on the tests]."

Wood said the state was providing training on the new standards, and common core coaches were available to share their knowledge in the school district and beyond. There will be three days of summer inservice available in Cumberland County and pacing guides for math and English/language arts have been developed. The school system has already started working with students on constructed response assessments and preparing students for the online testing process.


Text Only
Area News
  • Shop tax free this weekend

    With the return to school right around the corner and Cumberland County students set to return to classrooms Aug. 6, Tennesseans are reminded they can buy certain items without paying sales tax Aug. 1 through Aug. 3.

    July 30, 2014

  • state park bath house.jpg Historic CMSP bathhouse gets new use with renovation

    When a new pool was constructed at Cumberland Mountain State Park in the 1980s, the beach area was converted to a quiet place to watch the water and the bath house was boarded up.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cole dismissed from teaching position

    The Cumberland County Board of Education voted 8-1 to dismiss tenured special education teacher Stephanie Cole, who remains at the Cumberland County Jail without bond charged with the July 20 fatal shooting of Louis Tammaro Jr.

    July 29, 2014

  • Crash sends one to jail, cyclist to UT

    A crash involving a motorcycle and a pickup truck resulted in one man being flown to a regional trauma center and the second man being arrested after he fled the scene, Crossville Police reported.

    July 29, 2014

  • County to include more meeting info on web site

    Cumberland County commissioners approved a change in the commission's rules which requires the full package of materials supplied to the commissioners to be posted on the county's web site.

    July 29, 2014

  • jobless june.jpg County jobless rate up for June

    County unemployment rates for June 2014 show the rate increased in all 95 counties of Tennessee. In Cumberland County, the jobless rate rose from 7.4 percent in May to 8.3 percent for June.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • lver-greg morris.jpg New veterans rep joins Career Center staff

    The Tennessee Career Center in Crossville now has more resources available to assist veterans seeking employment. The center recently hired Gregory Morris as a local veterans employment representative (LVER) to work with both unemployed veterans as well as employers seeking job applicants.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Richard Lemert.jpg Lemert pays visit to Crossville

    Richard Milo Lemert, (left) great nephew of Milo Lemert of Crossville, recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, is pictured with L.T. Thurman Jr. It was Richard Lemert's first visit to Crossville and during his brief stay, he stopped by the Milo Lemert Building on Main St. and viewed the plaque that was placed in honor of his great uncle. Milo Lemert was married to Nell Snodgrass of Crossville and was killed in action on their first wedding anniversary. Thurman's father, Litton T. Thurman Sr., received the Distinguished Service Cross in the same WWI battle that Lemert was awarded the nation's highest honor. Richard Lemert resides in Raleigh, NC, and is planning to attend the Medal of Honor Convention in Knoxville Sept. 10-13.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • IMG_2558.jpg Understanding the structure of addiction and recovery

    Bradford Health Services hosted a free workshop Friday for area agencies on the structure of addiction and recovery. Robbie Keeble who is recovery liaison for Bradford, was the featured speaker. With rates of substance abuse so prevalent in the Crossville area, several local agencies arranged to instruct participants on how addiction works in the brain and the process that those struggling with addiction need to take in order to recover successfully. There were 94 attendees in all, including several social service agencies, health care providers, law enforcement personnel, businesses and concerned citizens. If you are interested in attending or hosting a future training on matters related to substance abuse, contact Bradford Health Services at (931) 528-6803.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • TMSAA rules get one-year try out

    Changes are coming for the elementary sports programs next year, with a 6-3 vote of the Cumberland County Board of Education. That vote of support of recommendations from the athletic committee was met with concerns from board members that the move towards county-wide rules and regulations was an attempt to move toward middle school teams.

    July 28, 2014 1 Video

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014