Common Core State Standards “Daunting” for School Districts

Sheridan District 2 Assistant Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Sachse
Sheridan District 2 Assistant Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Sachse

A fair amount of discussion took place at Tuesday night's Sheridan County School District 2 Board of Trustees meeting regarding the issue of Common Core State Standards.

Assistant Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Sachse, shared with the Board that the Wyoming State Board of Education adopted the CCSS last September, joining forty-five other states.

He added that the Wyoming Department of Education followed by joining the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. Sachse explains what adopting the CCSS means for the District.

Math requirements for elementary students will be raised as well, with 5th graders expected to master all operations of fractions.

Sachse told the board that these national standards are “very ambitious,” and that states will be required to comply by 2015. Trustee Rich Bridger sternly stated that the math and Algebra I requirements for 8th graders is “risky;” he also said he didn't like what he termed “the erosion of local control.” Sachse elaborates.

Playing devil's advocate, one wonders why it's such a big deal to encourage students to achieve the highest learning standards they can. After all, for centuries the greatest scientific, literary, philosophic and mathematical minds were challenged with classical learning training, without the aid of technology. Sachse offers this thought.

Sachse told the Trustees that the District will need to recast its curriculum and assessment documents, provide ongoing professional development for faculty and acquire new instructional resources in order to implement the CCSS by 2015.

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