Good-bye FCAT. Common Core Standards are the new kid in town, and it's a very different curriculum for kids.
"Definitely night and day," explained Gorrie Elementary kindergarten teacher Holly Sinclair.
Forty-eight states and U.S. territories have adopted Common Core Standards. They start this year in Florida.
The new standards provide a consistent plan for what kids are expected to learn. It ensures no matter where you live, your child will have the same skills a student across the country is learning.
And it starts right from kindergarten.
"There's math, there's science, there's social studies. It's not as free and play-oriented as it used to be. Although we incorporate the play and we do centers and we make it fun and hands-on. But there's a lot more expectations involved," said Sinclair.
The hope is to make sure kids are college- or career-ready. But that starts from the first days in school.
"They want to learn these things and they are capable of learning these things. It's a matter of them being taught and held up to those high expectations," continued Sinclair.
By the end of the year, Miss Holly's 5- and 6-year-olds will be expected to write in full sentences.
"They need to be able to write sentences with phonetic spelling, sight words that they can automatically read, like 'the' or 'have.'"
And if there's any time for parents to be involved in their kids' education, now is the time.
Clara Gough is the mom of 2 kids, a 3rd grader and a sixth grader. She says the district and Gorrie Elementary have been great in giving them a timeline for when the standards would start and what they would look like.
She loves the idea.
"My favorite part about this is, we're going to have a national standard as opposed to what state you live in. It shouldn't be that way, in my opinion," explained Gough. "It should be nationally, so you can see how our children compare, so that no matter what they want to do in life and where they want to go to school, they are going to be just as competitive and able to achieve their goals."
The Common Core Standards start this year in kindergarten and first grade. They will be phased in over the next three years for all other grades.
The FCAT will be gone by then.
For more information: http://www.corestandards.org/
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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