10/25/2014

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Grandview school gives feedback to Common Core field testing

Grandview school gives feedback to Common Core field testing
GRANDVIEW, Wash. -- It's the standard schools in Washington state will implement next school year. The Common Core standards.

Schools across the Yakima Valley have been getting students ready for it. Some local school districts in Yakima County recently did some field testing.

It’s an initiative that changes the way teachers teach and how students learn.

"This is the biggest shift in education that I've seen in my 25 years of teaching," said Grandview High School teacher Stacey Stearns.

A goal of the Common Core is to have students dig deeper in Math and English language arts.

Stacey Stearns teaches 11th grade English at Grandview High School. She's had to redesign her class around the new Common Core standard. Now she focuses on techniques like reading for purpose and supporting arguments.

Students like Esmeralda Gonzalez say classes are getting easier.

"With the help I'm getting to understand what I have to do on the test, I use it in class and I'm like, oh really, it makes more sense if you pay attention to what you're reading and what they're asking for," said Esmeralda.

Students in Grandview recently took the Smarter Balanced field test to assess their Common Core ability. Teachers will use feedback from students to see what they found most challenging and design lessons to address those needs.

Allie Harrington feels it should help her get ready for college.

"Professors aren't going to be there holding your hand telling you what to do. You have to be able to do it yourself" said Allie.

However, there are also challenges. Stacey said it's possible teachers will have to start over with a brand new curriculum to meet Common Core standards. There's also fear of the unknown. Teachers might need workshops and training to understand Common Core.

Students will begin taking the actual Smarter Balanced test next school year.
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