District Implements State-Adopted Common Core StandardsOur District must constantly adjust to the Mississippi Department of Education’s current curriculum to remain successful and provide students with appropriate preparation for all state tests. Mississippi has changed the assessment and teaching guidelines and, therefore, the Grenada School District must adjust accordingly. Mississippi has chosen to implement the Common Core Standards and MDE has offered no opting out; therefore, educators must implement these Standards. The Standards require the implementation of higher order thinking skills and will affect how math and language arts are taught across the United States. Forty-five states and the District of Columbia are implementing Common Core and will, therefore, ensure that students are held to the same benchmarks.
MDE states that this initiative is important to provide consistency, prepare students to compete globally, offer more focused professional development, and provide the opportunity to compare and evaluate policies across states that affect student achievement.
To meet the demands of these changing standards in education, Grenada School District’s content-specific Instructional Specialists are helping our teachers and students to meet these higher levels of expectations. GSD is expanding the improvement of teaching and learning through the coordination of teaching strategies developed through the efforts of the Instructional Specialists and teachers. Although the benchmarks are defined, our District will have the flexibility to choose the materials appropriate for our students to achieve these benchmarks.
The Common Core Standards Initiative has established a single set of educational standards for kindergarten through 12th grade in language arts and mathematics. The Standards are designed to ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to enter college programs or enter the workforce. They are designed to promote equity by ensuring that all students, no matter where they live, are well-prepared with the skills and knowledge necessary to collaborate and compete with their peers in the United States and abroad. Unlike previous standards, which were unique to every state in the country, the Common Core Standards enable collaboration between states.
These new directives are a challenge for our District and districts across the country, requiring different methods of teaching and higher level thinking skills. The Common Core raises the expectations for all of the educational community. These new requirements are putting a lot of pressure upon all educators as we comply with the new initiative. GSD teachers, administrators, and staff are working to implement these Standards and provide appropriate methodology for our students.