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FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
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School officials discuss Common Core in Fairfield

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Malcolm Butler, assistant superintendent of educational services for the Fairfield-Suisun School District, and Araceli Cantu-Tong, director of English Learner Services, listen to a woman's question about Common Core State Standards during a Tri-City NAACP meeting, Saturday, at Mount Calvary Baptist Church.

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From page A4 | January 19, 2014 | 2 Comments

FAIRFIELD — Five multiplied by five is 25. But what does it mean?

With the implementation of Common Core State Standards, public school students will have to think about more than a simple math problem.

“How many ways can you make 25?” said Malcolm Butler, assistant superintendent of educational services for the Fairfield-Suisun School District. “To do that, (students) have to know what 25 means.”

Butler was explaining some of the new education requirements at a Tri-City NAACP meeting Saturday. California, along with 44 other states in recent years, adopted the Common Core State Standards, and school districts have gradually been implementing the plan with technology upgrades and new testing methods.

Butler said the old standards went “an inch deep and a mile wide,” while Common Core goes “a mile deep and an inch wide.”

Students will still learn the facts in all subjects, but they will have to take their education to a deeper level, he said.

“The whole dynamic is how tests become more rigorous, also known as ‘depth of knowledge,’ ” Butler said.

The Common Core concept known as depth of knowledge ranges from simple recall – such as a math calculation – to extended thinking – such as designing a mathematical model to inform and solve a practical situation. A “level 1″ lesson in reading might require the recall of a character in a story. On “level 4,” the lesson might seek a description of common themes found across texts in different cultures.

Writing standards for all grade levels correspond to College and Career Readiness anchor standards and encompass the text types of arguments, informative texts and narratives.

Students are being asked to cite evidence, said Diane Ferrucci, coordinator of elementary education. They need to know the difference between opinion and fact, she said.

“They also need to know how to listen and how to articulate their thoughts,” said Araceli Cantu-Tong, director of English Language Services.

Educators, parents and experts designed Common Core to help prepare students to be successful in college and the workplace, according to the school district’s website.

Butler said the uniform standards will prepare a student to work on any level – whether local, national or even international. With Common Core the curriculum is the same from California to New York.

“Most of us are on the same page,” he said.

Ferrucci said students will develop tools and strategies to support the concepts that are crucial to Common Core.

“When they leave our schools, they are prepared and can make a choice,” Ferrucci said.

Reach Adrienne Harris at 427-6956 or aharris@dailyrepublic.net. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aharrisdr.

Adrienne Harris

Adrienne Harris

Adrienne joined the Daily Republic in September 2009 as a copy editor and reports on the weekends. She earned her journalism degree at the University of Florida in 2005 and has worked at newspapers in Fort Pierce, Fla.; Las Cruces, N.M.; and El Paso, Texas. She currently lives in Oakland.
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  • The MisterJanuary 19, 2014 - 8:09 am

    Common Core is enslavement. Common Core is all about control... government control and shysters profiting from this control. The Common Core program is owned by a lobbying outfit in Washington DC. There's a US Senate Bill ready to become law that mandates ALL states adopt Common Core... meaning every school district will have to an annual licensing fee to the lobbying outfit that owns Common Core AND you, the parents and local school boards, have no say is what gets taught to your children. By license agreement, the Common Core program can be changed no more than 15 percent. Expect that grace to be withdrawn once that Senate Bill becomes law. Think about this: After all the years and all the money that has been spent on education (and you know most of that does not go to the teachers!), the public education of our kids is a failure. Why are you going to give more control and money to bureaucrats and politicians? As a reward for the great job they've already done? Because the only problem in public education is that we, the taxpayers, just haven't given enough money yet... so education's failure is our fault? Because you don't care about your kids and enjoy the free public babysitting service so you can watch TV or go off to your career? Common Core is enslavement. If you're okay with the enslavement of our future, then so be it upon your head.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • George Guynn, JrJanuary 19, 2014 - 1:02 pm

    The Mister, great comments and you are 100% on track, as usual! The special interest money trail guarantees big problems and no results from Common Core. We don't need another Agenda 21 promotion program. This country needs people that think, not dumped down salves on the global plantation.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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