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Common Core Standards Explained – Thanks PTA!

National PTA

What has the PTA done for me lately?  I’ve heard this question a lot.  When I was serving as the communications board member for my local PTA, there were a lot of parents who questioned whether we were doing anything of value.  Maybe I should have communicated better about our mission and actions because we were WORKING HARD to improve our school and support our teachers. 

I must admit that I have not taken much time to find out what the National PTA is doing to help me and my kids.  I’ve always sort of thought that the real work was done by parents and teachers in schools, while the national organization existed basically to coordinate our efforts.

But in a press release this week, the National PTA gave me a reason to take a serious look at what they’re actually doing to support students, teachers and families.  This week they announced the creation of a series of guides to help parents understand the new Common Core Standards in Math and English that have been adopted by more than half of the states in the country.

This could be a HUGE help to parents if they know the information exists so you bet I’ll be passing it along to my PTA’s current communications officer so that other parents in my school district will have help understanding these new standards.

From the Press Release:

“As the Standards are implemented within the next few years throughout the country, a key part of the work will be to help parents talk about and understand how the Standards can be used to improve their children’s chances for success.  These Guides will help parents do just that,” said National PTA President, Charles J. “Chuck” Saylors.

The Guides include four key components:

•             Key items that children should be learning in English and math in each grade;

•             Activities that parents can do at home to support their child’s learning;

•             Ways parents can build stronger relationships with their child’s teacher; and

•             Tips for planning for college and career (high school guides only).

The Common Core Standards are a collection of learning targets in Math and English that have been adopted by more than 40 states to ensure that kids are being taught the same basic skills regardless of geographic location.

Kathryn Thompson is a mom to two school-aged kids, a toddler, and a deceased betta fish. She can also be found at The Parenting Post, and occasionally the gym.

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