More power to teachers, students learning cursive among proposed - Tucson News Now

More power to teachers, students learning cursive among proposed state education standards

(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

“If this is re-branding, this is a waste of time and resources.” 

“Please add cursive into the standards.”

Those are just some of the comments from audience members at a public hearing tonight at Catalina Magnet High School.

Over the last month, the Arizona Department of Education’s standards development committee has been visiting different cities throughout the state to listen to concerns and feedback on proposed standards for K-12 education.
An estimated 20 people sat in Catalina Magnet High School’s auditorium today to give their opinion on the 2016 Arizona Draft Math and English Language Standards that would replace the controversial Common Core Initiative. 
The proposed new standards are hundreds of pages long. Some people who attended the public hearing on Monday night, like Amphitheater Public Schools chief academic officer for elementary education Dr. Roseanne Lopez, would like a simpler sheet that shows a direct comparison of what the standards are now compared to the draft changes.
Scott Leska is on the standards committee. He’s also an Amphitheater Public Schools Board member and broke down what he thinks stands out in these proposed new standards. If approved as is, it would:    

  • Eliminate examples of how teachers must teach the standards. Bottom line, it gives teachers more freedom to teach the material how they see fits their students.    
  • Require first graders to name coins and understand their value.      
  • Give teachers in all grade levels the power to determine the ratio of fiction vs. nonfiction books their students must read. Right now, the standards require teachers to make students read more nonfiction than fiction.      
  • Require students by third grade to read & write cursive. Right now, it’s not required, but some teachers teach it and others don’t.

Dr. Lopez believes the changes are doable, but has some concerns. “We have to think about how we’re going to fund that change. How are we going to train teachers. That all costs money,” she said.
Other audience members on Monday night praised the need for changes.
For those who couldn't make the Monday night meeting, you can comment online until early October by clicking here

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