October 2020 Newsletter
This Month’s Top Standards News and Trends
We Know Standards
This fall EdGate watched states release “COVID-Minimum” standards. These priority standards were singled out knowing that educators will certainly have a tough time teaching to all standards during a pandemic, particularly via remote learning. For instance, Ohio released a set of prioritized standards for Early Learning divided into three categories: 1) Critical and Feasible; 2) Recommended/Supplemental; 3) Enrichment or Not Likely/Feasible. Illinois prioritized art standards by deciding whether specific learning standards represented the most foundational knowledge and best supported students’ social-emotional learning needs during this tumultuous year, etc.
Want to learn more about the COVID-minimum standards? See the full article below. Questions about COVID-minimum standards? Please reach out!
As schools nationwide search for ways to protect students and educators during the COVID-19 pandemic, some have adapted to outside the box classrooms. For many, this means classrooms have moved to an all outdoor setting helping to lessen the worries surrounding closed spaces and transmission of the virus.
Research shows COVID-19 is much less likely to be spread outdoors. With public and private schools offering large plots of land this can provide many opportunities to take teaching outside. One school administrator has found "being outside and socializing during the pandemic has proved important to the students' mental and physical health." Students not only get fresh air during the school day, but they are also experiencing learning time away from a computer screen.
Forest schools are making a name for themselves as traditional teaching methods are struggling to adapt during the pandemic. This Scandinavian educational tradition focuses primarily on preschool-aged children to take the classroom experience outdoors. Instead of sitting at desks learning, students are in the forest, building forts from sticks, picking fresh berries, and have storytime in nature. Physical activity is encouraged and social connections are part of the natural classroom setting.
Many feel the outdoor learning model is the future of schooling during this pandemic. While some parts of the country may find it challenging during the colder and rainy seasons, many believe the therapeutic aspect of outdoor classrooms outweighs the challenges this could present. Science has long suggested decreased time spent in front of a computer screen will improve mental health and academic performance. A recent report from the University of Adelaide found, "Nature may currently be an under-utilized public health resource, and it could potentially function as an upstream preventative and psychological well-being promotion intervention for children and adolescents in a high-tech era."
As the number of outdoor or Forest Schools increases throughout the country, many are hopeful that this new learning model will continue, even after the pandemic subsides.
By: Sharla Schuller
As teachers and administrators look to the 2020/2021 school year, they are "expressing concern over student learning gaps due to the distance learning environment forced on educators by the COVID-19 pandemic." This statement, expressed by Kyra Donovan, of The International Center for Leadership in Education means that states are re-examining their educational standards to determine what the minimum, essential standards are for student success. They have identified several criteria that meets these minimum standards: "readiness" to move to the next level of learning, "endurance" of learning to last beyond the specific grade level, "leverage" of learning to crossover into other content areas and "alignment" to external exams. With these criteria in mind, it is useful to look at how several states are determining what their minimum standards should be.
Illinois has identified their minimum standards as: "the most foundational/essential knowledge, skills and competencies for all students; the most critical standards for continued learning success at subsequent grade levels; and those standards best suited for interdisciplinary and/or project-based learning." These clearly meet the criteria outlined above.
Many states are also following the criteria listed, noting the potential knowledge gaps for incoming students. Kentucky is drafting an adjusted curriculum to prioritize those minimum standards for all students. Kansas has included a shift from "reliance on seat time" to a focus on mastery of essential skills. Both Oregon and Washington States have moved to offering credits based on mastery of basic skills within specific disciplines. Ohio has identified three categories for their standards: critical & feasible; recommended and enrichment.
The first category includes minimum standards addressing foundational needs. The second category looks at important skills for school readiness, and the third category are standards, which can only be included if feasible.
There is no question that COVID-19 has disrupted everyone's lives in profound ways, but the various states of this country are making admirable efforts to continue to meet the needs of all students even in these uncertain times.
By: Nancy Rubesch
EdGate is diligently monitoring which states are using IMS Global CASE identifiers to represent their standards. While there are many states making plans to transition to the IMS Global CASE identifiers, the following is a list of states that are already actively using CASE:
- South Carolina
IMS Global is working directly with states to publish more of their standards and several have a “Coming Soon” status. What does this mean for EdGate clients? As states and organizations move to adopting the CASE format for their learning standards, EdGate will assist with transitioning our clients quickly and efficiently to the CASE-formatted versions of those standards, upon request. Want to learn more about how EdGate is helping publishers move to CASE? Watch our webinar. Interested in learning more about IMS Global and why CASE was created? Check out this IMS video for a good overview.
By: Gina Faulk
Curriculum Grants and Funding
In this section of the EdGate Observer we point our clients to news about districts, states, etc. that may have available funding for curriculum.
This month we highlight two upcoming grants and awards:
- Ferris State University (MI) received $669,216 grant from the USDA for their FerrisNow STEM Dual Enrollment VR Initiative
- Gray Family Foundation seeks proposals that stimulate or promote the teaching of environmental education in formal and informal K-12 educational environments to increase outdoor experiences for youth.
Updates to The EdGate Standards Repository include:
- ACARA Literacy Learning Progression Language Arts (AD 2017) Grades F-10
- CASEL Framework Social and Emotional Learning (AD 2020) Grades PreK-12
- Colorado Academic Standards (CAS) Early Childhood Education (AD 2020) Early Learning Guidelines 4 months - 5 years
- Delaware Standards and Instruction Social Studies (AD 1995/Refreshed 2017) Grades K-3,4-5,6-8,9-12
- Indiana Academic Standards Social and Emotional Learning (AD 2015) Grades PreK-2,3-5,6-8,9-10,11-12
- Kansas Academic Standards Social and Emotional Learning (AD 2018) Grades K-2,3-5,6-8,9-12
- Louisiana Connectors (uncorrelated) Mathematics (AD 2018) Grades K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9-12
- Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards Social Studies (AD 2020) Grades K,1,2,3,4,5,8,9-12 US History
- North Dakota Academic Content Standards Social and Emotional Learning (AD 2018) Grades K-2,3-5,6-8,9-12
- Ohio Learning Standards Social and Emotional Learning (AD 2019) Grades K-2,3-5,6-8,9-12
- Ontario Curriculum Mathematics (AD 2020) Grades 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8
- Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) English Language Learners (AD 2017) ESL Grades 7,8,9-12
- Texas STAAR 2 - Essence Statements (uncorrelated) Social Studies (AD 2019) Grades 8, HS
- Texas STAAR 2 - Essence Statements (uncorrelated) Language Arts (AD 2020) Grades 3,4,5,6,7,8,HS
- Texas STAAR 2 - Essence Statements (uncorrelated) Science (AD 2018) Grades 5,8,HS
- Texas STAAR 2 - Essence Statements (uncorrelated) Mathematics (AD 2016) Grades 3,4,5,6,7; (AD 2019) Grade 8 & Algebra I
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