The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

April 26, 2013

Workshops help prepare for new common core standards

Session helps create leaders and trainers for new policy

By Sarah Plummer
Register-Herald Reporter

BECKLEY — Teachers and administrators across RESA 1 (Regional Education Service Agency) got an intense training at Tamarack this week on the national Common Core State Standards adopted by 46 states across the United States.

Drexel Sammons, director of projects and development, said 140 teachers from across Raleigh, Wyoming, Summers, McDowell, Mercer and Monroe counties participated in a Next Generation Education Academy for teachers Tuesday to become leaders and trainers in their respective counties.

On Thursday, RESA 1 sponsored a Leadership Enhancement Academy for principals and curriculum leaders.

Sammons said next fall West Virginia will be rolling out the English and Language Arts Common Core Standards in grades 2-3, 6-8, and 10-11, making all students up to date in this subject area.

“The new standards are more rigorous. They are more detailed with less standards. Instead of covering the surface of all topics we are going to get in depth with less number of standards,” he said.

The benefit of the Common Core State Standards Initiate, adopted in 46 states, is that students in West Virginia will be taught the same curriculum as those in other states. Once national assessments are made a state will know how their students are doing comparatively, he said.

In all, RESA 1 and the West Virginia Department of Education will provide a total of 6 days of intensive training on the national standards.

In addition to two days this week, the Department of Education will offer three days in May, and in June all six counties will reconvene to discuss implementation.

Thursday attendees welcomed guest speakers Dr. Gene Kerns, a national speaker who holds workshops on the Common Core Standards across the country, and Jason Long, of Lewisburg, who focused on issues in special education.

The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers. The standards were developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators and experts.

Common Core Standards in social studies and science will be rolled out in the future.

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