Monday, May 26, 2014

Common Core Suggestions for Intervention

I stumbled across the section "Supporting Students" while reading the Common Core (CC) - Appendix A on designing math courses to align with the CC. I was particularly intrigued by the Response to Intervention practices. Few of these suggestions are in place at my school...although we are looking for ways to put more support outside of the classroom in place gradually over the coming years.

---- from Appendix A of Common Core for Mathematics ----

Supporting Students

One of the hallmarks of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics is the specification of content that all students must study in order to be college and career ready. This "college and career ready line" is a minimum for all students. However, this does not mean that all students should progress uniformly to that goal. Some students progress more slowly than others. These students will require additional support, and the following strategies, consistent with Response to Intervention practices, may be helpful:
  • Creating a school-wide community of support for students;
  • Providing students a "math support" class during the school day;
  • After-school tutoring;
  • Extended class time (or blocking of classes) in mathematics; and
  • Additional instruction during the summer
Watered-down courses which leave students uninspired to learn, unable to catch up to their peers and unready for success in post-secondary courses or for entry into many skilled professions upon graduation from high school are neither necessary nor desirable. The results of not providing students the necessary supports they need to succeed in high school are well-documented. Too often, after graduation, such students attempt to continue their education at 2- or 4-year post-secondary institutions only to find they must take remedial courses, spending time and money mastering high school level skills that they should have already acquired. This, in turn, has been documented to indicate a greater chance of these students not meeting their post-secondary goals, whether a certificate program, two- or four- year degree. As a result, in the workplace, many career pathways and advancement may be denied to them. To ensure students graduate fully prepared, those who enter high school under-prepared for high school mathematics courses must receive the support they need to get back on course and graduate ready for life after high school.

Furthermore, research shows that allowing low-achieving students to take low-level courses is not a recipe for academic success (Kifer, 1993). The research strongly suggests that the goal for districts should not be to stretch the high school mathematics standards over all four years. Rather, the goal should be to provide support so that all students can reach the college and career ready line by the end of the eleventh grade, ending their high school career with one of several high-quality mathematical courses that allows students the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the college- and career-ready standards.

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