Rigor is creating an environment in which each student is expected to learn at high levels,
each student is supported so he or she can learn at high levels,
and each student demonstrates learning at high levels (Blackburn, 2008).

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Rigor and Common Core Standards

I spoke with an educator a couple of weeks ago about the new Common Core Standards. He pointed out this was the solution to increasing rigor in the classroom. I wish rigor was that easy. The CCS will help, but only if we also pay attention to other aspects of rigor. For example, I was in an AP classroom recently. The AP curriculum is considered quite rigorous. But the assignment was not rigorous at all. Students evaluations were based on the number of current events articles read, rather than the qualityt of their understanding. In fact, students were asked to write simple summaries rather than synthesizing the articles, providing students an opportunity for higher analysis. This in a high school AP course--considered to be one of the most rigorous in the school. More later this week on the CCS.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth of July!

On a day when we celebrate the founding of our nation, I'd encourage you to take a moment to think about the foundation of your beliefs.  What do you believe about schools, learning, and students and how do you reflect those beliefs?  What are the three core beliefs that you would not compromise, no matter what?