Information for Parents
New Mexico has always prioritized rigorous learning goals for our students. New Mexico adopted the Common Core State Standards in 2010 with the goal of better preparing students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in college and careers. The Common Core State Standards give us several advantages over the current New Mexico state standards. Specifically they will:
- Make our students globally competitive, by teaching educational standards that are used throughout the world
- Give our students the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in college or careers
- Give all students access to the same rigorous standards, regardless of where they live, or what their family background is
- Clarify standards so that parents, teachers and students understand what is expected of them
- Increase collaboration across districts and with other states to share resources and expertise in teaching the Common Core State Standards
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) benefit your child because they will be better prepared for their futures when they graduate high school. These new standards will benefit community and family because they are a consistent set of expectations for students, no matter what their zip code is. When a family moves, a student’s education is often disrupted, as they are forced to repeat material or learn at a different level. With common standards across states, this disruption will be reduced.
Currently, Common Core State Standards exist only for English Language Arts and Mathematics. Common Core standards will be developed in the future for other core subjects such as science and social studies.
What Will My Student Be Learning?
Today, too many New Mexico students are underprepared for life after graduation. To fix that problem we need to set clear expectations and high standards for teachers, parents, and students that everyone can work on together.
Standards help teachers ensure their students have the skills and knowledge they need by providing clear goals for student learning. New Mexico Common Core State Standards are part of a movement in New Mexico and in 45 other states to ensure that all students, no matter where they live, are prepared to graduate from high school ready for college or a career. Common standards mean that students receive a high quality education at every school, in every community in the state.
New Mexico Common Core Standards have been developed for grades K-12 in English and mathematics. Common Core is a different approach to learning, teaching and testing that engenders a deeper understanding of critical concepts and the practical application of that knowledge. All students, starting in kindergarten, will be learning advanced skills in core subjects like English and mathematics that they must have if they are to be successful in the modern world. By 2015, all students will be taking new forms of tests that require them to show that they have the ability to read, write, speak, solve problems, and use technology. These tests will examine many kinds of student work, not just multiple-choice answers.
How Will My Student Be Assessed?
Classroom and state assessments on the New Mexico Common Core State Standards for your student will continue to take place at about the same times of year and for about the same length of time as they do now, but the kinds of questions that s/he must answer and the forms that their answers take will change.
New Mexico students will take the same proficiency and accountability exams on the Common Core State Standards as students in 23 other states. That’s because New Mexico is a member in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), a consortium of states working together to developing new assessments for students in grades 3-11 that are aligned with the Common Core State Standards. These next generation assessments will be taken on-line. Also, much more classroom work and class quizzes and exams will involve computers and technology. Teachers will ask your student to do class projects, experiments and other activities that will be considered on the state assessment. Students will be writing out detailed explanations of how they have solved a problem in math, and in English Language Arts students will be writing essays and describing their ideas and reasoning, not just selecting an answer from a multiple choice list.
By 2015, all students will be taking these new forms of tests, which require them to show that they have the ability to read, write, speak, solve problems, and use technology. New Mexico will be teaching the Common Core State Standards to students in grades K-3 beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, and to students in grades 4-12 in 2013-2014. In 2012-2013, the New Mexico Standards Based Assessment (SBA) will include the current state standards, with the exception of a grade 3 bridge assessment, which will be dually aligned to the CCSS and the New Mexico state standards. In 2013-2014, there will be a bridge assessment for all tested grades that looks and feels more like the PARCC assessments. In 2014-2015, New Mexico will deliver the PARCC assessment in grades 3-11.