Help make sense of this (Updated)

UPDATE 2/12/2013: I’ve had several responses to this post through Twitter and face to face that have used logic to make their point. I totally agree this is nonsense, but I’m looking for written or spoken authority that has clout … something I’ve missed so far in the CCSS or education policy or law or ??? that is unequivocal on this point. I’ve also gotten an earful from middle and high school teachers of content that point out that they then are responsible for their content area not just at their grade level, but in this case students that have almost NO background K-5 that show up in their classrooms … YEP, that’s a big point here, besides the engaging content and more that is missed. Original post below:

I hear occasionally that K – 5 teachers are told that they no longer teach content area standards in science and social studies because they “teach the Common Core”. They are to address the science and social studies only through the CCSS in English/Language Arts. This is proved, they are told, because the Introduction to the CCSS ELA specifically states in the fifth paragraph:

“Literacy standards for grade 6 and above are predicated on teachers of ELA, history/social studies, science, and technical subjects using their content area expertise to help students meet the particular challenges of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language in their respective fields. It is important to note that the 6–12 literacy standards in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects are not meant to replace content standards in those areas but rather to supplement them.”

Note, it specifically states “…that the 6-12 literacy standards in history/social studies, science and technical subjects are not meant to replace content standards in those subjects…”. Therefore since K-5 is not mentioned in the same way, some are using that omission to mean that the CCSS can (and in the case of a school not making AYP – should) be used to narrow K-5 curriculum to only the literacy standards in social studies, science and even the arts – but not their content. I’ve even heard, “When a teacher walks through the door of a K-5  Title 1 school, they give up their right to teach content beyond ELA and Math.”

So, beyond common sense and logic unfortunately, how do we help teachers under these restrictions disprove this interpretation? What can we point to that has authority? Please share in the comments!

Learning is messy!

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3 thoughts on “Help make sense of this (Updated)

  1. Well said! Your post did an excellent job of explaining how Common Core literacy uses SS and Science content/ text, but is in no way a replacement for actual SS and Science. I will share this with my teachers. Great information!!!

    On the Web w/ Roz Linder

  2. This is oh, so sad AND true in our Texas Schools. I teach 4th grade ELA & SS. I REFUSE to NOT teach Texas History. How do I do that? I incorporate my reading, writing, AND some math & science into my CONTENT! My students leave 4th grade knowing more about their state than most of their parents! They love SS time in my class!