Changes are coming next year in Connecticut classrooms, and that means teachers -- and those who teach them -- are returning to the classroom to learn the new standards to which they will be held.
The state Department of Education held a training session on Jan. 15 for educators to learn about the new Common Core State Standards that all teachers will be responsible for meeting in 2014.
“We planned this seminar for our student teacher supervisors because the clinical pieces of our program, especially student teaching, are critical,” said Beth Larkins-Strathy, associate dean of the School of Education at Quinnipiac. “Our candidates need the best guidance and mentoring possible.”
The standards, which have been adopted in 45 states and the District of Columbia, provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.
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In addition, they learned that the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium is developing a system of valid, reliable, and fair next-generation assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards in English language arts/literacy (ELA/literacy) and mathematics for grades 3-8 and 11. The system, which includes both summative assessments for accountability purposes and optional interim assessments for instructional use, will use computer technologies to the greatest extent possible to provide meaningful feedback and actionable data that teachers and other educators can use to help students succeed.
In addition, the student teacher supervisors learned about Connecticut’s Teacher Education and Mentoring (TEAM) Program, a two-year induction program for beginning teachers that includes mentorship and professional development. Beginning teachers participating in the program are assigned a trained mentor to guide them through developing individualized growth plans, uniquely based on their own needs as educators. The unifying framework for the program is a series of five modules aligned to the Connecticut Common Core of Teaching.
Additionally, supervisors were presented with an overview of the System for Educator Evaluation and Development (SEED Model) that is currently being implemented in several districts across the state with anticipated statewide implementation in the Fall of 2013. SEED is a model evaluation and support system that is aligned with the state’s guidelines for educator evaluations.