Why Common Core
Why has GBAS chosen to implement the Common Core Standards?
Global Bilingual Academy School of Kuwait has joined many other top-performing international schools around the world in adopting the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English language arts and mathematics. The CCSS outline what students should know and be able to do in reading and mathematics from kindergarten through the 12th grade. These standards are aligned with the knowledge and skills deemed critical for college and career success and are benchmarked to the standards of the world’s top-performing countries. Currently, standards for what students should know and be able to do vary greatly among international schools, as does the difficulty of the assessments used to determine whether students are meeting those standards. Our implementation of the Common standards allows for collaboration between our grade level teams using best practices and professional development. These learning goals help ensure that students meet college and work expectations, are prepared to succeed in a global economy and society, and are provided with rigorous content and application of higher knowledge thinking.
With our implementation of the Common Core, students are participating in more hands-on activities and collaborative exercises. Media skills are integrated into everyday lessons using our state-of-the-art Smart boards which are present in every classroom. Higher level thinking skills are being evaluated with assessments customized for our student population.
How will the Common Core improve the quality of our education?
1. Master the material. The Common Core standards are designed to ensure real understanding. The materials go deeper into fewer topics, so our students master the material instead of just memorizing. Learning is more hands-on with a focus on what they will use in real life.
2. Building blocks for critical thinking. The Common Core standards emphasize learning fundamentals so our students truly understand basic concepts and can use them as the building blocks for critical thinking.
3. Teacher collaboration. Our teachers consistently receive professional development and training in order that they are able to collaborate and learn from each other as well as other international educators.
4. Consistent, high expectations for all students. Before Common Core, what counted as grade-level work in one international school might be considered less than average in another school. Our Common Core curriculum provides a clear and consistent set of learning standards and expectations so that we can accurately identify what our students are learning.
GBAS has created a customized Standards-Based Report card that helps us communicate with our parents how well their child is learning the standards that are currently being taught. With our customized report card there is no single “grade” for a subject, like reading, that is created by averaging or combining multiple scores across the span of a grading term. Unlike traditional grade reports, our standards-based grading measures students’ knowledge of grade-level content by reporting our students’ most recent, consistent level of performance of a skill. Research shows that students learn and grow at different paces and we feel that the important thing is not how fast a child learns a new concept, but rather that he or she learns it well. Our standards-based curriculum ensures that our students will have multiple opportunities and means to display their development and mastery of a skill.
Our customized Standards-Based Report Card allows parents to see:
· All of the skills students are expected to learn and how they performed on each of those skills
· Exactly where the student is successful or struggling so that parents will then know what to reinforce at home to help their child succeed
· Students that are more capable of rigorous content are moved on through the learning continuum
· How close their student is toward mastering each standard
· How next year’s teacher will get specific feedback regarding a student’s progress which allows them to make more accurate instructional decisions for that child
· How teachers are using their student’s learning information to make better instructional decisions on a daily basis