Madison School District students should expect visible changes this year

Andrea Anderson:

When Madison public school students go back to class Tuesday, they’ll find some lessons will be tougher, according to Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham.
The gradual implementation of the Common Core standards, a series of benchmarks for what students should know and be able to do, will begin this year by helping educators, students and staff understand what the standards are and how instruction will change .
Teachers will implement Close Reading, a practice used to study literacy standards , to become more familiar with the increase in rigor and standards while monitoring how the students and the teachers themselves are faring .
“The study will allow teachers to better understand the standards and learn about what it will take to plan instruction using the standards and learn more about instructional practices necessary to teach the standards and learn about” ways to assess what students are learning, Cheatham said.
An example of a Close Reading lesson would be reading a primary source document in a history class and later answering short-answer questions. Teachers would review how students performed, what challenges there were and what the teacher could do to improve.