Putting Education Reform To The Test

How A Yellow Dress Explains Common Core Standards

John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Chancellor of Public Schools Pam Stewart explained how Common Core standards are different during a discussion Wednesday night at St. Petersburg College.

Florida is one of 45 states and the District of Columbia to adopt new, tougher education standards. The standards, known as Common Core, requires students to prove what they know — but also to show how they know it.

Educators across the state are preparing parents and students for the switch and trying to explain how the new standards will work. The new standards will be fully in place by the fall of 2014.

Pam Stewart, the chancellor of public schools at the Florida Department of Education, told a story Wednesday at a forum at St. Petersburg College to try to provide an example.

It’s not enough to read a passage and know Sarah, the main character, wore a yellow dress. Students will have to suss out why she chose a yellow dress from the passage context.

Listen to Stewart explain how the lesson might work after the switch to Common Core.


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