When students began the new academic year in the fall of 2013, they had to work a little harder than they used to. It was not because pupils' teachers were stricter, but the instruction they received on a daily basis was more comprehensive. That is because as of last July, schools throughout the Keystone State will be expected to have fully implemented the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), according to the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
However, students and educators are not the only ones who must be ready for the CCSS, as parents will need to know about them to help their children study and complete homework assignments. Parents may notice some of the biggest changes in teaching in the math classes their kids take. The Lancaster Newspapers reported that pupils will tackle more advanced problems at an earlier age.
"The biggest change overall is the focus on conceptual understanding rather than procedural skills," Diane Hurst, staff development and training specialist for mathematics at Lancaster-Lebanon IU 13, told the news source. "It's not about a new way of doing math. It's deepening our thinking on it."
The Pennsylvania state assessment system is made up of assessments and reporting the results of those assessments. The assessments include the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA), the Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment (PASA), the Pennsylvania Accountability System (PAS), the Pennsylvania Value-Added Assessment System (PVAAS), the Keystone Exams (end-of-course), Classroom Diagnostic Tools (CDT) and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).