Friday, April 4, 2014

Common Core's College, Career, and "Citizenship" Ready

In February 2013, the Council of Chief State School Officers drafted a new Framework to tie in to the new Common Core Learning Standards.  It is titled:  

The Innovation Lab Network State Framework for College, Career, and Citizenship Readiness

Now, one might think that adding "Citizenship" to the "College and Career" Standards means enlisting in the military.  However, you would be wrong.

By "Citizenship" the Framework means "Dispositions" in order to become a "successful citizen."

The organization which is testing out this new Framework is called the Innovation Lab Network.  States who are in the ILN include: California, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oregon, West Virginia and Wisconsin.  All of which are states who either mandate or encourage Character Education in schools.  

The Innovation Lab Network (ILN) is a group of states 
brought together by CCSSO taking action to identify, 
test and implement student-centered approaches to 
learning that will transform our public education 
system. With a constant focus on student outcomes, the 
goal of the ILN is to spur system-level change, scaling 
from locally-led innovation to wider implementation, 
both within and across states. 

The report states:

Comprised of ILN chief state school officers and their deputies, key stakeholder groups, and national thought leaders, the Task Force sought to guide state education systems toward a more clearly articulated definition of CCCR 
consistent with a broadened understanding of the student characteristics necessary for success in the 21st century. Reflecting on the Common Core State Standards, members asked what kinds of young people their parents and communities hoped would emerge from their transformative state education systems...

The task force consulted with several sources to create International definitions and skills frameworks.  These groups included:

1. The OECD Definition and Selection of Competencies project to examine expansion of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) into additional domains
2.  The Asia Society’s analysis of knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for global competence (funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation)
3.  Public education goal statements and skills frameworks articulated by high-performing nations such as Finland, South Korea, Singapore, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the European Union, among others.

In the end, they created a list of dispositions which "epitomize the vision of college and career ready student-citizen."

Intellectual Curiosity
Time and Goal Management
Critical Thinking
Social and Personal Responsibility

You might recognize these same qualities in your own school's Character Education "6 Pillars of Character" campaign.

The framework assumes:

Causing consistently high levels of learning among young people from widely varying backgrounds and with diverse needs will require radical changes in current beliefs, policy, practice and structure.

While Common Core requires knowledge and skills in the 21st century, it also requires students to graduate possessing:

Dispositions – mindsets (sometimes referred to as behaviors, capacities, or habits of mind) that are closely associated with success in college and career. 

The ILN also holds that the same set of knowledge, skills and dispositions is vital for student success in terms of citizenship readiness, including the ability to contribute and succeed in our increasingly diverse, democratic, global society. 

"The training of mental abilities is only secondary.  First place must be taken by the development of character, especially promotion of will-power and determination, combined with the training of joy in responsibility.
A man with little scientific education but with good, firm character is more valuable for the national community than a clever weakling."

Mein Kampf