Although the implementation of Common Core Standards is already underway in Turlock Unified School District, students may still be struggling to adjust to a new style of learning, including the lack of Common Core aligned textbooks.
The district is still keeping students up-to-date regarding CCS with the adoption of online resources and materials, especially EngageNY.
“TUSD continues to use its District-adopted textbooks while waiting to preview the state’s list of approved Common Core instructional materials which will be made available in November,” TUSD Superintendent Dr. Sonny Da Marto wrote.
These district-adopted core materials, however, lack adequate instruction that aligns to a number of Common Core components.
That’s where EngageNY comes in. Until TUSD adopts Common Core instructional materials, the district has decided to supplement its current textbooks with online resources and materials, specifically EngageNY for K-8 math instruction. According to Da Marto, these materials are not intended to be used as a core program; rather, they are Common Core aligned to assist teachers with instruction.
Between the district-adopted textbooks and EngageNY, Da Marto said that feedback indicates that students are equally successful and challenged with new CCS, especially those relating to math.
“The transition to Common Core, specifically in the area of math, has been challenging for all stakeholders,” wrote Da Marto. “Students are being challenged with the new standards because simply being able to state the correct answer is no longer sufficient. Teachers are shifting students’ focus from ‘answer-getting’ to solving problems and critical thinking.”
The District’s response to CCS thus far paints a relatively brighter picture than the one shared by a majority of community members, especially by parents of students who may be struggling.
As a parent, Melannie Babb wishes that TUSD would have aligned CCS textbooks before they implemented CCS throughout the district. Babb attributes her inability to help her daughter grasp Common Core instruction to the lack of adopted Common Core resources.
“I’m overwhelmed because there is no book to go back and look at notes,” said Babb. “All she has is a pamphlet with three to four pages that should last her all week. If she loses it, she doesn’t get another one and she loses credit.”
Babb fears a majority of students who are struggling, especially in the field of math, are going to be brought down further with CCS.
“It’s wrong because the kids are suffering and they don’t have a voice in the matter,” concluded Babb.