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Teachers in Maryland Stress the Importance of Reading

• ExcelinEd

In Prince George’s County, Maryland, teachers are already preparing for the next school year for their second year of the full implementation of the Common Core State Standards. These foundational standards for English and math allow teachers to dive deeper into content, instead of the old method of “spraying and praying.” The Washington Post reports on a recent training session held for all teachers in the Prince George’s County Public School System.

Alberti [an educator providing training on the Common Core] said there are times when teachers “spray [students] with everything,” rather than focusing and allowing students to understand one concept before moving on to another.

“Think about depth of learning not spraying,”

The Common Core State Standards were designed with a focus on fundamentals, identifying what students should be expected to know at each grade level throughout their K-12 education. By putting emphasis on core concepts, teachers have more freedom in the classroom. They aren’t rushed to cover an overabundance of topics, with only enough time to scratch the surface. Instead, teachers are able to cultivate deep learning in their classrooms.

Additionally, teachers are encouraged to focus on reading. ExcelinEd has made ensuring students can read proficiently by the end of third grade a priority. Reading is a fundamental skill students must master in order to be successful in other courses. A student’s reading ability is also a strong predictor of future success in school. According to a 2012 study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, students who aren’t proficient in reading by the end of third grade are four times more likely to become a high school dropout.

“If they want to learn more science, they need to learn reading,” [Alberti] said. “We want students to be increasingly independent with increasingly complex text.”

Common Core State Standards, like any state standards, will succeed only as far as the teachers who bring the standards to life in the classroom. We are encouraged by district foresight to bring all teachers together as they implement these new academic standards.

Read more about the Common Core State Standards.

Read more about the importance of early reading.

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