Aiken County School District administrators will present an update on Common Core academic standards at a School Board meeting on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
The District has been introducing the standards for the past two years. The new standards will be fully implemented in 2014 to 2015, which includes standardized tests based on those measures.
Since 2001, earlier tests have been assessed nationally. However, each state has had its own set of standards and assessment procedures, said King Laurence, the associate superintendent for instruction.
Common Core is different – a states-driven program that provides the same standards as accepted by about 45 states. Laurence said he would welcome members of the public to learn more about the initiative.
“There's some push back against the Common Core around the state,” he said. “We'll look at describing the difference between standards and curriculum. We're making sure that our curriculum is developed here by your teachers and staff. Nobody from Washington is telling us how to teach our students. That's one of the biggest concerns of some people, that the federal government is interfering with us.”
During a PowerPoint presentation, Laurence will discuss Common Core goals, which are internationally bench-marked. The standards program applies to grades K-12 for English/language arts and math. South Carolina continues to use its own state standards for science and social studies.
The School Board meets at the District office, 1000 Brookhaven Drive in Aiken.
In other business:
• The School Board will welcome Joerg Klisch, the vice president of North American operations for Tognum America Inc. He has introduced an apprenticeship program for high school students at the MTU plant, which builds diesel engines. Klisch will receive the Association for Career and Technical Education Award of Merit for his contributions to the community.
• The PotashCorp company has donated $35,334 to four North Augusta schools – $10,000 each to North Augusta High School, Paul Knox Middle School and Hammond Hill Elementary School and $5,334 to North Augusta Elementary School.
Senior writer Rob Novit is the Aiken Standard's education reporter and has been with the newspaper since September 2001. He is a native of Walterboro and majored in journalism at the University of Georgia.