Education experts across the country are meeting with education officials in Utah this week to discuss strategies for improving schools within the framework of what is called the common core curriculum.
The purpose of the annual School Improvement Innovation Summit is to share new strategies for teachers striving to better prepare students for life after high school. Heidi Hayes Jacobs was a keynote speaker this year. She is an internationally recognized education consultant and author of Curriculum21: 21st Century Teaching and Learning within the Common Core. She says the Common Core curriculum isn’t driven by compliance, but opportunity.
“They don’t’ say anything about your schedule," she says. "They don’t say anything about your kids. What they are, are really terrific proficiencies that schools can shape and reshape to create quality types of learning environments.”
The Common Core consists of states-led standards that attempt to instill in the students the knowledge and skills they’ll need succeed in academic college courses and the workforce.
Utah opted out of the federal program, No Child Left Behind last month. Officials were required to adopt college and career-ready standards in its place. Sydnee Dickson is the Director of Teaching and Learning at the Utah State Office of Education. She says the Common Core provides those standards, but also flexibility.
“We feel like we have more local control than we’ve ever had when it comes to standards, assessments and instructional materials," she says.
The School Improvement Innovation Summit is taking place at the Hilton in Salt Lake City through July 17th. It’s hosted by the local education company School Improvement Network.