State to hold public forum in Baltimore County on new curriculum

The Maryland State Department of Education will hold a public forum to explain to parents and the general public the new Common Core standards, an education reform being introduced into classrooms this year.

The forum for the Baltimore area will be held on Thursday, Sept. 19 from 7 to 8:30 pm at the Ridge Ruxton School, 6916 Charles Street, Baltimore. State Superintendent Lillian Lowery will be there as well as Maryland PTA president Ray Leone, Baltimore County school superintendent Dallas Dance and Melanie Coates, a master teacher from Catonsville High School.

The Common Core standards were adopted by Maryland and 44 other states several years ago. School systems across the state have written new curriculum to match the standards, and for the first time this year every school in the state will teach to the new standards.

The new standards are designed to be at a higher level than current standards and require students to do more analytic thinking. In math, students will cover fewer topics, but learn each one in greater depth.

The standards list what a student should know how to do at each grade level, but local school systems must decide how they want teachers to teach and what textbooks and other materials to use.

 Next year, a new test will replace the Maryland School Assessments. The test, now being written by a consortium of states for grades three through eight, will be given in numerous states. After results of the first tests are released in the summer of 2015, student achievement will be able to be compared from one state to another.


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