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Standards Are Not Curriculum

I am still surprised how many people mistakenly believe that the Common Core Standards and the State’s Common Core Curriculum are the same thing; they are not.  The State has provided a curriculum guideline that may be followed to help children reach the standards.  Districts may or may not decide to use these curricula material; it is completely a local decision.  Mineola has used a combination of State materials and our own teacher created materials.  

 

I analogize the standards and curriculum to Equestrian show jumping.  In show jumping the course is comprised of a set of obstacles that every horse must complete; the obstacles are not moved, lowered or changed to accommodate the horse.  The common core standards were created with the same premise; a universal set of requirements that every student should meet.  Obviously there are many other factors that determine whether those standards are met.

 

The most important ingredient to successful show jumping is the horse, followed quickly by the rider.  Not every horse can be a show jumper.  You wouldn’t ask a Clydesdale to jump fences (although some do in commercials).  Grooming and training the right horse to jump is critical to successful completion of the course.  In teaching, the horse is the curriculum, and the rider is the teacher.

 

Not only do you need the right horse you need significant time to develop the relationship between the rider and the horse.  The most successful equestrians have a symbiotic relationship between rider and horse, each knowing how the other will react to a given obstacle.  Teachers and the curriculum are no different.  Teachers need to be comfortable in the content they are teaching- but more importantly need to know if the curriculum is meeting the standards.  

 

Sometimes, no matter how well trained, a rider can be thrown by a horse.  The horse believes that the obstacle is too hard to overcome.  In these cases the rider’s patience and experience is most crucial.   It is imperative that our curricula address the students that may have difficulty meeting the standards.  In these cases our teachers are the most important.  We need to develop appropriate materials that enable our student to progress and exceed the standards.

 

Starting now and continuing throughout the summer we will provide time and opportunities for teachers to work with his/her grade level curriculum.  We are committed to making sure the materials we teach are engaging and appropriate.  Most importantly we want our daily assessments to measure standards and track student growth in the standards.  We have helped develop a software program that will allow us to do this electronically.  

 

We are convinced that all our students can meet the standards.  We will continue to modify and refine our curriculum to make sure our students are properly prepared. Our teachers and administrators will continue to be a vital part of developing curricula that is appropriate and challenging to help students meet and exceed the standards.  I am confident that our teachers and administrators are up for this task.  

This column previously appeared on “Nagler’s Notions” at blog.mineola.k12.ny.us/?p=1626


News

Winthrop University Hospital employee Jeffrey Brenner, a hyperbaric technician with the Life Support Technologies group in Mineola, recently received the American Heart Association’s prestigious Louis J. Acampora Heart Saver Award at a dinner at the Crest Hollow Country Club. The award is named for a Long Island teenager who succumbed to a sporting injury that is understood to have been preventable if a cardiac medical device had been immediately on-scene and applied. 

 

“I hope that I have made a real difference in my town and the world around me to help prevent death and improve the quality of people’s lives” said Brenner.

The Wheatley School recently hosted an Item Writing Workshop for more than 100 language teachers representing districts across New York State.  The workshop was sponsored by the Foreign Language Association of Chairpersons and Supervisors (FLACS), the professional organization that has assumed responsibility for the creation and administration of the FLACS

Checkpoint A and B Exams (formerly the NYS Second Language Proficiency and Regents Exams).


Sports

After consecutive seasons of finishing runner-up in the men’s golf Player of the Year for the Skyline Conference, Christian Bleck of St. Joseph’s took home first place in a rather unlikely turn of events. 

 

After a herniated disc caused the Chaminade High School alum to miss every event after the first week of the season until the conference tournament, Bleck returned—without even having the luxury of practicing a full 18 holes—and competed with the best players the conference has to offer. 

Cross-Country Crowned Champs

The Mineola Mustang boys cross-country team won the division 4A championship recently at Bethpage State Park.  This is the first championship for the program since 1974, ending a 40-year championship drought. 

 

Mineola defeated Seaford, who also entered the undefeated in division competition, 38-20.  Overcoming rain and high winds throughout the race, many Mustangs ran personal records for the 5K in route to the victory.


Calendar

Mineola School Meeting - November 20

Fools Rush In - November 21

Mustangs Face Roosevelt - November 22 


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com