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Lodi Unified School District gets ready for new state-mandated K-12 curriculum

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Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 12:00 am

When you were in kindergarten, could you ask and answer questions about a reading selection? Could you identify characters, the story’s setting and the main events? Could you retell the story in detail?

Beginning in the 2015-16 school year, kindergartners will be expected to learn these concepts, according to what is known as California Common Core Standards.

Lodi Unified School District trustees learned more on Tuesday about what the complex set of state public school standards will entail. School officials also don’t know how much it will cost to carry out the new state mandate, though Gov. Jerry Brown asked the Legislature to allocate $1 billion to public school districts.

California has seen a surge in revenues of $4.5 billion more than expected this year, and by law, much of that money must go to education, according to the Associated Press.

The so-called Common Core Standards are considered more rigorous academically and are intended to better prepare students for college and work, the AP reported. The money amounts to about $170 per student, which can be spent as districts choose on teacher training, instructional materials, technology and other uses.

The standards encompass the entire K-12 curriculum.

Under the standards, students will learn keyboarding, because tests will be administered online, Lodi Unified Curriculum Director Lisa Kotowski told the school board Tuesday.

Trustee Ruth Davis said she objects to plans to equip each student with a computer on which they can take the tests.

“I’d rather see class-size reduction than everyone having a computer,” Davis said.

Davis also said that district administrators should be more cautious in the planning stages because, as a former teacher in Lodi Unified, the district traditionally jumps into new programs without assessing them to see how students will adapt.

Linda Gooden, who is active with Lodi’s Tea Party Patriots chapter, said the Common Core Standards will be exceedingly expensive to carry out.

“I don’t trust our government,” Gooden told the board. “There will be a $1.6 billion to $2.7 billion cost to California. Where are we going to get this money? Are we going to print it?”

Board member George Neely said that Lodi Unified and other school districts don’t have any discretion when it comes to Common Core Standards.

“The state has made that decision for us,” Neely said. “It’s a state mandate. We are going to do it.”

Fifth-grade teacher Sue Kenmotsu said she’s excited that the standards will give her fewer specific items to address in the classroom. It looks like district administrators have done an excellent job in planning the new curriculum, Kenmotsu said.

Board President Ralph Womack and trustee Bonnie Cassel were among the Lodi Unified board members to support the curriculum change.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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  • Joanne Bobin posted at 7:52 pm on Thu, May 16, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4306

    I think LUSD has already had to answer to the OCR in about 1996 -1998 for not having sufficient services for kids learning English.

    If I recall, LUSD teachers had to be dragged kicking and screaming to take the CLAD in order to qualify to teach ELL students.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 8:00 am on Thu, May 16, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4306

    They should be investigated by the IRS, just like our supposed "non-partisan" Lodi Citizens in Action. I believe I actually suggested this last year when they started their "Patriot's Corner" columns that were anything but non-partisan. If I had only known that the IRS was already on it.....

    Actually, the only action this group takes is digging up obscure conspiracy theories like Agenda 21 and now Common Core and then trying to convince the public that evil genies are taking over the world and forcing us into global government.

    If you want to be taken seriously, LCIA, don't put links to articles claiming that the Weather Underground is conspiring to take over children's minds with their radical curriculum.

  • Mary Ragusa posted at 8:38 pm on Wed, May 15, 2013.

    lilragu Posts: 17

    The "new" Common Core Standards are being taught today in your local LUSD classroom! I teach them every day! We will actually be teaching a bit less information, but taking more time with the subject matter and teaching it to "mastery." That means we can actually have time for the students to understand what they are learning...That is the theory behind Common Core.
    BUT if we have 30-35 K to 3rd graders in a room with one teacher and no help (20 -30 minutes with a bilingual aide is negligible), the students will never learn a thing!!! Right now, we teach and monitor our students (babysit). Most of my kindergarteners are not grasping the standards because I cannot spend enough time with each student to give them quality time.
    REDUCE CLASS SIZE!!!! But no, we just keep paying big bucks for administrators in the cement box big bucks while the teachers struggle daily to get the students to learn and our salary schedule is still put back to ancient times....SO SAD for our future adults!!! How will they run the country??

  • Jeff Tillett posted at 2:05 pm on Wed, May 15, 2013.

    Jeff Tillett Posts: 531

    hyperbole and racial stereotype much?

  • Doug Chaney posted at 1:48 pm on Wed, May 15, 2013.

    advocate Posts: 499

    With the teabaggers at an approval rate of around 10%, I doubt they are raising any eyebrows, or anything else, when they speak.

  • Robert Molle posted at 11:02 am on Wed, May 15, 2013.

    Robert Molle Posts: 42

    How are all the children who have the audacity to be legal citizens going to accomplish this when our leaders in the state only want to give education funds to the dream act illegals who do not speak english? I'd love to see how those kids are going to fair despite getting billions more of the tax dollars we provide.

  • Kim Parigoris posted at 6:04 am on Wed, May 15, 2013.

    Kim Parigoris Posts: 469

    Read the FACTS about who is behind Common Core...http://www.aim.org/special-report/terrorist-professor-bill-ayers-and-obamas-federal-school-curriculum/

    But then I suppose this is all conspiracy theory stuff...kind of like the allegations that Tea Party groups made back in 2010 and 2011 claiming they were being targeted by the IRS

  • Kim Parigoris posted at 4:34 am on Wed, May 15, 2013.

    Kim Parigoris Posts: 469

    “The state has made that decision for us,” Neely said. “It’s a state mandate. We are going to do it.” It is a sad day when the people we elect to represent and think for us, just blindly follow what "the state" says. After Common Core is implemented School Boards will be useless anyway and will only be symbolic gestures. At least NCLB was an act implemented by Congress, not one person's executive order. And people ARE fighting back against it, but it takes someone with some spine to do it. http://www.joplinglobe.com/local/x730868832/Common-Core-standards-draw-supporters-critics



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