Students may still be enjoying summer break, but Miami-Dade County teachers and principals have been hard at work trying to learn the new Florida Standards Curriculum. It’s Common Core, but with a few twists.
Teachers and principals have been attending a three-day workshop giving them not only visual, but also hands-on training. It’s also served as a way for the educators to network with coaches, leadership team members, and take the experience back to their schools.
Concepcion Santana, principal at Gulfstream Elementary, said her teachers have been implementing the new, tougher standards for the past four years.
“We have been doing a lot of professional development with our teachers,” Santana said. “With this training, we have really been able to solidify as a leadership team what these standards are looking for.”
The Florida standards are expected to be dramatically different than last year’s material. Teachers said the workshop was critical for them to come up with everything from strategies to material presentation.
“This three-day professional development was awesome opportunity for me and my team and principal to sit down and develop a strategic plan on how we’re going to present the material,” said English teacher Harvey Stribling. “Students are having to critically think and write and compose writing along with reading is a great thing.”
Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho spoke to the group and said he believes in the tougher standards and pushing students to achieve. But, there’s still an issue with the new standards. Carvalho said the new, tougher test that’s replacing the FCAT is being implemented blindly.
Carvalho said he wants to know how teachers are supposed to prepare students for the new exam when the teachers don’t know what’s on the test.
“We don’t even know what the exam, the final exam looks like. It hasn’t even been published,” Carvalho said. “A’s of yesterday will become C’s of today. That’s my expectation.”