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The state largest school district is rolling out an ambitious plan to equip each of its 600,000 students with computer tablets, using revenue from voter approved construction bonds. The district initially bought iPads preloaded with software from textbook publisher Pearson Education Inc., and officials have said they would continue with those vendors for the rest of the program unless major problems arise.
Patrick Murphy, a political scientist at the University of San Francisco who recently completed a study on the cost of implementing the Common Core, funded by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative think tank, estimates that the cost of transitioning to the Common Core could be as low as $3 billion nationally if districts forgo traditional options and instead choose easily updated digital textbooks, tailored teacher training videos and free curricula available online.
Ontario Montclair Elementary bought more computers last summer, with the goal of having one device for every four youngsters in the 23,000 student district.
Common Core education standards offer challenges in training
just is not enough direction for educators to choose what best, she says. like trying to drink from a water hydrant at this point. last time California rolled out new standards, in 1997 98, the state spent $3 and everything from teacher training to textbooks was prescribed by the state. During the intervening years, national and state tests have generally shown steady improvement, even as the proportion of English learners and minority students rose and funding for public schools fell.
In addition, says Jeannette LaFors, of the nonpartisan Education Trust West, few school districts have enough experts on staff to review and compare the products.
The state role in spending this time will shift, with districts allowed to decide how to spend their proportional share of $1.25 billion earmarked for implementing the Common Core.
we are faced with a dilemma of how to tackle specific challenges, we don forget the in Common Core, said Gerardo Loera, executive director of Los Angeles Unified curriculum office. it a problem that been faced by others elsewhere. There a lot of open source information that people have put together, and we hope to leverage the collective brain power of people working along similar paths.
state to add about 60 computer labs to the 50 it already has, buying Omega Speedmaster Black Leather
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How the money is spent is up to the districts, he says, as long as they restrict themselves to professional development, instructional materials or technology that will help them implement the Common Core, and they about what they spend it on.
silly to buy a lot of stuff off the shelf for hundreds of dollars, when there will be better and cheaper stuff coming online or even available for free, Murphy says. development created by large districts can be Omega Seamaster Professional 300m Movement
However, he says, there has been little objective assessment of how aligned to the Common Core most of these products really are.
shared with small districts.
To help districts make smart choices, the state education department and Education Trust West recently posted Common Core implementation guides on their websites. Los Angeles and Long Beach Unified, which are part of CORE, meet regularly to exchange ideas on how best to transition to the new standards.
As school districts install Wi Fi and beef up their computer inventories to meet the technology needs of the Common Core standards, officials are also debating what instructional programs to buy and how to train teachers to use them.
Long Beach Unified plans to use the $15 million it got from the Omega Black
time, we are going to let the pendulum swing the other way, says Ben Sanders of the California Office to Reform Education, a nonprofit that fosters collaboration among California districts.
Making good choices is complicated by the sheer volume of new products that claim to be aligned to the Common Core, the ambitious national goals adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia that aim to encourage critical thinking and deeper learning. A multibillion dollar industry of competing vendors is promoting a dizzying array of new products textbooks, curriculum, teacher training workshops, software, laptops, iPads, nonfiction kid magazines, games, even Lego blocks all meant to help students develop skills such as writing and mastering fractions.
enough devices so Omega Black Dial that students will be able to use them for classroom lessons as well as test taking.
After postponing its decision a delay that prompted the architect of the district Common Core plan to resign the board settled on a two year budget that includes $25 million to train about 160 teachers to coach their co workers in the new curriculum. There also about $15 million for teacher training, plus $10 million for summer school. In addition, each school will get $70 per student that it can use to address specific needs related to the new curriculum.
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