College Prep Starts in 6th Grade under new Common Core State Standards

Math Transition 6th Grade to 7th Grade
Math Transition 6th Grade to 7th Grade  Download PDF 

The Message Parents need to get:

(1)   College prep starts in the 6th grade.  If you are not ready to start on the faster path in 6th grade, you are starting out behind.

(2)   Under the New Common Core State Standards students will be required to demonstrate a "proficiency" in the material. A certain GPA/Test Score will be required to move to the next level or students will have to repeat the class.

(3)   The standard that is being put forward by the Common Core State Standards is 100% Proficiency in Algebra II by 11th Grade. 

(4)   If you goal is to have your child complete high school and enter a four year college then to attain that they will be required to demonstrate a 3.75 to 3.50 proficiency in courses that lead to Algebra II and that process starts in 6th grade.

Under the old California State Standards Students were required to pass Algebra I to graduate.  (See http://capousd.ca.schoolloop.com/cms/page_view?d=x&piid=&vpid=1232963852856)

Under the New Common Core State Standards: Students will be required to take a minimum of three years of high school mathematics and pass Algebra II to graduate.

6th GRADE MATH PLACEMENT IS KEY TO COLLEGE PREP... Too many parents believe that their child is "college material", but find out much to late in the high school process that they are not. The standards for entrance to college have not changed. A student wishing to attend a four year university (especially those that would like to pursue a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Math) education must go beyond Algebra II and are required to complete Pre-Calculus, Calculus AB, Calculus BC and at least one computer science class before graduating.

75% of Students in the Public Education System do not graduate with the skills they need to be successful in a 2 year year college. The majority of our students are not proficient in Algebra I upon graduation. The goal of Common Core State Standards is to make all students proficient in Algebra II upon graduation. This change has already been implemented. Parents need to be educated so that they can help their children master the change successfully.

Resources: (see http://capousd.ca.schoolloop.com/cms/page_view?d=x&piid=&vpid=1232370518221)

CUSD Mathematics scroll down to the following Topics:

2013 STAR Test Results

Capistrano Unified District

All Students - California Standards Test Scores


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Dawn Urbanek December 02, 2013 at 09:54 PM
If you look at the Saddleback "Your Path to the Top" you will see that any math class students take prior to Calculus Math 3C is remedial. 4 Year Universities (especially in STEM programs) expect students to enter at Calculus Math 3 level to enter. At a minimum students must complete at least Algebra 2 to perform well on college entrance exams (one additional year of math past Algebra 2 is actually what is recommended). Students who do not complete Algebra 2 until 11th grade will only have one year to take any math beyond Algebra II. The ACT statistics show that only 13% of those students who take only one additional year of math (past Algebra 2) will score high enough on entrance exams to be accepted to a four year university. Students leaving CUSD with Algebra II only will need to take additional math classes before starting accredited Math classes in college (whether it is a two year college or a four year college). In short- parents of students who wish to go to a 4-year University will need to plan how to get on that track and maintain a sufficient GPA to stay on that track. This is a sea change that has been implemented without educating parents about the effects it will have on students who are caught in this change mid stream.
Jim Reardon December 03, 2013 at 01:05 AM
Dawn, this is great information and food for thought. You're right based on personal experience, parents and students need to understand these changes and the impact they have on education planning. I doubt that most are aware of the necessity to start a plan as early as grade 6. and of course, the student has to be ready for that plan as well. You can't just wish yourself into an accelerated program and stay there. The proficiency requirements represent a serious barrier to overcome||||||||||||||||| Learning math is a cumulative process. When a student drops below the proficiency levels necessary to advance, there may be a number of reasons -- each requiring a different solution. As each year passes, the outcome is narrowed; options for college and university admission are reduced.|||||||||||||||||| One unfortunate outcome is the capable student who chooses not to stay on track, distracted by social, athletic or other teen commitments. A choice made in one year can have a long-lasting ripple effect. Any number of influences inside or outside the classroom can divert a capable student from the optimal path. Parents and the schools must counsel, nurture and guide students around these obstacles whenever possible. Otherwise, "later" could very possibly mean "never".
Dawn Urbanek December 03, 2013 at 06:58 AM
Mr. Reardon- I appreciate the fact that you are giving a modicum of validity to this blog post. I am just a parent of a current 6th grader who learned about the implementation of common core in respect to math because new math testing was implemented that incorrectly placed this years incoming 6th grade students. I am extremely disheartened that CUSD has not made a better effort to educate parents about this sea change which will ultimately effect the future of every child in the District. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- There has been a top down pressure to implement the Common Core (National) Standards without any inclusion of parents and families who must now live with the consequences. (sounds like Obama Healthcare) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Then we have Arne Duncan Secretary of Education who's job it should have been to educate parents about Common Core and bring them onboard BEFORE implementation but instead is now it “fascinated” to see opposition to the initiative coming from “white suburban moms who — all of a sudden, find their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were, and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were.”. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- If we can't look to leadership at the National level- I would hope that at least our Trustees would lead us at the local level by making sure every parent understood how the new Common Core State Standards would impact their child's future.
fact checker December 03, 2013 at 08:06 PM
It all comes down to opinion here, and you are entitled to that. However, it is disingenuous of you to state it as fact. As your children mature into adults you will find that getting into the "right" school doesn't have the lifelong impact that you think it does. The idea behind the CCS is that thinking skills are as important, if not more so, than regurgitating facts or memorizing formulas. The ability to apply knowledge and to research the information you require to do so is crucial. When you take Algebra I or II is not.
Dawn Urbanek December 03, 2013 at 09:43 PM
Fact Checker- You are wrong. Common Core State Standards CCSS (not CCS) are about raising the math (and English) bar for students exiting high school.---------------------------------------- The old California State Standard was that to graduate all students had to complete Algebra I. (That is a very low bar). ---------------------------------------- The New Common Core State (NATIONAL) Standards require 3 years of High School Math -Algebra I in 9th grade and Algebra II by 11th grade. That is a substantial change. I am not sure it can be accomplished this year. ------------------------------------------- We currently have a workforce that cannot show up to work on time - read- write or do basic math. Percentage wise, our Public education system is not producing students who are ready for a four year university, most are not ready for a 2 or 4 year college, or even a job. The United States has 3.9 million unfilled jobs - these are not high paying high skilled jobs - these are $12 per hour jobs with medical and benefits that require basic math and English skills - but even those cannot be filled with the workforce that is coming out of the United States current public education system. See the 60 minute piece- for some perspective. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This lack of skilled workforce is going to be compounded by the impending retirement of many skilled baby boomers. http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/three-million-open-jobs-in-us-but-whos-qualified/
fact checker December 03, 2013 at 09:50 PM
Dawn, you put unrelated statistics together and then draw your own conclusions. Not helpful at all. And the goal for the CCS is to meet the demands of a new generation of jobs.
fact checker December 03, 2013 at 09:53 PM
The CCS Mission Statement couldn't be clearer. http://www.corestandards.org
Jim Reardon December 03, 2013 at 10:07 PM
fact checker, you may want to check your references. The link that you cite actually supports the proposition set forth in Dawn's article. "some of the highest priority content for college and career readiness comes from Grades 6-8. This body of material includes powerfully useful proficiencies such as applying ratio reasoning in real-world and mathematical problems, computing fluently with positive and negative fractions and decimals, and solving real-world and mathematical problems involving angle measure, area, surface area, and volume. Because important standards for college and career readiness are distributed across grades and courses, systems for evaluating college and career readiness should reach as far back in the standards as Grades 6-8." \\\\\\\\\\\\ You'll find this at: http://www.corestandards.org/Math/Content/note-on-courses-transitions/courses-transitions \\\\\\\\\\\\ I'd like to suggest we focus on the issue. Add something to the discussion. The snarky comments accomplish nothing.
fact checker December 03, 2013 at 10:51 PM
Calling attention to misleading statements is not, using your word, "snarky."
fact checker December 03, 2013 at 10:58 PM
My reference was to the mission statement to support my understanding of the ultimate goal of the CCS : "Mission Statement The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy."
Dan December 04, 2013 at 08:42 AM
So, Dawn... Are you now singing the praises of Common Core?
Jim Reardon December 04, 2013 at 09:23 AM
Face it. Parents have aspirations for the children. Hopefully, one of them is that their son or daughter attain a college degree. Agreed, some are focused on the "right" school and when this happens, disappointment can run high. But that isn't the point here. Locally, way more than half of our high school graduates aren't attaining a 4-year college degree of any kind. I think the point of Dawn's article, which I appreciate, is that preparation in math needs to start earlier than many might believe. Elementary school preparation for the first rung of the latter that occurs in 6th grade is critical. From there on, everything counts and those who get too far off the path aren't prepared for a 4-year college experience, much less admission. This phenomenon isn't about Common Core specifically, but the Common Core adjustments to the ladder provide a great opportunity to discuss the topic.
Dawn Urbanek December 04, 2013 at 09:33 AM
Dan- I am writing because these changes have ALREADY BEEN IMPLEMENTED and most parents do not understand the implications for their own child and are therefore unable to help them succeed. The new requirement... that to graduate from High School your child will need to master Algebra II, is (for some) a requirement that you complete 2 more years of High School Math then you were required to last year. The math placement criteria is being written as we go. Many children have already been placed into classes that they should not have been placed, and those placements (as we now know) will have a profound affect on their college entrance exams. By implementing Common Core behind closed doors the District- State- National Government has made it very hard for parents to help their children be successful. That is shameful. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The part of Common Core that I like is that it will require all students to take more High School Math. The Part I do not like is the way the new standards are being implemented. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Part of the problem is that parents have been lead to believe that completion of High School Math requirement prepares their child to go to college. The message has been misleading. That is the problem which has caused this mess.
fact checker December 04, 2013 at 10:14 AM
Implementing CCS behind closed doors? Dawn, I know you have concerns about the CUSD trustees refusing to meet with their constituents and, thus, allowing a less than transparent atmosphere to fester. Perhaps Mr. Reardon can address that issue here. I do not share that concern and believe that the teachers and staff have the best interest of their students in mind when they make decisions. I have not always agreed with everything done by my children's teachers but I have never suspected malfeasance on their part. And Dawn, you seem to have changed your mind about the Math standards. How can students taking more math prepare them less?
Dawn Urbanek December 04, 2013 at 10:58 AM
Fact Checker- The placement criteria is be written as we go at the District level without Board approval of all these changes. Look at just the changes for Math Placement Grade 7 alone. This issue has nothing to do with ""teachers" it has to do with the implementation of a new curriculum. ------------------------------------------------------------ Teachers have to implement what the adopted standards are. My complaint is that the Board did not vote on all these changes and that parents have not been properly informed about the changes. That handicaps parents from making decisions that would best help their own children succeed under the new standards. Look at all the changes that have been made this year:
Dawn Urbanek December 04, 2013 at 10:58 AM
Grade 7 Math Placement Criteria - Revised 9-6-12.doc ---
Dawn Urbanek December 04, 2013 at 10:59 AM
Grade 7 Math Placement Criteria - Revised 3-13-13.doc ---
Dawn Urbanek December 04, 2013 at 10:59 AM
Math 7 Acc Placement Test Info - Revised 3-13-13.doc ---
Dawn Urbanek December 04, 2013 at 10:59 AM
Grade 7 Math Placement Criteria - Revised 3-14-13.doc ---
Dawn Urbanek December 04, 2013 at 10:59 AM
Math 7 Acc Placement Test Info - Revised 3-14-13.doc ---
Dawn Urbanek December 04, 2013 at 10:59 AM
Math 7 Acc Placement Test Info - Revised 3-25-13.doc ---
Dawn Urbanek December 04, 2013 at 10:59 AM
Grade 7 Math Placement Criteria - Revised 4-2-13.doc ---
Dawn Urbanek December 04, 2013 at 11:00 AM
Grade 7 Math Placement Criteria - Revised 4-3-13.doc ---
Dawn Urbanek December 04, 2013 at 11:00 AM
Grade 7 Math Placement Criteria - Revised 4-4-13.doc ---
Dawn Urbanek December 04, 2013 at 11:00 AM
Grade 7 Math Placement Criteria - Revised 5-1-13.doc ---
Dawn Urbanek December 04, 2013 at 11:00 AM
Capistrano USD Common Core Math Standards Transition Plan - updated 09-18-12.doc ---
Dawn Urbanek December 04, 2013 at 11:00 AM
Capistrano USD Common Core Math Standards Transition Plan - updated 09-19-12.doc ---
Dawn Urbanek December 04, 2013 at 11:00 AM
Math 7 Acc Placement Test Info
Dawn Urbanek December 04, 2013 at 11:02 AM
Source: http://capousd.ca.schoolloop.com/search/search_results?d=x&search_term=Math+Placement
fact checker December 05, 2013 at 10:29 AM
I thought you might support adapting the CCS standards to the specific needs of CUSD students. When, exactly, would you propose that this adaptation take place other than as we go? And it would seem that you are very well informed. All of the sources you cite come directly from the district website. Did you attend Back To School Night and did the teachers address the new standards? Is the information about CCS not readily available and linked on the first page of the district website? I am puzzled at your outrage. I notice that Mr. Reardon chose not to address the issue of transparency for readers here.


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