In spring 2008, the Iowa Core was signed into law. The Iowa Core outlines Essential Concepts and Skill Sets that all students should be exposed to in grade level bands in the subjects of: literacy, math, social studies, science, and 21st century skills. All schools are expected to implement the Iowa Core in 2012 for grades 9-12 and 2014 for grades K-8.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is the Iowa Core?
The Iowa Core is a set of essential concepts and skill sets mandated by the state of Iowa to be taught to ALL students in five content areas: literacy, math, social studies, science, and 21st century skills.
Iowa Core must be utilized in high school beginning the 2012 school year and 2014 in grades K-8.
What is the Common Core?
The Common Core are national standards in the areas of language arts and math. The Common Core standards have been adopted in Iowa and replaced the original literacy and math standards of the Iowa Core.
What is the difference between the Iowa Core and the Common Core?
The Iowa Core was created by Iowa educators and leaders as essential concepts and skill sets for all students to master. They are written in grade level spans (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12). The Iowa Core also outlines research-based teaching strategies that will assist in learning the essential concepts and skill sets called Characteristics of Effective Instruction.
The Common Core are standards that were written by teachers and national leaders. The Common Core are written for each grade level (K-12). The Common Core does not specify specific teaching strategies or theories that will guide learning and teaching.
Why use the Iowa Core?
The Iowa Core outlines essential concepts and skill sets that all students should know, understand, and be able to do by the end of each grade span or grade level. This Iowa Core allows for consistency among Iowa schools, and if implemented with fidelity, will lead to greater student achievement and will allow our students to be more nationally and internationally competitive.
Beginning 2012 it is state law that all students be exposed to each of the Iowa Core concepts and essential skill sets.
What happens if the legislature doesn’t financially support the Iowa Core?
In Grinnell, we believe in the purpose and vision of the Iowa Core regardless of funding. We will continue our work with the Iowa Core in Grinnell regardless of national or state initiatives because we believe it will increase student achievement and classroom teaching practices.
What subject areas does the Iowa Core cover?
Langauge Arts, math, science, social studies, and 21st Century Skills
How will the Iowa Core affect my child?
The Iowa Core will positively affect children because it allows for all students to learn the essential concepts and skills sets. It also outlines teaching strategies and theories for teachers that will benefit students positively and raise student achievement levels.
What differences will I see in the classroom because of Iowa Core?
We have focused on many of the Characteristics of Effective Instruction through previous professional development. It is our hope that you see continued focus on teaching and assessing based on standards. You should also see student-centered classrooms and teachers focusing on the individual needs of your student.
How are we meeting the requirements of the Iowa Core?
We are using our District Leadership Team consisting of teachers, administrators, students, and parents. This team is working on revising the initial implementation plan and working to achieve the action steps of the implementation plan.
We have also updated our curriculum cycle to meet the timeline requirements of the Iowa Core. Groups in social studies, science, math, and language arts have met to update the Standards and Benchmarks to be consistent with the Iowa Core. Each content area is also working on integrating the 21st Century Skills into their curriculum. Areas not directly covered in the Iowa Core will also meet in the upcoming years to update and revise Standards and Benchmarks and to incorporate 21st Century Skills into their curriculum.
What are the six outcomes of the Iowa Core?
Outcome 1 – Leadership
Outcome 2 – Community
Outcome 3 – Schools
Outcome 4 – Alignment
Outcome 5 – Professional Development
Outcome 6 – Instruction
How will we know if the implementation of the Iowa Core is successful?
We will continue to gather and analyze data to ensure that the Iowa Core is successful. We will look at multiple different pieces of data (classroom assessments, teacher walk-through notes, standardized assessments, professional development surveys, etc.) to ensure that we are meeting requirements of the Iowa Core and to ensure that our students are continuing to learn at the high levels required in Grinnell and intended in the Iowa Core.