After years of chronic under-performance, in 2013 Ashley Elementary School in Denver, Colorado was labeled “accredited on probation.” The school made hiring changes and firmly committed to the Common Core State Standards. Today, it is a completely different school.As the Denver Post reports, switching from old ways to the Common Core State Standards was a challenge for teachers and administrations, but ultimately very much worth the effort. From five-year-olds in kindergarten to the 11-year-old fifth graders, the positive effects of the Common Core are noticeable throughout the school. Children are more engaged, collaborative, and inquisitive. Proficiency scores are up across the board, as is attendance. It seems as though adopting and committing to the Common Core transformed the school’s culture, both in and out of the classroom:
Donna Sims, the grandmother of two Ashley students, walks the school hallways and is taken aback at how different it is post-reinvention — so much quieter, more relaxed and less chaotic.
She does not claim expertise in the tenets of Common Core, but she says she knows enough to see a difference at the elementary school.
“To me, the Common Core means having the same understandings, the same mission,” said Sims, who worked on the school’s innovation plan. “That means everyone. Community, teachers, staff, students.”
Read the full article from the Denver Post here.