Supporting Access to Common Core State Standards for All Learners

Written by the Kurzweil Blog Team

CCSS Implementation is Not About Purchasing New Curriculum Aligned to Common Core.
Districts have invested in core content texts in ELA and Math and worked hard to implement them with fidelity. Districts have additionally invested heavily in Science, History, and Social Studies texts, but have been hindered in using them due to lack of time in the school day to meet requirements of ELA and Math. Sadly, Science and History/Social Studies bindings have rarely been cracked and the texts seldom opened in elementary classrooms across the US because teachers simply do not have time to include these critical content areas. Yet these are exactly the 21st century knowledge and skill our students will need to successfully compete in an international economy. CCSS implementation is not about purchasing new curriculum aligned to CCSS it is about finding a tool that supports access to existing curriculum so that curriculum can be implemented to its fullest potential. With CCSS, the growing emphasis is on access:
  • Access for students who struggle with reading, writing, test taking skills, listening and speaking.
  • Access to increased rigor.
  • Access to the standards themselves.
  • Access to informational text.

Increased access to informational text for students with disabilities and English Language Learners—and all students- is welcomed by educators. Why? Every teacher, according to the authors of Common Core standards, is a literacy teacher. This opens the door to being able to use informational texts from Science and History/Social Studies as the foundational Informational Text to teach the literacy skills described in CCSS. So standards are critical, and curriculum is important, but access is everything. Kurzweil 3000 is the tool that allows districts to use their current textbooks, or new curriculum materials as the foundation for students accessing Common Core. Read more about how Kurzweil 3000 supports the new CCSS standards.

With New Common Core State Standards Come....New Assessments
Reflected in new state assessments will be the shift from literary to informational text, comprising up to 70% of students school day by 9th grade. Both Smarter Balanced and PARCC consortiums have released Sample Tests and a list of Accommodations that will be embedded technology in the new state assessments. Many of these accommodations will be available to all students, such as the ability to highlight main ideas and key details in text, cite textual evidence, cut and paste information, click and drag answers into text boxes. The new state assessments purposely embed technology with the intention of moving districts forward in embedding technology in everyday instruction. Kurzweil 3000 saw that need years ago and have continued to offer a state of the art tool that embeds these tech skills allowing access to curriculum and assessments. Using Kurzweil 3000 throughout the year enables students to practice the skills that will be tested in the new assessments. Students already tech savvy using the real life technology designed to build reading, writing, listening and speaking, language, and writing skills will have a distinct advantage not only in learning new standards but demonstrating that knowledge on state and local assessments.

Author: Kate Cahill, Educational Consultant


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