Making it Possible: Achieving success with the Common Core despite budget cuts

Written by the Kurzweil Blog Team

Higher demands on educators and students to meet Common Core State Standards may seem beyond reach, especially with huge decreases in budgets. "Itís as if our goals skyrocketing toward the left, while our resources are taking a nosedive to the right," explains Principal Bubs Carson of John Cotten Tayloe Elementary School in Beaufort County. "Teachers are being asked to accomplish so much with, right now, so very little."

The harsh reality is that those who will suffer the most from recent budget cuts are the children who need the most help. An estimated $579 million in federal funding for IDEA Part B was cut, a service that supports 6.5 million children with disabilities.*

Do More with Less

While achieving success with the Common Core with less staff and resources may seem like an impossible feat, remember that Rome wasnít built in a day and, back then, they did not have the technology we have today. At a time when resources are so limited being mindful on how they are being used is crucial. Here are tips on how other educators are doing more with less.

1. Utilize the Cloud
"Donít tie yourself to a single device," is Andrew Marcinekís recommendations. Saving materials and managing lessons online, such as with Kurzweil 3000, allows you to manage time more efficiently. No more running from classroom to classroom or school to school to access student reporting or saving text files to a single computer. Simply login to your account anywhere there is an internet connection to manage curricula. Hundreds of classic literature and nonfiction texts have already been uploaded to Kurzweil 3000ís Universal Library for your use, so youíll not only save time but money too.

2. Create Independent Learners
Learning doesnít start and end in the classroom, it is a life skill that students will need to succeed in the classroom and in "life after school." To keep yourself from spending too much one-on-one time with students who struggle, provide them with supportive technology that allows them to work independently. It will help them to gain a new sense of confidence in their abilities, and will open the door to a new world of discovery.

Tip: Embedding instruction with Bubble and Voice notes allows you to reinforce a lesson without the need to be physically present.

3. Make the Most of Your Time
While technology cannot replace staff, it can be a helpful support. Make the most of your time by using technology to assist students with fundamental skills, such as reading with text-to-speech or looking up language translations and word definitions. Your time can then be reserved for helping students grasp a concept or master a new technique. According to recent analysis, "Öthe largest impacts on K-12 reading achievement come from comprehensive models that integrate computer and non-computer instruction in the classroom." Itís a win-win, youíre not only getting crucial support, you are also helping student to reach new heights in achievement.


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