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Engaging Common Core: Reading to Think Through Information and Ideas (CCSS 7-9)

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Following is a post (third in a series on breaking down the Common Core ) from guest blogger Susan Weston, a Kentucky education consultant who often works with the Prichard Committee:

Here's further thought on public engagement around the Common Core State Standards. I've already shared the brief but important process I'd suggest for concrete discussion of the first six reading Standards here and here.

Here are three more Common Core Anchor Standards for reading.

7. Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.

8. Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.

9. Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.

Where Reading Standards 1-3 asked students to work on "key ideas and details," and Standards 4-6 asked them to understand the "craft and structure" of that they read, these three focus on "integration of knowledge and ideas."

With a parent or citizen audience, I'd emphasize two points.

First, Standard 8 is my very favorite part of the whole Common Core process, because it asks students to track the evidence and check whether each author's positions are well grounded in reliable facts and sensible reasoning. To me, that sounds like the basics of citizenship preparation, and close to the root of why America has public schools.

And second, Standard 8 is my inspiration for this set of blog posts. For those who are wary about Common Core, I urge them to start by reading Common Core. If you think they're wrong for the kids of your state, say which part you think is wrong, quoting from the actual text. Wrestle the real document and the real evidence, and don't settle for anyone else's summary.

My central point here is not to convince anyone to share Common Core my way. Instead, I want to promote sharing Common Core in varied and thoughtful ways, and to show that even brief presentations invite engagement and substantive discussion.

You can download the complete Common Core State Standards here . They were developed by organizations of governors and chief state school officers like Kentucky's Commissioner of Education, and they've been adopted by 47 states (46 for the mathematics Standards).

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