Educator Currents 11/20/12

Educator Currents

New Statewide Testing Days for Writing

Wednesday, April 3, and Thursday, April 4, 2013, are the new statewide writing days for Grades 5 and 8. Students who are absent on those days will be allowed to make up the tests between Friday, April 5, and the close of the Grades 3-8, paper/pencil and multiple-choice testing window, which is Wednesday, April 24.

Coming to a District Near You!

The Oklahoma State Department of Education is offering Common Core Training, and we are coming to you! The sessions offered will focus on secondary and elementary sections dealing with English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies and Leadership. 

The sessions remaining for December will take place in Ardmore and Stillwater. Click on the links below to get more details plus register! For questions regarding either training, please contact the Office of Instruction at (405) 521-3361. 

Check out David Coleman on SDE's iTunes U

David Coleman -- new president of College Board and a co-founder Student Achievement Partners, a nonprofit that played a leading role in developing the Common Core State Standards in math and literacy -- spoke recently to educators attending the REAC3H Summit in Oklahoma City. In his talk, he encouraged educators to look at Common Core standards as a way to actually lighten the load in classroom teaching. He explained that focusing on fewer key concepts would give teachers more time to teach and students more time to practice. This allows for deeper learning and the development of critical thinking skills. To hear an audio recording of Mr. Coleman's talk, go to the SDE's iTunes U page. Search under the REAC3H portal for REAC3H Summit 4, David Coleman.

Ag in the Classroom Contest...

The theme this year is, "The Magic of Agriculture." Ag in the Classroom state contests are online at

TLE Update

The Teacher and Leader Effectiveness Commission met in October and reviewed the original preliminary recommendations shared with board members in September. The commission made a few recommendations regarding other academic measures, which will represent 15 percent of the overall evaluation. Commission members also voted to have some working groups convene to get into the details of those measures. The commission has had one formal working group, made up of 52 educators and four commission members. The educators represent classroom teachers, building and district-level administrators, higher education, career tech, and educational organizations. The group met for two days recently discussing other academic measures and how to implement them in a way that is both manageable for districts but also will be consistent across the state. In the work of drafting the list of other academic measures, group members spent a lot of time discussing the purpose of the measures – whether they will measure student or teacher achievement, or measure the professional growth and development of an educator or the excellence of the educator.