Martirano takes questions on Common Core during “Talkline” appearance

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Martirano takes questions on Common Core during “Talkline” appearance
By Jeff Jenkins in News | July 16, 2015 at 1:40PM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State School Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano took calls from across the state Thursday on MetroNews “Talkline.” Martirano addressed the Common Core (Next Generation) teaching standards that have caused lots of debate in West Virginia.

Martirano spent time explaining Common Core.

“It’s a set of standards in both the areas of math and reading and that they are to clearly define what a child, a young person, needs to know at the completion of a course or the end of a grade level.”

Common core is not curriculum or testing, Martirano said.

The state’s former standards were ranked low. Martirano said it was time to challenge students.

“We want our children to be ready for college and careers. Our standards previously were ranked, in terms of grades, D in the area of English/Language Arts and a B-minus in Math,” he said.

Next Generation standards, adopted in 2011 by the state Board of Education, are graded as B-plus in English/Language Arts and a grade of an A in the area of Math by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Fordham Institute, Martirano said.

“I’m about having strong standards for our young people so that they can be ready for college and they can ready for a career. To do anything less than that would be a disservice to our young people,” he said.

The new standards are currently in a public comment period. A new website called West Virginia Academic Spotlight was unveiled last week. Martirano said at that time now is the time to review the standards and after enough feedback is given on the website, he said he hopes to wrap the process up by the end of the year with a strong outline of what is expected in grades K-12.

“The standards are the foundation and the bedrock of our educational delivery model. We want to make sure everybody understands the importance of those. They have to be right and they have to be strong,” Martirano said.

Common Core was heavily criticized during this year’s legislative session. There was an attempt to repeal the standards, but Martirano, in his first year as state school superintendent, promised more public comment.