Friday, February 6, 2015

Hollywood Schmooze Discusses Common Core

To write clear prose, without holding back challenging vocabulary and intricate concepts, might be the goal of writers aiming to align their work with Common Core standards.

 At their January meeting, Hollywood Schmoozers listened to and then questioned  Kipp Scholar Academy teacher Annie Calhoun, as she  discussed  California State Education Standards in English Language Arts.

She spoke at the Fairfax Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library, 161 South Gardner Street in LA.

Bottom line for writers: our task is to write the best stories we can.

Common Core refers to the standards, or level of achievement, the State expects students to demonstrate in academics, from kindergarten through grade twelve. The California Department of Education (CDE) and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, are overseeing implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

Examples of  standards include language such as: student will build knowledge through content rich non-fiction.

Translation, student will read a science text. Student will highlight information called for in a test question, and then write a response, as opposed to selecting an answer from a multiple choice list.

Calhoun suggested that schmoozers go to and  to learn more.

The term smarter balanced refers to the state-led consortium working to develop assessments based on Common Core standards. Go to:  for more info.

According to Annie, Spring 2015 standardized testing will be presented online.

Students will need to be able to: read text on a computer, highlight material within the text that answers  test questions, click and drag highlighted material--as well as their own notes-- and write a response based on the relevant material .  The response may range from one sentence to five paragraphs, depending on grade level.

Annie  Calhoun teaches at Kipp Scholar Academy, a public charter, middle school, in South Los Angeles.

--Jean Perry, Hollywood Schmooze Co-coordinator
--Deborah Fletcher Blum, Hollywood Schmooze Co-coordinator

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