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Iowa Core

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Cognitive Complexity

The Iowa Core Standards Cognitive Complexity documents provide a summary of the cognitive complexity study of the Iowa Core Standards for Literacy and Mathematics, as well as guidance on how to use the documents. The study was conducted by Bradley Niebling, in consultation with Deb Hindman and Judith Spitzli during Spring 2012. Read more...

Iowa's students deserve an education that helps them succeed in today's technology rich, global economy. The Iowa Core (formerly known as the Iowa Core Curriculum and the Model Core Curriculum) provides academic expectations for all Iowa's K-12 students.

It does so by helping teachers take learning to a deeper level by focusing on a well-researched set of standards in literacy and mathematics and essential concepts and skills in science, social studies, and 21st century learning (civic literacy, financial literacy, technology literacy, health literacy, and employability skills). The Iowa Core is not course-based, but rather is a student-based approach that supports high expectations for all students.

The vision for the Iowa Core is to ensure the success of each and every student by providing a world-class curriculum. The Iowa Core is designed to improve achievement of all students, preparing them for the world of work and lifelong learning. It identifies the essential content and instruction of critical content areas that all students must experience.

Characteristics of effective instruction and the professional development initiatives are being developed to help educators create student-centered classrooms focused on students and learning rather than teachers and teaching. Iowa teachers are expanding their knowledge of learning and pedagogy as they develop the content of the Iowa Core into rigorous and relevant lessons that help them teach for understanding and learner differences. The Department and educators across Iowa continue to investigate more informative, effective, and authentic assessment for learningto guide instruction.

Further analysis reveals that the shift from a culture of teaching to a culture of learning would requires a change in focus and environment. Content, instruction, and assessment must work together to develop the competencies and habits of mind that are essential for future success in college, careers, and citizenry in an increasingly complex and global society. Six universal constructs have been identified as the building blocks for success in the 21st century: critical thinking, complex communication, creativity, collaboration, flexibility and adaptability, and productivity and accountability.

The Common Core State Standards in Literacy and Mathematics were integrated into the Iowa Core by Iowa State Board of Education action in 2010. All school districts and accredited nonpublic schools are required to fully implement the Iowa Core in grades 9-12 by July 1, 2012 and grades K-8 by the 2014-2015 school year.

Full implementation is accomplished when the district or school is able to provide evidence that an ongoing process is in place to ensure that each and every student is learning the essential concepts and skills of the Iowa Core. A school that has fully implemented the Iowa Core is engaged in an ongoing process of data gathering and analysis, decision making, identifying actions, and assessing impact around alignment and professional development focused on content, instruction, and assessment. The school is fully engaged in a continuous improvement process that specifically targets improved student learning and performance.

The following six outcomes have been defined to assist districts and schools in fully implementing the Iowa Core:

  1. School leaders build and sustain system capacity to implement the Iowa Core.
  2. Community members and other supporting agencies work together to support the implementation of the Iowa Core.
  3. A continuous improvement process to improve teaching and learning is used at the district and school level.
  4. District leaders and other educators monitor and use data to increase the degree of alignment of each and every student’s enacted curriculum and other relevant educational opportunities to the Iowa Core.
  5. Educators engage in professional development focused on implementing Characteristics of Effective Instruction and demonstrate understanding of Essential Concepts and Skills.
  6. Educators implement effective instructional practices to ensure high levels of learning for each and every student.

 

Iowa Core Resources

Find resources for learning about and implementing the Iowa Core that are not specific to any one content area. Included are a growing set of documents, webcasts and links to external resources.  View resources...

 

Implementation Planning

Each school district and accredited non-public school in Iowa is required to develop a written plan to describe its implementation of the Iowa Core Curriculum. This following document provides a process to facilitate planning and a protocol for meeting the requirements to develop an Implementation Plan. The Self Study & Implementation Plan Handbook is provided as guidance for use by Leadership Teams. Leadership Teams are encouraged to engage teachers, administrators, and other stakeholders in an ongoing process that begins with preliminary dialogue, analysis of data, coordination of resources, and initial examination of content, instruction, and assessment. This initial work leads to continued in-depth dialogue about alignment of content, instruction and assessment, improved teaching practices, improved systems of support, and increased student engagement.

Iowa Core and Implementation Plan Handbook

 

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on April 20, 2014 at 8:53am.