Transition to the Common Core


Major changes in education began during the late 1990’s. The standards movement began to sweep across the country. Along with it, came the testing movement as well. By 2003, Pennsylvania had developed standards in all content areas. The state of Pennsylvania developed the PSSA exam based on PA Academic Standards. The PSSA exam assessed students in Reading, Writing, Math, and Science.

By 2010, governors across the country began to unite behind one set of standards known as Common Core State Standards. Common Core State Standards applied to English Language Arts and Math. These standards were developed nationally and adopted by most states. Pennsylvania announced its intention to adoption Common Core State Standards in October of 2010. At that time, the state announced that all districts needed to transition to Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Math by July 2013.

However, between October of 2010 and July of 2013, Pennsylvania decided to create their own version of the Common Core State Standards. This PA version is now called PA Core Standards. In March of 2014, PA Core Standards became law. Pennsylvania districts are now required to base Language Arts and Math curriculum on PA Core Standards for English Language Arts and Math instead of the old PA Standards. The PSSA exam for 2014-2015 was the first to be based on the new PA Core Standards and not the old PA Standards.

General McLane was faced with the task of aligning, adapting, and rewriting curriculum for all English Language Arts and Math courses to match the newly approved PA Core Standards. This work began in 2012 when Keystone Exams were required for high school students taking Algebra I, Biology, and Literature. At that time, curriculum for many of McLane’s high school science and math courses were re-written to align with PA Core Standards. In 2013-14, an aggressive campaign was undertaken to rewrite K-12 Language Arts and K-8 Math classes to align with the PA Core. A lot of time and resources were poured into finishing the work to meet the state’s requirements before the start of the 2014-2015 school year. Teachers met throughout the 2013-2014 school year to finish curriculum and find resources that match these new standards. Through much hard work, General McLane was fully aligned with the PA Core Standards at the start of the 2014-15 school year.