Funding cuts impacting implementation of Common Core standards at Department of Defense schools

Aug 27, 2013 by

Sequestration cuts have prompted schools that serve military children to delay the full implementation of Common Core Standards.

Department of Defense Education Activity originally adopted Common Core in May 2012 and the schedule called for the new standards to be in place as schools opened their doors this year. The standards, which have prompted a firestorm of controversy in Alabama, are currently used in 46 states and the District of Columbia.

“We’ve prolonged (Common Core) for a year,” Marilee Fitzgerald, director of the Department of Defense Education Activity, told American Forces Press Service. “This year, we’re going to do all the work that should have been done last year. We’re doing a gap analysis. We’re doing a lot of our financial planning and putting together a professional development program.”

DODEA operates schools at Fort Rucker and Maxwell Air Force Base. Fort Rucker Primary and Elementary Schools have a combined 729 students. Maxwell’s Elementary and Middle School serves as some 395 students in grades Pre-K through eighth. The activity serves more than 84,000 students at nearly 200 schools in seven states, Cuba, Guam, Puerto Rico and 12 countries.

The Common Core standards aren’t the only thing being delayed as DOD schools work their way through the financial cutbacks that are impacting every facet of Pentagon operations. Fitzgerald said several curriculum updates have been postponed. Some of the information for those courses has not been updated in seven years, she said.

“That’s not where we want our children to be,” Fitzgerald said.

The DOD schools were able to purchase schedule curriculum updates for high schools students for this school year and math courses will be updated over the next two years, Fitzgerald said, “as long as we can stay on schedule.”

A pilot program to provide laptops to DODEA students in about 20 schools has also been delayed.

“We’re hoping that as we move along in (fiscal year 2014) we’re going to be able to dedicate some resources to that important endeavor, but right now that’s been stalled for a year,” Fitzgerald said. “We have vast needs in our system in terms of technology, generally. This year, we will have some tablets in our schools, but we need more of those in our schools for our children.”

While sequestration is delaying some plans, it won’t be shuttering DODEA schools for five days this fall as originally planned. Under the original plan to furlough workers for 11 days, DODEA schools were set to close five days from the start of school through the end of September.

The DOD’s decision to cut the amount of furlough days from 11 to 6 eliminated the need for the closures.

via Funding cuts impacting implementation of Common Core standards at Department of Defense schools |

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