New standards challenge students and teachers

Kristin Masunaga
Kristin Masunaga
Kathryn Matayoshi
Kathryn Matayoshi

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In room A-213, Kristin Masunaga is on her own learning curve. The McKinley High School Algebra teacher is absorbing new standards she's expected to teach.

"I don't know specific details. But I do know there's a lot more probability and statistics involved with the Common Core," she said.

Common Core Standards is now the standard for Hawaii's public education system.

It aligns Hawaii's educational expectations with 43 other states and the District of Columbia. The building block system is back to basics.

"For math, that's what it's all about. It's getting core foundations from adding, subtracting, multiplying, fractions. So when they come up to us it makes it a little easier for us," she said.

Thinking critically is key in the Language Arts component of Common Core. Students will learn to zero in on information.

"That's the kind of writing and reading they're going to have to do when they graduate from high school and go on to college or go on to work. It's really preparing them for the future after high school," Hawaii Department of Education Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi said.

The new standards are being implemented without new textbooks so Masunaga and her fellow teachers will have to improvise.

"We're going to have to make the changes to the text book. Maybe rewrite problems," she said.

This year five grade levels in Hawaii begin Common Core. In 2014 it will be K through 12.

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