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Sep 10, 2012 8:33 PM by Nathan O'Neal

Marana schools ready for 'Common Core' standards

MARANA, Ariz. - A new curriculum program will roll out at Arizona Public Schools, beginning with Kindergarden and first grade and followed by all grades next year.

Marana School District has already implemented the program called "Common Core", making an early jump on standardizing their curriculum, something they hope will improve the quality of education there.

"It's basically broken down into our english and language arts, our math, and they are what we need to teach to our students," said Javonna Leos, an elementary school teacher at Coyote Elementary Trail.

Forty-eight states have adopted the standards, and teachers say it's more focused than previous curriculum. Leos says the "Common Core" standards introduces concepts to students earlier, giving them a better foundation.

"Now with these common core standards it now breaks it into smaller pieces, so it makes it more in depth," Leos told News 4 Tucson.

Jolene Hepler, who also teaches at Coyote Elementary, says the program will give students a more thorough understanding of concepts.

"Rather than throwing them 10 ideas, you're giving them a good base of five ideas of what to build off of," Hepler said.

With "Common Core" set to roll out almost nation-wide next year, it could ease the minds of families who move frequently.

"It's hard to know what kind of school we're going to go into, whether we're going to be ahead of the game, wheter we're going to be behind the game," said Randee Deleo Goodman, who has a daughter in Marana Schools.

Deleo Goodman, whose husband is in the military, says a program that can standardize curriculum across state lines would be comforting to her.

"Something like that sounds wonderful for us, especially military families or families that have to move frequently," Deleo Goodman told News 4 Tucson.

Dan Johnson, Principal of Coyote Trail, says that's a common concern he hears from parents of new students. He says "Common Core" could help cure those headaches for relocating families.

"Parents are assured that the quality education that my son or daughter had in New Jersey is also going to be experienced in New Mexico or in Arizona," Johnson said.

For now, MUSD is preparing to fully launch the program in grades K-12, which will happen next year.

For more information on Common Core Standards:

http://www.corestandards.org/

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