MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - You have a chance to weigh in on what children should learn in South Carolina. But you need to act in the next week.
The state Education Oversight Committee wants to know what works with the current state standards and what doesn't, so it is sponsoring a survey that looks at state standards from kindergarten all the way up through twelfth grade. And the committee is relying on the feedback from South Carolinians.
Parents and teachers are asked to give their feedback along with school and district administrators, people who work in higher education and even businesses.
The committee wants people to look at current standards for students in math and language arts and give feedback on whether they're confusing or hold students at too high or low of an expectation.
Melanie Barton is the Executive Director of the SC Education Oversight Committee. "It may be the wording in the standard, it could be that the standard needs to be put in a different grade level. So that information will help us, as well as the other end. If everyone says 'we really are glad the standard is focusing on this issue because our students really need this to be successful in the future,' then we know to keep that."
People in higher education know what to look for in a qualified college candidate. And the state wants to know whether the current standards help students meet those expectations.
The same from the standpoint of business professionals. The survey filters between every standard and expectation for every grade level.
And organizers admit the survey is time-consuming, but it is necessary to make it thorough.
"Then that information will guide the rewriting of the standards, as well as possibly professional development and additional tools that both parents and teachers need to teach the standards," Barton says.
She says there are two things to note that parents have been confused about. First, standards are different than curriculum. Curriculum is how your students are taught, the standards are what they are expected to know at the end of the year. Second, don't judge what your children are expected to learn now with what you learned when you were in school.
"Think about the careers we've got now. It's such a different job market than we've ever had in this nation. Think about the high-tech system, and then apply that to what you see in the standards."
You have until September 30th to log onto the survey and give input. The results will be compiled and made public by mid-October.
You can find the survey here: http://www.scstandards.org/.