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Common Core Standards for Education 
In the next year, dramatic changes in education will take place across the country. Teachers and administrators have been preparing for the new standards through in-service meetings and workdays. What the standards cover is not necessarily new, but the ways in which they are taught and assessed will be. 

English classes, in particular, will see lessons clearly aimed at skills students will be expected to learn and retain for the entire school year and beyond since end-of-year exams will contain questions evaluating those skills. Students will be required to pass the PARCC Assessment, an exam developed specifically to test the Common Core Standards.  Teacher evaluations will be based, in part, on student scores on these tests as well, so students and teachers will become more interdependent partners in student success. 

The links to the right contain vital information for parents and students with regard to upcoming expectations, and the PowerPoint is particularly helpful in providing both an overview and an in-depth look at the Language Arts Standards for grades K-12. Please contact me if you have any questions about what is coming around the bend. I can't promise I will have the answer, but I can point you in the right direction!
Upcoming: College Prep juniors will be required to take a diagnostic (pre-test) during the first few weeks of the school year that will identify strengths and weaknesses in specific areas targeted by the Common Core standards. At the end of the year, I will administer a final test that will test how well your child learned those standards. Please see me if you have any questions about the specific standards the tests will target or anything else you want to know. 
Senior Research Paper Requirements

You will organize and write a college-level, thesis-driven research paper of at least 4,000 words, then summarize your findings in a multi-media presentation to your classmates and potentially to other teachers or community members. 

You will wish to visit The Concord Review to examine college-level essays and to view the breadth of possible topics available to you. Your own essay can be about any research-worthy topic from our class or any class you are currently taking.  
The independent research that you conduct in preparation for writing the paper exposes you to the variety and complexity of informational texts that you will encounter in college, and, thus, provides you with the most effective exercise in college preparation that you will receive at Minford.

This project will take a large portion of the last nine-weeks, but you will be required to complete the bulk of the writing outside of class, so use your study halls judiciously.

NOTE: We will investigate the plagiarism virus and eradicate the possibility that you will find yourself guilty of accidental contamination. Should there then be an incident, I will act immediately to not only cut out the infection, but also take steps to prevent an epidemic  by containing the corruption and eviscerating it. 

There will be no zombie apocalypse  on my watch.