AASL comments on Common Core grade band standards

Contact: Melissa Jacobsen
AASL Communications Specialist
(312) 280-4381
mjacobsen@ala.org

NEWS
For Immediate Release
April 27, 2010

CHICAGO – The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) has issued comments on the grade-level bands of the Common Core Standards. The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). View the comments in full on AASL's website.

AASL commended the efforts of CCSSO and NGA Center on the straightforward structure and organization of the grade bands, which generally work well for ease of reference and show the progression of skills. AASL also pointed out that the disciplinary literacy sections of the English Language Arts (ELA) standards are important as they emphasize that students need different skills for different resources, texts and subjects. 

AASL expressed concern that students' exposure to, use of and interaction with digital resources and social media should begin at earlier grade levels than those found in the ELA writing and speaking and listening sections. Therefore, references to digital and online media should be infused throughout the standards and appear at all grade levels.

AASL also expressed concern that descriptions of inquiry and information literacy skills and the progression of these skills are not always consistent with other national standards. AASL states that the process of finding, evaluating, organizing, using and creating information requires greater emphasis in the Common Core grade band standards. Finally, AASL suggests that NGA Center and CCSSO mention the important part that school librarians play in the implementation of these standards.

"Certified school librarians play an essential role in ensuring that the multiple literacies addressed in AASL's "Standards for the 21st Century Learner" are integrated throughout all curriculum areas," said AASL President Cassandra Barnett. "With the adoption of the Common Core Standards, school librarians will work diligently to collaborate with classroom teachers to provide meaningful learning experiences that will prepare students to face the challenges of college and careers."

The K-12 standards define the knowledge and skills students should have within their K-12 education careers so that they will graduate high school able to succeed in academic college courses and in workforce training programs. The final standards are expected to be released in late spring 2010. For more information about the Common Core Standards Initiative and both sets of standards issued, visit www.corestandards.org.

The American Association of School Librarians, www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library media services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change and develop leaders in the school library media field.