Two MPS Teachers Served on Oklahoma Academic Standards Writing Committee
MUSKOGEE, Okla. - Two Muskogee Public Schools educators served on the writing team for the 2020-2021 Oklahoma Academic Standards for English Language Arts.
Rougher Alternative Academy’s Valerie Ragsdale-Aldridge and Sadler Arts Academy’s Jessica Smith were members of the Early Childhood and Upper Elementary writing teams respectively.
Ragsdale-Aldridge and Smith were part of a 25 member writing committee representing 22 school districts and two higher education institutions from across Oklahoma. The draft review committee consisted of 35 members representing 26 school districts and one higher education institution.
“I hope these standards are helpful in preparing students for state testing. We don’t want to teach for a test, we want to give students a holistic education and I feel with these we are on a good track,” said Ragsdale-Aldridge, a 15-year educator, in regards to the use of the standards moving forward.
Work began in early August via Zoom, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, to formulate the new standards. In an effort to make the standards more rigorous and more relevant to real-world experience the writing committee developed the standards that were approved by the Oklahoma State Board of Education in late February.
Spending time with educators from across the state allowed Ragsdale-Aldridge to take a few things away from the experience as well, “I learned it's a beautiful thing to see how younger teachers are incorporating technology in such wondrous ways especially in the middle school and high school level. It’s really exciting to see how they are incorporating technology.”
It wasn’t just the work of a new generation of teachers but also a form of English Language Arts that Ragsdale-Aldridge saw through the writing committee work, “I’m glad there is a high-level appreciation for prose and poetry,” Ragsdale-Aldridge said. “It is having a Renaissance!”
The standards document distinguishes the eight overarching standards in reading and writing into standard objectives for each grade level. The 112-page standards document is not only valuable for teachers but also for parents and guardians.
Per 70 O.S. § 11-103.6a, “the subject matter standards shall be thoroughly reviewed by the State Board every six (6) years according to and in coordination with the existing subject area textbook adoption cycle.”