As the controversial Common Core standards are phased out, educators across South Carolina are gathering to determine what new standards will replace them.
A Beaufort County School District official is among those picked by the state Department of Education for a 19-member team that will write the new math standards by the 2015-16 school year.
Roberto Gonzalez, who works with English learners at Beaufort High School, will represent the interests of students still learning English on the math committee. Team members were selected based on their experience and the diversity they bring to the group, such as their home district and the grade levels they work with, according to the state agency.
The panel first met July 21. The state department has told the team not to talk about its efforts until a draft of the standards is published, Gonzalez said Thursday.
Department spokeswoman Dino Teppara said the group's goal is to produce "new high-quality, college- and career-ready standards" for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.
South Carolina adopted Common Core Standards in 2010 but backed away from them earlier this year before they were fully implemented. State Education Superintendent Mick Zais has said Common Core will not be the basis for the rewrite.
During the math team's first meeting, the group discussed what a student should know to be successful in today's society, Teppara said. The department's staff also presented the team with a comparison of the academic standards in Indiana, Texas, Minnesota and Nebraska as a way to examine various options.
The team will meet several times over the coming months to craft standards to satisfy the college- and career-ready requirements.
A draft should be ready in October, according to Teppara. Then the team members can talk about the process and the public can get involved, he said.
In November, the department intends to post the standards online for public review and feedback. Revisions should be completed by year's end, so the state Board of Education and the independent Education Oversight Committee can approve them by spring.
A similar process and schedule for English-language standards will begin when a committee is announced by the state Education Department this week. The Beaufort County School District nominated several educators to serve on that committee, as well.
For the most part, state schools will continue to operate under Common Core during the upcoming school year. But the Beaufort County district will update its curriculum throughout the year as more information about the new standards becomes available, according to head of instruction Dereck Rhoads. The district hopes this work will make the transition for students and teachers gradual.
"It would not be effective to try to go from zero to 60 with these changes that are coming and implementing the new standards," Rhoads has said.
Follow reporter Sarah Bowman at twitter.com/IPBG_Sarah.