Establishing Goals

When Nemaha Valley Schools (USD 442) first started the school improvement process, the teachers spent a lot of time writing and re-writing educational goals. Two reasons for such scrutiny was a desire to make sure all areas of the curriculum were addressed while trying to create goals that moved into the future. These goals – or Exit Outcomes – are pictured below:


This week, I received a copy of the proposed new standards  for the business finance pathway. These standards included the following proposed standards:

Common Career Technical Core (CCTC) Standards (Overarching – Governs
all Kansas clusters)–
1. Act as a responsible and contributing citizen and employee.
2. Apply appropriate academic and technical skills
3. Attend to personal health and financial well-being.
4. Communicate clearly, effectively and with reason
5. Consider the environmental, social and economic impacts of decisions.
6. Demonstrate creativity and innovation.
7. Employ valid and reliable research strategies
8. Utilize critical thinking to make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
9. Model integrity, ethical leadership and effective management.
10. Plan education and career path aligned to personal goals.
11. Use technology to enhance productivity.
12. Work productively in teams while using cultural/global competence.

These new CCTC (Common Career Technical Core) Standards seem to be very similar to the goals of Nemaha Valley Schools. With consolidation, Nemaha Central Schools (USD 115) will be looking at a new mission, vision and possibly goals. I would like to propose that we adopt these CCTC (Common Career Technical Core) Standards as our district goals.



With common core, our students are going to be expected to evaluate information in terms of

  • Authority
  • Bias
  • Coverage
  • Date

Although there are ‘worksheets’ for students to use to evaluate a source, this will be more effective if they can learn to ask themselves these questions as they encounter information:

  • Who wrote (produced) this? What is their expertise on the subject?
  • What is the author/producer’s point of view? Are they trying to persuade me?
  • Does this source tell the whole story or do I need to look for ‘missing pieces’?
  • Is the source out of date?
  • Was this written/produced by someone who was a witness to the event OR was it written/produced by someone passing on information from some other source?

I recently was asking myself some of these questions as I was watching a YouTube video regarding health care. Since this video was shared by a trustworthy friend on Facebook, I took the time to watch it. However, as I was watching, I kept asking myself whether the information in the video (and there is a lot) was accurate since I knew the author of the video was NOT an expert in the field!

Help your students become critical thinkers by helping them to ask these questions of information they encounter every day.