As Walton County students prepare to head back to school Thursday, Walton County teachers gear up to implement common core standard in the classroom.
It's a term that's been widely talked about this summer; though, changing standards is nothing new. In fact, most schools have some change in education standards each year.
What is perhaps unique about Common Core is its being adopted by 40 other states as well.
In high performing Walton County, teachers are placing the final touches on classrooms before Tuesday's orientation and the first day of school this Thursday.
Lesson plans and teaching practices are also being revamped.
Common Core standards are said to be more complex, rigorous, and structured than Florida's current system, putting much of the problem solving on the student in a group learning format.
Essentially, it takes the focus off a lecture based classroom and gives teachers a grade level benchmark for students to reach, versus focusing wholly on assessment.
It's something Emerald Coast Middle School's Principal, Charlie Marello, believes will create life long learners.
"I think as a teacher, you feel less concerned about covering all the standards and getting everything done before test time, versus making sure the kids actually understand the big concept and the big ideas that they need for that grade level to be successful at the next one and the next one," said Marello.
Common Core standards have been slowly transitioned since 2010 and the full implementation is expected by 2015.
What this means for the future of Florida's standardized testing is unknown, but Marello believes a less than successful era of assessment under ‘No Child Left Behind' has sunset, making room for positive change.