Mel Riddile, the National Association of Secondary School Principals’ associate director for High School Services, has a special perspective on the effect of the CCSS on ELLs thanks to his own experience of improving outcomes at a school with students from 88 countries who spoke 66 languages.
As Principal, Riddile increased the percentage of students taking the International Baccalaureate (IB) from to 15 to 48 percent, and the school’s ranking became comparable to some of the top private institutions.
He sees the similarity between the IB and the CCSS. The biggest change he predicts is that the standards will require a school-wide focus on literacy — every class will need to emphasize literacy and an on-going professional development program will be essential. “We teach using language and it is the teacher’s job to teach the language of their content area,” explains Riddile, while stressing that the key is consistency, “We must look at the CCSS as a long-term effort and keep working at it year-in, year-out.”