The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) supporting school leaders in helping all students become college and career-ready and to succeed in post-secondary education and training
These Action Briefs for school leaders are a starting point, designed to increase awareness of the standards, create a sense of urgency around their implementation, and provide these stakeholders — who are faced with dramatically increased expectations in the context of fewer resources — with a deeper understanding of the standards and their role in implementing the standards. Achieve, in partnership with College Summit, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and the National Association of Elementary School Principals, released this with support from MetLife Foundation.
Research is verifying what many teachers know: Well-designed digital games in the classroom increase student engagement, learning and retention. They improve students’ on-task time and even their social and emotional well-being. The benefits are especially significant when high-quality games are integrated into a curriculum over multiple lessons. So how can we put this knowledge to use as our new school year begins?
New York has become the poster child for poor implementation of the Common Core State Standards. A Race-to-the-Top state, New York officials bragged several years ago about how they were ready for the new standards.
The state could not wait for PARCC to develop an assessment system. So, New York developed it's own "Common Core-Aligned" set of state tests and tied the results to teacher evaluations and to graduation requirements. Common sense dictates that new, higher standards, new, more rigorous assessments coupled with a short window for implementation would result in lower scores on the tests. But as Will Rogers once said, "Common sense ain't so common."
The train wreck occurred when officials, knowing that scores would drop, tied those scores (fifty percent) to teacher evaluations and graduation requirements. This initially outraged teachers who saw the handwriting on the wall. After all, if you have been in education for more than a few years, you are all too familiar with botched implementations. Next came parent outrage because their students were failing the required state tests in huge numbers and they would not graduate.
If one wished to devise a plan to sabotage the Common Core State Standards, this plan was virtually foolproof.
As early as three years ago, New York principals, with tears in their eyes pleaded that tying the expected falling test scores to teacher evaluations was eroding the trust they had worked so hard to build and was destroying the culture of their schools. Their pleas went unnoticed--Ready, Fire, Aim.
Implementation of the Common Core State Standards is a necessary, but 'monumental undertaking.' Changing the way teachers teach and how students are assessed, moving the target from high school completion to college and career-readiness, integrating literacy into all content areas, changing teacher evaluation systems, changing state accountability systems are individually multi-year undertakings. Together these and other local and state initiatives--all occurring simultaneously--represent the "perfect storm" for public education--a storm with no end in sight.
"I would encourage you to continue to teach comprehension strategies as a scaffold for dealing with challenging text. The point would be to make it possible for kids to make sense of truly challenging texts; the use of strategies could be enough to allow some kids to scaffold their own reading successfully--meaning they might be able to read frustration level texts as if they were written at their instructional level."
A researcher and education professor at Michigan State University laid out his take on four major problems with how the common-core math standards are being implemented.
Mel Riddile's insight:
"1) Instructional time is not well-allocated. Teachers are spending too much time on some topics and not enough on others. For example, his research shows that 3rd and 4th grade teachers are allocating about half the time on fractions that experts say the common standards necessitate. "
Nearly all American K–12 students are exposed to it every day. It decides, in large part, what students will learn in school and how they will learn it. It is never evaluated for quality in any serious way, but when it is rigorously evaluated, its impact on student achievement is significant.
The Washington Examiner (8/19) reports that Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Monday tweeted, “Thanks to the Montgomery County, MD schools for moving their discipline policy away from out-of-school suspensions.” The piece explains that this sentiment “comes as no surprise,” noting that the Administration “has repeatedly called on schools to move away from out-of-school suspensions whenever possible.” The piece notes that Duncan cites criticisms “that minorities tend to be expelled at a much higher rate than their peers,” and quotes him saying in January, “Our department’s Civil Rights Data Collection shows that African-American students without disabilities are more than three times as likely as their white peers to be expelled or suspended. And we know that discipline policy and practices matter tremendously — there is nothing inevitable about high rates of suspension and expulsion. We can, and must, do much better.”
Q: The Common Core emphasizes college- and career-readiness for all students, which is a shift for some schools that have typically focused on college-readiness for high achievers. How (if at all) will that shift affect a school counselor’s work?
A: "This shift should not have a major impact on a school counselor’s work. The school counselor’s role has long been to address the academic, career and social/emotional needs of all students so that they are prepared for higher education and for a successful transition to the world of work. School counselors will continue to advocate for student support, equity and access to a rigorous education for all students."
"William McCallum, a distinguished professor of mathematics at the University of Arizona who was involved in development Common Core standards in math, testifies in support of the Common Core during a hearing before the Ohio House’s Rules and Reference Committee, which is considering a repeal of the standards."
Poll Shows Opposition To Common Core And Misperceptions.
A pair of wide-ranging polls by PDK/Gallup and Education Next gauge sentiment on the common standards, testing, school funding, and other hot-button issues.
Education Week (8/27, Camera) reports that a PDK/Gallup and Education Next poll shows that Common Core “has a serious image problem” with the American public. The poll reflects that while awareness of the standards have “jumped” in a year, “adults have misperceptions that the standards are a Federal Initiative.” The poll shows that 40 percent of respondents who were opposed to the standards said their reasoning was that it was based on their belief that the Federal government initiated the standards.
"The Common Core State Standards are good standards."
"The same ideas we had in Wisconsin about excellence in math and English language arts were being discussed on a national scale, which would ultimately produce a better product, the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)."
Mel Riddile's insight:
One of the keys to effecting real, lasting change is the development of a common language. "CCSS offer an incredible opportunity. At national conferences, we are all speaking the same educational language."
While the Common Core is a good set of goals, they’re only goals. To work, they must be translated into curricula, textbooks, tests, professional training and phase-in schedules. These have done well in some states, badly in others.
Mel Riddile's insight:
"Supporters of the Common Core will have to help the public separate the idea of national goals from the process of getting those goals to the classroom."
Tennessee's average ACT score, historically slow to improve despite constant attention from educators, has made its biggest year-to-year leap since
"Though its 19.8 composite score is still well below the national average of 21, Tennessee's class of 2014 saw a three-tenths of a point bump from last year, new results released Wednesday show. That's tied with Kentucky and Wyoming for the largest increase among the 12 states that require all students to take the college entry exam."
"There is a growing list of large-scale K-12/higher education cooperative efforts. Well before Common Core, there were great examples of K–12 and higher education working together to define common academic expectations for students and create a more seamless pathway between the two sectors."
"The Common Core State Standards for Mathematics are based on evidence about how students learn mathematics.
The foundation for CCSSM includes the series of National Research Council reports summarizing research about mathematics education—for example, Adding It Up (2001),How Students Learn: Mathematics in the Classroom (2005), and Mathematics Learning in Early Childhood (2009)—as well as the best of previous state standards and a large body of evidence taken from international comparisons. Research results incorporated into CCSSM include both general findings about how students learn mathematics and specific information about how they learn particular content."