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The Common Core Implementation Gap: "the distressing reality of implementation"

By Andy Smarick

Education Next

February 21, 2013


Teacher Evaluation - With changes afoot in all of these areas, teacher-evaluation reform has gotten exponentially more difficult. 42 states report either having plans or building plans to revise their teacher-evaluation systems to comport with the expectations of Common Core. Thirty states claim to have “fully developed” plans to change their instructional materials to align with the new standards.

Common Core – One of several massive changes. Even the best state departments of education were fretting about the massive challenges associated with overhauling educator evaluation systems before Common Core implementation was front and center.

Professional Development – Plans “look a lot like the SEA’s current PD plans: same state office, same providers, same higher-ed institutions, same quality monitoring, same number of hours required, etc.”

Aligned Instructional Materials - Comparing the navigability of the CC-aligned resources marketplace to the Wild West would be an insult to the Wild West.

Teacher Preparation - Are any activities underway to improve teacher preparation programs so their graduates are ready for the demands of Common Core. As far as I can tell, most states haven’t even begun working in this area.

Mel Riddile's insight:

Great Quote:


"it’s time to get serious about the seriousness of implementation"


The Perfect Storm = New Teacher Evaluation Systems + New State Accountability Systems + Common Core Implementation (Professional Development, Aligned Resources, Teacher Preparation)

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College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders
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
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Implementing the Common Core State Standards: The Role of the School Leader Action Brief | Achieve

Implementing the Common Core State Standards: The Role of the School Leader Action Brief | Achieve | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

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.

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A mini-assessment of fraction concepts

A mini-assessment of fraction concepts | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

This mini-assessment is designed to illustrate some of the fraction concepts listed in clusters 4.NF.A and 4.NF.B, which set an expectation for students to deepen their understanding of fraction equivalence and ordering and to develop their...


Via Darren Burris
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No Common Core Calamity ~ US News

No Common Core Calamity ~ US News | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Contrary to the critics' assertions, Common Core testing seems to be going just fine.


Common Core Test Catastrophe Fails To Materialize.

In a post for the US News & World Report (3/26) “Knowledge Bank” blog, the Center for American Progress’ Ulrich Boser writes that despite the dire warnings that Common Core testing would be disastrous in states implementing the tests, the testing and the standards themselves “seem to be going far better than many believe.” Boser cites a recent Columbia Journalism Review piece in which Alexander Russo “argues that the ‘media’s coverage of this spring’s Common Core testing rollout has been guilty of over-emphasizing the extent of the conflict, speculating dire consequences based on little information.’”

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A PARCC score of 4 or 5 would be accepted for placement of students into college level courses in Math and ELA

This policy was developed with the support and endorsement from the Illinois Community College Chief Academic Officers (ICCCAO) and Illinois Council Community College Chief Student Services Officers (ICCCSSO).  Additionally, this policy was developed in consultation with the Board of the Illinois Math Association of Community Colleges (IMACC) and endorsed by the Curriculum Committee of the IMACC.

PARCC Adopted Policy Summary
PARCC Adopted Policy Full Version

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Why La. should embrace Common Core standards

Why La. should embrace Common Core standards | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
In 2009, Louisiana education officials recognized that our state’s academic expectations were not as advanced as were the expectations in many other states
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Ten arguments against Common Core presidential hopefuls should avoid ~ Tim Shanahan

Ten arguments against Common Core presidential hopefuls should avoid ~ Tim Shanahan | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
An open letter to the candidates. Tim Shanahan


4. The Common Core isn’t research-based.

5. They require too much testing.

6. They are the reason for all of the test prep.

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Parents Should Welcome the New Common Core Tests

Parents Should Welcome the New Common Core Tests | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

Ignore the left- and right-wing noise machines: the new tests being introduced to kids across the country are valuable.

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Is it realistic to believe that students will succeed on first attempt at new assessments?

Not meeting high standards ≠ “failing.” Michael J. Petrilli


In the pre-Common Core era, we had a big problem. Most state tests measured minimal competency in reading and math. But we failed to communicate that to parents, so they reasonably thought a passing grade meant their child was pretty much where they needed to be. Little did they know that their kid could earn a mark of “proficiency” and be reading or doing math at the twentieth or thirtieth percentile nationally. Frankly, we lied to the parents of too many children who were well below average and not at all on a trajectory for success in college or a well-paying career.

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"The real story—the rollout of these new, more challenging tests is proceeding surprisingly well"

"The real story—the rollout of these new, more challenging tests is proceeding surprisingly well" | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

Common Problems with Common Core reporting


"The “something big,” according to PBS and other media outlets, is growing grassroots resistance among parents and students to a new set of tests being administered nationwide for the first time.

But so far, at least, much of the media’s coverage of this spring’s Common Core testing rollout has been guilty of over-emphasizing the extent of the conflict, speculating dire consequences based on little information, and over-relying on anecdotes and activists’ claims rather than digging for a broader sampling of verified numbers. The real story—that the rollout of these new, more challenging tests is proceeding surprisingly well—could be getting lost.

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State will not use standardized test scores to "make determinations of the quality of our schools."

State will not use standardized test scores to "make determinations of the quality of our schools." | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
"This is a brand new test. The board feels like this is a transition year and we don't know what measures the results are going to give us," Vermont Secretary of Education Rebecca Holcombe said in an interview Wednesday. "Until there is more clarity we don't feel it makes sense to use the results to make determinations on the quality of our schools."
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Teaching the Core: Common Core Video Exemplars

Teaching the Core: Common Core Video Exemplars | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

The Common Core resources produced on the Teaching the Core website were made possible by a generous grant from the Helmsley Charitable Trust.


Via Darren Burris
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Common Core: Perspectives From the Classroom

Common Core: Perspectives From the Classroom | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
In this special Commentary package, five educators discuss the realities of common-core implementation from the frontlines, highlighting both challenges and opportunities.
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How to leverage the enterprise of CCSS adoption for the benefit of students with learning disabilities - NCLD

How to leverage the enterprise of CCSS adoption for the benefit of students with learning disabilities  - NCLD | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
A Special Educator Shares Her Perspective on the Common Core State Standards

Written by Chelsea Miller, Guest Writer | 2 years ago

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) creates high expectations for student success by outlining the set of skills that students need to master at each grade level. At the end of the day, students are supposed to be equipped with critical thinking, problem solving and other career-oriented skills for college and 21st century jobs. Although the implementation of the Standards will have a big impact on students with disabilities, the authors of the Standards have provided only limited guidance in this area.

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FACT CHECK: Common Core

FACT CHECK: Common Core | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
ATLANTA — In the political uproar over Common Core, various myths are peddled as fact


AP Fact-Checks GOP Common Core Claims.

The AP (3/27, Barrow, Hefling) reports that there are a number of “myths” surrounding the Common Core Standards which are being “peddled as fact” by potential members of the 2016 GOP field. The piece features “a quick primer on Common Core,” and continues with a series of fact-check bullets about claims that various Republican contenders have made about the standards.

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Reports Show Small Gains After Common Core

Reports Show Small Gains After Common Core | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Some student test scores have inched up, but it's not clear whether Common Core is the reason.


Research On Common Core’s Impact As Yet Inconclusive.
US News & World Report (3/25) reports that two new studies fail to shed any light on whether the Common Core Standards are having a significant impact on academic performance five years into the initiative. Studies from the Brookings Institution’s Brown Center on Education Policy and the National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research “showed small gains on students’ scores nationally on the National Assessment of Educational Progress and in Kentucky on the ACT,” though there is no proof of a causal relationship with the standards.

Mel Riddile's insight:

The Common Core Standards are two years away from full implementation, which includes a complete assessment system.

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Teacher Speaks In Defense of High Quality Assessments

Teacher Speaks In Defense of High Quality Assessments | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

Common Core has impacted my teaching in many ways. I feel that my lessons and texts are richer and that my students, while they are struggling at times, overall tend to rise to the challenges of CCSS. I have more flexibility with the curriculum in my classroom. I am not “teaching to a test.” I am teaching skills that my students will take with them to college and the work force because the new aligned assessments measures skills, not content knowledge. In the classroom, I see students tackling difficult tasks yet succeeding with help. Some students are frustrated, but with continued encouragement and practice, they, too, are improving. I especially see this in my Literacy Ready course, where students’ ACT scores have gone up an average of four points.

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Strategies for Promoting College and Career Readiness at the Middle Level

Strategies for Promoting College and Career Readiness at the Middle Level | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
To most of our middle level students, college and careers seem light-years away. But we old codgers (meaning anyone not in their teens) sense with much trepidation how close our students are to their graduation. “Six years ain’t nothin’, kid,” we say in our gravelly, ancient voices.
So here’s the question: How do we promote young adolescents’ readiness for postsecondary challenges while they’re in middle school? Clearly, there must be more to it than...
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"it will take time before Common Core instruction on such skills as critical thinking can be fully rolled out.

"it will take time before Common Core instruction on such skills as critical thinking can be fully rolled out. | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

Half of California teachers not fully prepared to teach Common Core, top educator says

The president of the California Board of Education says it will take time before Common Core instruction on such skills as critical thinking can be fully rolled out.

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Expectations are high as first Common Core tests loom

Expectations are high as first Common Core tests loom | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Common Core tests for students are debutingon time this spring, but after years of bruising attacks from both the left and right, the groups tapped by the federal government to develop them are struggling to live up to all the hype.


SBAC, PARCC Facing Pressure As Testing Begins.
McClatchy (3/20, Felton, Subscription Publication) reports that after years of “bruising attacks” on the Common Core Standards and aligned testing programs, the Partnership for Assessment of College and Careers and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium are “struggling to live up to all the hype” surrounding their tests. The piece notes that when first conceptualized in 2010, the groups’ tests were billed as an end to “the era of dumbed-down multiple-choice tests and the weeks of mindless prepping that precede them,” and reports that that year, Education Secretary Arne Duncan told teachers these were “the tests that many of them had ‘longed for.’”

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How to Implement the Good Intentions of the Common Core Standards

How to Implement the Good Intentions of the Common Core Standards | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

The purpose is to create teachers who can teach students to learn how to learn by reading. It's not just about the skill of reading. In involves thinking about what is being read, thinking about content, which, after all, is the goal of education.

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Julie Labeau's curator insight, March 25, 7:01 AM

You may ask what is Common Core Standard. It is the integration of information that students can learn through reading non-fiction books for them to learn how to assimilate knowledge and develop their ability to think and understand what is being read. And reading is essential to one's education. 

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Teacher Leaders Lead Common Core Training

Teacher Leaders Lead Common Core Training | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Union School District, which serves San Jose's Cambrian Park area, has developed a training program to ensure teachers are well versed in Common Core standards and that they continue improving teaching methods in keeping with the goal of providing students with a 21st-century education.
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Principals and Focused Instructional Leadership: Fish Don't Rot From the Tail First

Principals and Focused Instructional Leadership: Fish Don't Rot From the Tail First | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Building administrators and school leaders across the nation are challenged to find strategies that will generate continual increased levels of student achievement. But what is the best way?
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NASSP Center for New Principals's curator insight, March 22, 9:45 PM

The author says "Fish don't rot from the tail first......" Read on!

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Reading Lessons Aligned to Common Core Standards?

Reading Lessons Aligned to Common Core Standards? | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

In this podcast we go searching for specific reading lessons that align with the Common Core Standards for complex text.

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Common Core "delivering on its promise": Increased rigor is big change, especially for older students.

Common Core "delivering on its promise": Increased rigor is big change, especially for older students. | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Common Core delivering on its promise: a teacher pushing her students to learn more advanced material so they'll be better prepared for college and careers. It also showed why the new standards have made so many educators so upset. For older students especially, who have had to switch to the new rigorous material halfway through their school careers, such impromptu reviews are constant. In Bahn's class, there won't be enough time to cover all the material her students are expected to know before test time.
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