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Three Ways States Can Support Instruction and Common Core Implementation

No matter where you live, chances are it’s a Common Core state. In total, 45 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Common Core and are developing plans to implement those standards over the next several years. While much of the work around implementation is taking place behind the closed doors of state education departments, the state Race to the Top applications and the more recent ESEA waivers provide a window into where states are prioritizing their time and focusing their resources. Not surprisingly, all states have some kind of plan to align curriculum, assessment, and professional development around these new standards. But it’s far from certain whether most states will get it right.
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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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Grades: Should they support, report, or punish?

Grades: Should they support, report, or punish? | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
The Kinds Of Grading Mistakes That Haunt Students


Our current system of letter grades works well for many kinds of students. These are the students who learn to play the game. Form relationships with teachers. Can see the rules and parts of the games–which assignments matter, what the teacher values, how to format responses, how to use a rubric, how to study, and so on.
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Connect to the Common Core with Resources Students Commonly Turn to For Learning

Connect to the Common Core with Resources Students Commonly Turn to For Learning | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
If you know the Common Core Standards you know that “The need to conduct research and to produce and consume media is embedded into every aspect of today’s curriculum. In like fashion, research and media skills and understandings are embedded throughout the Standards rather than treated in a separate section.” Common Core Learning Standards for  ELA & Literacy, Key Design Considerations
Innovative educators know that when used in the right way, social networks and other online technologies are great tools to conduct such research and gain knowledge. Not only do they leverage resources students already know and love, but they can also encourage learning in a way that is less restrictive and more open and natural.  For example, collaboration in an online group creates relationships “in which people from often widely divergent cultures and who represent diverse experiences and perspectives learn and work together” as called for in the Common Core Standards.  
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Explaining the Common Core to Parents: Communications Toolkit

Explaining the Common Core to Parents: Communications Toolkit | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

Welcome to Explaining Common Core to Californians – a collection of framing research, recommendations, and sample communications designed to help leading voices in California’s education sector increase public understanding of the kinds of instruction, assessment, and systemic supports needed to fulfill the potential of Common Core State Standards.

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Common Core-aligned Science Articles for High School Students

Common Core-aligned Science Articles for High School Students | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

ReadWorks is a great non-profit service that offers hundreds of lesson plans and more than two thousand reading non-fiction and fiction passages aligned to Common Core standards. Recently, ReadWorks added a new batch of science passageswith accompanying question sets to use in high school classrooms.

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Case Study of a Teacher: Engaging Students in Text Analysis (Part 1)

Case Study of a Teacher: Engaging Students in Text Analysis (Part 1) | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Teaching Channel got the chance to spend two days in David Olio’s literature class at South Windsor High School. Watch students engaging in text analysis through reading and writing.
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The False Arguments Against High Standards

The False Arguments Against High Standards | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
When you can’t make an honest case against something, there is always rhetoric, exaggeration or falsehoods, but it’s disheartening when it comes from an award-winning
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Informational Texts for Elementary ELA: Just a Click Away

Informational Texts for Elementary ELA: Just a Click Away | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
With the switch to Common Core and its increased emphasis on informational texts, many elementary-school teachers have found themselves having to seek out more non-fiction resources. Common Core Reading standards require that students use a variety of skills to analyze, discuss, and write...
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Teacher Erin Dukeshire Defends Common Core: A Response to Principal Carol Burris

Teacher Erin Dukeshire Defends Common Core: A Response to Principal Carol Burris | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Guest Post: Erin Dukeshire is a 2011 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, as well as an alumna of both the America


As a ten-year veteran teacher in Massachusetts, I agree with Ms. Burris that we should avoid a federally mandated curriculum. But the Common Core is not that.

In fact, designing my own curricula to meet my individual students’ needs is an essential component of my teaching practice. In my experience, Common Core standards have incorporated a focus on skills and conceptual understanding for students without preventing teachers from making instructional and curricular decisions.

Mel Riddile's insight:

Massachusetts is our highest performing state.

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Texas District Tests New R&D Model With Novice Teachers

Texas District Tests New R&D Model With Novice Teachers | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Austin Texas Experiments With New Style Of School Research.

Education Week (9/18, Sparks) reports the Austin, Texas school district is trying out an “improvement science” program that will change how the district supports and improves teachers while at the same time letting officials look at the larger picture of day-to-day issues. The new strategy lets officials implement a small change to one or two teachers for 90 days. At the end of the trial period, officials tweak the intervention, reform it , or implement the intervention on a system-wide basis. Advocates of the program say that it lets schools perfect a reform before they implement it and helps prevent bad reforms from taking hold in schools.

Mel Riddile's insight:

All successful change efforts start small with a willing group of people. 

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'Close Reading': Effectiveness Questionable without Background Knowledge | Willingham

'Close Reading': Effectiveness Questionable without Background Knowledge | Willingham | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
RCEd Commentary
“Close reading” has become strongly associated with the Common Core State Standards, as it’s touted as the reading technique that will allow students to get out of...
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The Mathematics of Hope - on meaningful reform in mathematics education

Here is a new paper by Jo that was published by Heinemann with some important ideas about mathematics messages and the opening of tasks. Mathematics of Hope Paper


Via Darren Burris
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Why is it so difficult to elevate the academic performance of low income children?

Why is it so difficult to elevate the academic performance of low income children? | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

Why is it so difficult to elevate the academic performance of low income children?


A growing body of research indicates that part of the answer may lie in the tremendous amount of brain development that takes place during the first three years of life. Babies are born to learn, and we now know many neural networks in the brain are significantly strengthened or weakened long before a child has entered formal schooling.

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​The debate over Common Core

​The debate over Common Core | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

The curriculum for boosting K-12 students' academic performance has drawn critics on both sides of the political divide.

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21 Charts To Teach Close-Reading Skills

21 Charts To Teach Close-Reading Skills | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Close reading is a hot topic that's just getting hotter! Here are 21 anchor charts, bulletin board ideas and other resources that you can bring into your classroom to turn your readers into eve...
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Common-Core Guide for Teaching ELLs

Common-Core Guide for Teaching ELLs | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
The Council of the Great City Schools has set out criteria to help educators bring common-core-aligned lessons and materials to English-learners.
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Resources detailing the mathematical content emphasized in the CCSS - by grade level

Resources detailing the mathematical content emphasized in the CCSS - by grade level | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
A collection of PDFs detailing the mathematical content emphasized in the Standards by grade level.
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Shanahan on Literacy: A Closer Look at Close Reading

Shanahan on Literacy: A Closer Look at Close Reading | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
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16 Common Core Technology Tools--With Examples -

16 Common Core Technology Tools--With Examples - | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

16 Common Core Technology Tools For Speaking & Listening by Dr. Melissa Comer and Dr. Leslie Suters, Presenters at the 2014 Teaching and Learning with the iPad Conference The Speaking and Listening strand of the Common...


Via Deb Gardner
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How new standards improve learning conditions for teachers and students - Linda Darling-Hammond | LFA

How new standards improve learning conditions for teachers and students - Linda Darling-Hammond | LFA | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, Professor of Education at Stanford University, Faculty Director of the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education and Chair of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing discusses the benefits of college and career ready standards for improving conditions for both teacher and student learning. Darling-Hammond also speaks to the need for performance assessments that better measure student achievement and growth. - 

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Four NY Common Core ‘flimflams’

Four NY Common Core ‘flimflams’ | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
A former Core supporter writes about four questionable arguments that current Core supporters are making.
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Online Testing: Who are the 6 contenders?

Online Testing: Who are the 6 contenders? | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
What will the students of Tennessee take in the spring of 2016 instead of the TCAP? That's the million dollar question — or rather, the $57 million question. That's how much Tennessee's last contra...
Mel Riddile's insight:
  1. ACT
  2. AIR
  3. PARCC
  4. Pearson
  5. MrGraw-Hill Education
  6. Smarter Balanced
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Common Core math is not fuzzy

Common Core math is not fuzzy | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

Solomon Friedberg is chair of the Math Department at Boston College and an editor of the book series Issues in Mathematics Education.



Real fluency is an improvement on traditional math's plug-and-chug, mechanical approach.


"Common Core saves us from plug-and-chug. In fact, math is based on a collection of ideas that do make sense. The rules come from the ideas. Common Core asks students to learn math this way, with both computational fluency and understanding of the ideas."

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Montana Ed Chief Praises Common Core Implementation

Montana Ed Chief Praises Common Core Implementation | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Montana Education Chief Praises Common Core Implementation.

The Bozeman (MT) Daily Chronicle (9/15) reports on the classroom changes under the Common Core Standards in Montana, where schools “have been working to carry out the Common Core standards for the past three years.” The article takes note of the growing “backlash” against the standards across the country, but reports that Montana Superintendent Denise Juneau, “one of the Common Core’s biggest supporters, says the new standards are good for Montana students because they are ‘more rigorous’ than Montana’s old standards.”

If you were a third-grader at Emily Dickinson School in Bozeman, your teacher might ask you to plan a birthday party with a $100 spending limit, look up newspaper ads to find how much cakes and supplies cost, and then write a persuasive letter to explain why your party plan is the best.
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Ohio Governor John Kasich Voices Support for Common Core

Ohio Governor John Kasich Voices Support for Common Core | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Ohio Governor John Kasich, up for re-election this fall, has voiced his support for keeping Common Core as he
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The Conservative Case for Common Core - William Bennett

The Conservative Case for Common Core - William Bennett | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Bennett Defends Common Core Standards.

"In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal (9/11, Bennett, Subscription Publication), former Education Secretary William Bennett defends Common Core standards, noting that they were originally separate from the Federal government, but were hijacked by bureaucrats and politicians. Bennett defends that principles behind the standards and argues that they should be separated from the Federal government once again."

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