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CCSS News Curated by Core2Class
Helping teachers complement, support and extend curriculum based on the CCSS to improve educational outcomes for all students.
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Superintendents Support Common-Assessment Consortia

Superintendents Support Common-Assessment Consortia | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

About two-thirds of district superintendents say states should stick with their common-core testing consortia, while 16 percent remain on the fence over the issue, according to results from a new survey.

 
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Would you be able to graduate from high school in Maryland? Take the test.

Would you be able to graduate from high school in Maryland? Take the test. | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
Maryland education leaders voted this past week to raise the bar for rising ninth- and 10th-graders by requiring them to pass the new PARCC assessments to graduate from high school. The PARCC tests, which are tied to the Common Core curriculum, will replace the current High School Assessments and are considered to be harder. Beginning this school year, rising ninth- and 10th-graders will need to pass English and Algebra I tests in order to graduate.
Deb Gardner's insight:

If I was prepared adequately? You betcha and so can our students. Higher expectations result in better outcomes.  It takes time, development and grit. #worthit

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Understanding Perspectives on American Public Education

Understanding Perspectives on American Public Education | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
This Gallup research study of K-12 superintendents in the United States was developed to track and understand their opinions on important topics and issues facing education. The survey is the first in a series of three planned for 2014.
Deb Gardner's insight:

Findings regarding Common Core:

 

• When asked how challenging the Common Core State Standards are for students, about two-thirds (66%) of
superintendents say the standards are just about right, while (14%) say the standards are too challenging.


• Sixty-six percent of superintendents believe the Common Core State Standards would improve the quality of
education in their community.


• A small proportion (4%) of superintendents strongly agree that the Common Core State Standards will prevent
individualized learning.

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Reflection - Not Just a Mirror Image | EngageNY

Reflection - Not Just a Mirror Image | EngageNY | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

As teachers, we frequently reflect on our own planning, delivery and reception of our instruction. Without even thinking, we reflect on our students; “What are their personal, emotional, physical and academic needs?”  Then, we move forward, using all types of data and feedback to carry out a bigger and better plan, a plan that will strengthen ourselves as mentors, caregivers and educators. 

 

Often we forget to model this process with our students. It is important for them to be able to take a moment to look inward, examining, scrutinizing, and evolving a plan that works best for each of them, as individuals.

 

Our fifth grade students at Wellsville Elementary School took some time to reflect on this past school year, what they have learned and how they will apply it.  They seem to say it all, in their own words.

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Superintendents on Common Core: ‘Slow down to get it right’

Superintendents on Common Core: ‘Slow down to get it right’ | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

The American Association of School Administrators just released a new report calling for policymakers to slow down the implementation of the Common Core State Standards and aligned standardized tests because educators need more time to “get it right.”

Deb Gardner's insight:

Article states: "Of the 525 superintendents surveyed, 73.3 percent — say the angry political debate has impeded implementation." #wellduh #statingtheobvious #howunfortunate #politicsagain


 

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Standards in Your State | Common Core State Standards Initiative

Standards in Your State | Common Core State Standards Initiative | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

Forty-four states, the District of Columbia, four territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) have adopted the Common Core State Standards. The map below provides information about the process each state and territory followed to adopt their new academic standards. In addition, links are provided to state and territory department of education websites that provide information about how the standards are being implemented, plans for aligned assessments, supports for teachers, and plans to help all students succeed.

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PARCC Updates: Witnessing the Field Test in Action

Last week, I had the great fortune of watching a 6th grade class in Prince George's County, Maryland, take the computer version of the PARCC ELA/literacy test. I was so impressed with how engaged the students were and how hard they worked on the field test.  Just over half of them

Laura Slover meets with school leadership at Berwyn Heights Elementary School after observing the PARCC field test

Left to right: Karen Singer, Principal; Laura Slover, CEO of PARCC; Jeff Nellhaus, PARCC's Director of Policy, Research & Design; Pauline Carey, Prince George's County Schools Test Administration Specialist; and Kathy Schuster, Reading Specialist and Test Coordinator

 finished on time, and under half needed extra time; all of them finished by the end of the extra time period.

 

After the test, we spent about 30 minutes talking about what they liked and getting their recommendations for improvements. It was very heartening to hear that overall theyreally liked the items, which they saw as engaging and fun.
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Homegrown Common Core implementation: A good bet for Reno

Homegrown Common Core implementation: A good bet for Reno | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
The recently released Fordham report on the implementation of the Common Core State Standards includes the work of Washoe County, my district.
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Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s curator insight, March 13, 2014 10:39 AM

One of the key learnings from this article? It takes hard work for an implementation to be successful. Truth, and appropriate for just about any implementation.

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Much Ado About Something

Much Ado About Something | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

The bashing or knocking of the CCSS, which is getting louder in some states with each passing month, is frustrating to me as a curriculum-design consultant who has worked extensively with the CCSS since they were in draft form and officially adopted in 2010. I know the standards inside and out from Kindergarten to Grade 12. I have spent hundreds of hours of meaningful conversations with teachers concerning the vertically articulated standards. These teachers care passionately about their students’ learning as they develop collaborative, systemic curriculum.

 

My passion and work has been, and will continue to be, dedicated to aiding teachers in designing curriculum maps with the students’ best interests in mind. The CCSS are our curriculum-design building “codes”, much as an architect uses codes to design blueprints, which Heidi Hayes Jacobs, Jay McTighe, and others have used as an analogy for many years. For the first time ever the largest number of independent United States have chosen to have the same building codes. This does not mean that each state, district, or school has to build the exact same home – one can choose to design a modern two-story, another a log cabin, another a green home, and another a ranch-style hacienda. The point here is that the infrastructure of the home design remains the same regardless of where the home is built. I grew up in the military and lived around the world before I was 15 years old. Today, given our ever-growing mobile society, chances of having a similar (and thankfully not exact) blueprint-based curriculum for a K-12 education is better than it ever was when I was in my formative years.

Deb Gardner's insight:

Excellent article!  The author shares her techniques for breaking down the standards, analyzing the grade progressions and making curriculum choices when working with teachers.

 

Those critical of common core would be surprised at the preparation, curriculum options and rigor inhered in true common core aligned units and lessons.

 

This type of collaboration with curriculum designers and mentors beats the standard adoption of "common core aligned" materials any day.  (just my two cents)

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'Early Implementers' of Common Core Grapple With Aligning Tests, Curriculum

'Early Implementers' of Common Core Grapple With Aligning Tests, Curriculum | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
Four districts that took an early and aggressive approach to implementation illustrate the difficulty of finding good instructional materials aligned to the new standards and supplying quality professional development.
Deb Gardner's insight:

Measured areas in each of the four districts included:

1. Communication and enagement

2. Leadership

3. Common core aligned materials

4. PD

5. Assessment and accountability

 

The recent wave of Common Core news reveals there is widespread misrepresentation of common core aligned curricular resources, and of course time and sustainable PD is needed.  

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Our Future is IN SESSION

Too many American students lack the skill sneeded for 21st century jobs. The Common Core State Standards are meeting this challenge, and preparing them for college, career and beyond. Help protectone of the most important school improvements in our history.

Deb Gardner's insight:

Interesting interactive website on the status of each state's implementation. Also provides a way to contact your state rep or congressman/woman.

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Learning to Muse: Kentucky Educators Collaborating with Colorado Educators to Implement Common Core

Learning to Muse: Kentucky Educators Collaborating with Colorado Educators to Implement Common Core | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

This meeting was exceptional because after one face-to-face workshop last summer and a full semester of virtual collaboration on the creation of a unit, teachers were again face-to-face to create new units for the spring semester. 

 

They are creating common units around common content standards, but not scripted step-by step standardized units.  Each teacher contributes to the lessons and makes appropriate adjustments to meet the needs of individual learners in each class. 

 

Teachers are encouraged to think beyond multiple choice tests and toward performance based assessments that will measure deeper learning.   Importantly, teachers lead the unit design and make decisions about the units; their work is facilitated by content experts from Stanford's Center for Assessment Learning and Equity.  

Deb Gardner's insight:

Teachers collaborating on Common Core, pooling resources including their experience, strategies, curriculum and brainstorming "what works" and "what if we...."  

 

Teachers implementing approaches to instructional planning using backward desgn, integrating researched-based approaches to literacy and optimizing other resouces. These are indeed "top notch" professionals - and lucky to work with one another using  common standards with a common (not easy, but common) assessment to measure students' learning across states.

 

Doesn't sound like the business that a lot of the whacked out common core attackers have been spouting off about lately.  

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Common Core Implmentation Guide for School Level Leaders

Common Core Implmentation Guide for School Level Leaders | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

Seven indicators identified that are representative of high quality transitions to Common Core. Each indicator targets and explains the actions, tools and measurements needed for successful implementation.

 

Coauthored by Student Achievement Partners, the Aspen Institute, Education First, et al.

Deb Gardner's insight:

Not a "fluffy"  how-to guide but instead a concise doc that identifies and explains what needs to happen and how to resource and lead implementation.

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Local Common Core: Hamilton students start to see benefits as schools look for full implementation this fall

Local Common Core: Hamilton students start to see benefits as schools look for full implementation this fall | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
Classroom discussions lasted days, homework questions were challenging and reading analyses were time consuming.

 

However, Nick Carlson, a 17-year-old Hamilton High School senior, said he is thankful for the Common Core State Standards, even though they initially left a bad taste in his mouth.

 

“It was just hard to understand and hard to grasp at first, but then as you kept learning, it was easier to understand and made it more fun to learn.”



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Student scores have largest one-year drop since MSAs began

Student scores have largest one-year drop since MSAs began | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
Student test scores had the largest one-year drop since the Maryland School Assessments began a decade ago — an outcome that many had predicted after officials changed what teachers taught in the classroom but not the annual test.
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Which States Are Role Models for Common-Core Implementation?

Which States Are Role Models for Common-Core Implementation? | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

Partially motivated by a desire to move beyond the political strife around the Common Core State Standards, the Center for American Progress released a report last week outlining various strategies used by teachers, administrators, and elected officials to help implement the standards.

 

The Washington think tank highlighted curriculum development in Colorado, teacher evaluations in New Haven, Conn., and teacher preparation in Arizona as potential models for states to use as they fully transition to the standards in the 2014-15 academic year.

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LOS ANGELES: Common Core could help narrow schools’ digital divide

LOS ANGELES: Common Core could help narrow schools’ digital divide | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

The largest field test in the country of new online assessments aligned to the Common Core got underway in California this spring, and as it speeds up the state’s transition to the rigorous new standards, it may also help close the digital divide.

 

“This is the tipping point,” said Diane Hernandez, the director of assessment development for the California Department of Education. “Schools are starting to focus on the Common Core. We’re moving away from paper and pencil tests to a completely different format and developing more skills in terms of college and career readiness. Everything is moving in the direction of more technology, and everyone is doing the best they can to prepare for that.”



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Educators say Kentucky is on the right track with Common Core standards

Educators say Kentucky is on the right track with Common Core standards | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

The presidents of Eastern Kentucky University and the University of Kentucky were among more than 17 Kentucky higher education officials to join the national initiative.

 

"It is imperative that we have high school graduates who are better prepared academically for college and career," Benson said. "The Common Core standards will help accomplish this goal and will allow many more students to bypass developmental education courses currently being offered in college."



 

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Two Districts, Two Approaches to Common-Core Curriculum

Two Districts, Two Approaches to Common-Core Curriculum | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

Three thousand miles apart, district leaders in Orlando, Fla., and Long Beach, Calif., faced the same problem: They needed to revamp their instructional materials to reflect the Common Core State Standards.

 

They solved that problem in very different ways. The Florida group scoured the market and chose a suite of materials from a major publisher. Their colleagues across the country, dissatisfied with that same marketplace's offerings—and limited by their thin pocketbook—wrote their own curriculum.

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N.Y.C. Teachers' Group Proposes Fixes for Common-Core Implementation

N.Y.C. Teachers' Group Proposes Fixes for Common-Core Implementation | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

The Educators 4 Excellence report was written by eight current teachers who make up the "Teacher Action Team" on the common core for the New York City chapter of the organization. Educators 4 Excellence, a nonprofit that seeks to increase teachers' influence on education policy, has received considerable funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has been a key backer of the common core.

 

In their report, the Educators 4 Excellence teachers voice support for the new standards, saying they "create clear, aspirational goals that all students ... should strive for." One of the teachers involved in the report is quoted in a sidebar as saying that a delay in the use of the standards "could create chaos and probably would be the end of the common core."

 

Nevertheless, the teachers acknowledge that implementation of the framework in New York (as elsewhere) has been "rocky," particularly in the areas of curriculum alignment and professional development. Drawing on their own experiences and what they've "heard from" other educators, they offer a number of recommendations for state policymakers intended to address ongoing challenges. The proposals include the following:

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Common Core Implementation Best Practices

Common Core Implementation Best Practices | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

There are several areas that we believe the state’s leaders must aggressively tackle in order to make that translation from standards to effective instruction:

Invest in professional developmentInvest in time—time for teachers to collaborate and learn new ways to adjust instruction to meet the challenge of the new standardsEngage teachers and parents around the value of the standards and the changes needed to implement them—this will require an aggressive campaignInvest in tools to enrich instruction

These initiatives will require all of the leaders in this space across the state to come together: the governor, the legislature, the commissioner, the Board of Regents, union leadership, and district leadership. And as you move forward, you must listen closely to the advice of classroom leaders—namely teachers—as well as parents so they can provide students with the supports they need to be successful.

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Are Teachers Happy With CCSS Implementation? Survey Offers Another Answer

Are Teachers Happy With CCSS Implementation? Survey Offers Another Answer | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
A national survey of some 20,000 teachers finds generally positive opinions about the common core.
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8 key recommendations for Common Core online assessments

8 key recommendations for Common Core online assessments | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
These 8 key Common Core online assessment recommendations can help school districts that are still struggling with implementation.
Deb Gardner's insight:

1. Create a cross-functional strategic planning team.

2. Secure funding sources for modern learning environments

3. Embed technology in instructional practice (yay!)

4. Invest in robust professional development for teachers, admins and tech staff (and make it sustainable and accountable)

5. Build out a robust infrastructure 

6. Select devices that meet instruction and assessment requirements (btw this doesn't mean an iPad for all)

7. Communicate

8. Pay attention to logisitics

 

I can see how effectively implementing and measuring progress would be a full time position if done right.  

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Directors of local school systems back Common Core push

Directors of local school systems back Common Core push | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

“It took me awhile to get here,” said RCS Director Don Odom. “I am for continuing with the standards because they’re rigorous, and we’ve seen results from what we’ve implemented. What really pushed me to this decision is that when we really started teaching Common Core in math, we saw an incredible increase in student achievement.”

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Survey shows effective implementation NOT the standards are concern of teachers

The First Semester Grades Are In. Teachers Give Common Core State ...

Via Darren Burris
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