The Instructional Practice Guide includes coaching and lesson planning tools to help teachers and those who support teachers to make the Shifts in instructional practice required by the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
Sometimes, a policy is so dense, so politicized or so boring that it begs for explainers and analyses and charts. It happened with the debt ceiling, it happened with Obamacare and it's happening with Common Core. What to do when there are so many explanations that a curious individual has difficulty deciding which explanation to trust?
As Dave Barry used to say, “alert readers will have noticed” that I have been MIA in my blog. I had a good excuse: my last week of work in Paris at ASP and 3 straight weeks of Summer Institutes. I finally have some down time, so before I head to the back porch with a G & T, let me make a few observations.
“We got so interested in Common Core because we saw such a huge number of students not being prepared to go on to college,” Melinda Gatestold Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson.
Gates attributes this to different education standards from state to state. She said it was time for something “different.” That different standard was the Common Core, which has now been adopted fully by 45 states.
“We saw the difference they could make in kids lives and we also saw that it brought flexibility to the way you were teaching and that teachers could start to collaborate with one another on lesson plans,” Gates said. “We can help come up with tools that help teachers teach the Common Core. If a teacher wants to teach ‘The Scarlet Letter’ or ‘Beloved’ or ‘The Secret Life of Bees,’ we can have tools there that then help them teach and then scaffold those lessons appropriately to meet the needs of their students.”
This video series was developed through a partnership with the Hunt Institute as part of National PTA’s ongoing effort to provide accurate information about the Common Core State Standards and to assist PTA membership with developing grassroots advocacy skills.
The Common Core State Standard videos were designed to educate parents on the Common Core State Standards and empower them to support the transition at school and at home. The videos highlight three key principles:
We need clear, consistent and rigorous standards across the country to ensure all students—regardless of their zip code—graduate with the higher order thinking skills needed for college and careers. The standards reflect the relevant knowledge and skills that young people need to succeed in college and to build and maintain an American workforce that can compete in the global economy.National PTA’s goal is for parents to be knowledgeable about the standards and new assessments and to support them every step of the way as states transition to the standards.
The myth du jour asserts that Common Core will fail to prepare students for college and instead will actually dumb down education. Yes, you read that right; detractors have gone so far as to forecast "dumber" students as a result of these higher standards for achievement.
This specious argument against CCSS falls apart quickly. Careful analysis of the standards verifies that they align with those in the highest-performing countries on international comparisons, and they have received the highest possible rating for content and rigor from the conservative Fordham Institute, a tireless advocate for higher standards.
Among college freshmen, 30 percent do not return the second year, resulting in millions of dollars lost and dreams dashed.
One reason is they feel defeated by heavy reading loads. Most are surprised that 85 percent of the learning they are to do is from texts and that their professors want them to come already having “learned” the material because class is for clarifying, analyzing and applying.
Many “good” readers have difficulty reading academic texts, not realizing that reading-to-learn is an intensely active process: a quest to construct understanding, problem-solve, and evaluate the author’s information, intentions and biases.
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.
K-12 educational resource catalog OpenEd now offers a free tool designed to enable teachers to create assessments with the question types required by the Common Core State Standards. OpenEd’s assessment-creation tool helps educators to create tests that incorporate their own questions or existing questions automatically suggested by OpenEd’s educational recommendation engine. The assessment tool supports traditional question types such as multiple choice and true or false, as well as newer types such as multiple response, free response and composite items.
America’s primary and secondary schools may be busy preparing for the onset of the Common Core standards, meant to better prepare students for college, but one key partner isn’t even close to ready: colleges and universities themselves. That’s the conclusion of a new report from the New America Foundation, which finds that “there is little …
FSSD board member Robin Newman says schools have bigger concerns than state standards
Deb Gardner's insight:
"Not long ago, Tennessee ranked near the bottom in education compared with other states. But since the adoption and implementation of these standards three years ago, we’ve made the largest leap ever recorded in a national assessment, NAEP. Fourth-graders moved from 46th to 37th in math and from 41st to 31st in reading. Eighth-graders advanced as well. That is cause for celebration. Do we want to return to lower expectations? I think our children deserve better."
We’ve partnered with the National Education Association (NEA) on a new series aiming to show some of the “invisible work” that goes into successful teaching. In this series, called Practice, Planning & Collaboration Around the Common Core State Standards, we get to see the end-result classroom lessons and the planning that went into crafting them.
Close-reading is the product of a dynamic and deeply personal interaction between the reader and a text. It is an active process characterized by questioning, adjusting reading rate, judgement thinking, and dozens of other “strategies” readers use to make sense of what they’re reading.
This is an interaction that doesn’t require technology, but can be changed by it. It is a matter of fluency, strategy, and will. Two of these are easier to promote in students than the third (we’ll let you guess which are which).
The Education Week Spotlight on Common Core Strategies for Teachers is a collection of articles hand-picked by our editors for their insights on:
Developing best practices for common core implementationDeepening assessments to create “teacher-researchers” in the classroomUsing teacher collaboration to support the needs of special education and ESL studentsFocusing on oral communication to boost speaking and listening skills in students
You get the seven articles below in a downloadable PDF.
There are undoubtedly some teachers who dislike the Common Core, but recent polls suggest that most teachers support the new standards. During my three years of teaching (completed a month ago), most of my colleagues and I liked the Common Core. One reason we supported the new standards was because they gave us more freedom. Detractors claim that standards tell teachers how to teach. But I taught Common Core after teaching Tennessee’s state standards, and while Common Core did give me expectations for what my students should know and be able to do by the end of the year (just like the previous standards did), it allowedme to decide what and how to teach.
I’m pro rigor. And I believe my bona fides are in order on that one. I’ve argued for teaching children to read very early for more than 40 years; even teaching my own kids to read before they entered school (and, yes, I’m working on the grandchildren already; their ages range from 5 months to 3-years-old). The time to teach young kids to read is when you become responsible for the child and not a moment earlier.
Given all of that, I find myself in an uncomfortable position: I think beginning reading instruction (Grades K-1) is going off the rails, specifically because of attempts to impose rigor on those grades that goes beyond anything that makes sense.
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.