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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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Achieve the Core: Instructional Practice Guide

Achieve the Core: Instructional Practice Guide | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
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).
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TouchCast Lesson Plans

TouchCast Lesson Plans | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
Lessons Plans aligned with the Common Core Standards created by innovative teachers and the EduCast team as examples of best practices.  
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Common Core might be the most important issue in the 2016 Republican presidential race. Here’s what you need to know about it.

Common Core might be the most important issue in the 2016 Republican presidential race. Here’s what you need to know about it. | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

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?

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Schools get an early look at Common Core data

Schools get an early look at Common Core data | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

Local schools can peek at how well their students did on specific Common Core-based standardizedEnglish and math questions, but parents will still have to wait another month for the same information.

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Common Core Overview: The Need for Improved Student Outcomes

A brief overview of the new Common Core State Standards and the importance of raising the bar for all students, featuring teachers, parents, PTA leaders, sch...
Deb Gardner's insight:

Plan for better student outcomes now to provide greater student incomes in their future. :)

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Reflections on Common Core From Educators

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Granted, and... (some thoughts and oughts from Grant Wiggins)

Granted, and... (some thoughts and oughts from Grant Wiggins) | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

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.

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Melinda Gates Responds To Common Core Concerns

Melinda Gates Responds To Common Core Concerns | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

“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.”

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A Parent Sees Positive Changes With the Common Core

A Parent Sees Positive Changes With the Common Core | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

Jaime Hawn knew little about the Common Core when she began volunteering at her children’s Boone County, Kentucky, school. Now she’s a champion for the Core.

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Common Core Video Series: National PTA

Common Core Video Series: National PTA | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

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.
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Myth of the Month: Common Core Is Dumbing Down Education for the College-Bound

Myth of the Month: Common Core Is Dumbing Down Education for the College-Bound | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

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.

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Richard Powell's curator insight, July 9, 11:58 PM

You have teacher friends in areas already supporting CCSS, what's the feeling elsewhere?

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OPINION SHAPER: The Common Core state standards are what we need

OPINION SHAPER: The Common Core state standards are what we need | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

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.

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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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What A Common Core Lesson Sounds Like In A 10th-Grade English Class

What A Common Core Lesson Sounds Like In A 10th-Grade English Class | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
The Common Core State Standards in literacy and math have generated lots of attention and controversy, but what do they look and sound like in a classroom?
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OpenEd Launches Free Common Core Assessment-Creation Tool

OpenEd Launches Free Common Core Assessment-Creation Tool | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

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.

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Report: Higher education behind on Common Core - The Hechinger Report

Report: Higher education behind on Common Core - The Hechinger Report | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
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 …
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Letter: Let’s set record straight about Common Core

Letter: Let’s set record straight about Common Core | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
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."

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Common Core Is A State-Led Effort

Deb Gardner's insight:

Kind of sounds like a broken record but still a message that needs to be amplified.  

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Collaborating to Plan Common Core Lessons for ELLs

Collaborating to Plan Common Core Lessons for ELLs | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

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.

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11 iPad Apps That Promote Close-Reading

11 iPad Apps That Promote Close-Reading | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

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).

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Common Core Standards: When you really think about it this teacher explains...

Common Core Standards: When you really think about it this teacher explains... | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
"When you really understand the #CCSS, you start to see there's a lot kids can get out of it" https://t.co/9qKoQVLrou http://t.co/w8uSEeeKkC
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Spotlight on Common Core Strategies for Teachers

Spotlight on Common Core Strategies for Teachers | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

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.

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Teachers, the Common Core, and the freedom to teach

Teachers, the Common Core, and the freedom to teach | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

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.

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Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's curator insight, July 15, 9:47 AM

During my first years of teaching, the texts we were to teach were dictated as were the objectives for teaching. The curriculum was a good one--I have no doubt that all Common Core Standards would have been met. But...I had no decision making power AT ALL. The #CCSS give the power of choice to the teacher's professional discretion...and that is a good thing.

Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's curator insight, July 15, 9:48 AM

During my first years of teaching, the texts we were to teach were dictated as were the objectives for teaching. The curriculum was a good one--I have no doubt that all Common Core Standards would have been met. But...I had no decision making power AT ALL. The #CCSS give the power of choice to the teacher's professional discretion...and that is a good thing.

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Shanahan on Literacy: The New Bane of Beginning Reading Instruction: Phony Rigor

Shanahan on Literacy: The New Bane of Beginning Reading Instruction: Phony Rigor | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

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.

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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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