College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders
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College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders
Supporting school leaders in helping all students become college and career-ready and to succeed in post-secondary education and training
Curated by Mel Riddile
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Writing: Blogging for Writing Instruction is Nothing short of Amazing!

Writing: Blogging for Writing Instruction is Nothing short of Amazing! | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Having read the dreaded “I am going to tell you about” 5-paragraph essay until my eyes glaze over and I fall into a comatose state, I have spent years scouring the earth for engaging approaches to ...
Mel Riddile's insight:

Great quote:

"If your students are sharing their work with the world, they want it to be good. If they're just sharing it with you, they want it to be good enough."

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"Superior performance requires practicing beyond the point of mastery."

"Superior performance requires practicing beyond the point of mastery." | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

Practice makes permanent.


In reporting on the Neurological Benefits Of Practice, author, Annie Murphy Paul emphasizes that "We don’t just need to learn a task in order to perform it well; we need to overlearn it. Decades of research have shown that superior performance requires practicing beyond the point of mastery."

Mel Riddile's insight:

"You’re getting better and better, even when you can’t tell you’re improving—a thought to keep you going through those long hours of practice."


Practice, the Common Core Standards, and Literacy


Literacy is the common ground of the common core. Yet, I see little reading and virtually no writing in most secondary classrooms. Students cannot become proficienct readers or writers without huge quantities of deliberate, guided practice. Even good readers and writers need to practice beyond the point of mastery. 


Remember, practice makes permanent!

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Don Cloud's curator insight, September 7, 2013 1:35 PM

A critical question for any leader ... what are you doing to practice leadership beyond the point of mastery?  (try writing a list ... reading and studying leadership is always good, but what else are you doing)

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Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and iPads

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and iPads | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) means designing curriculum in a way that reduces barriers and supports all learners. This kind of design is vitally important for learners that struggle with disabilities. UDL assumes that the curriculum is the "thing" to be fixed - not the students.

Mel Riddile's insight:

UDL is an integral part of instructional design and the implementation of the Common Core Standards. School leaders should be aware of the three guidelines of UDL and look for their inclusion in classroom instruction.


Three Guidelines of Universal Design for Learning:
  1. Provide multiple means of representation.
    • Making use of the "multi" in multimedia is a great way to offer multiple means of representing material to students.
  2. Provide multiple means of action and expression.
    • The key here is to offer students a wider variety of options when it comes to showing what they know and understand.
  3. Provide multiple means of engagement.
    • Students will be more engaged in learning when they understand the "why" behind it, when they have clear goals to strive for, and when they feel supported in achieving those goals.
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"Double testing" Dilemma

"Double testing" Dilemma | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
The Golden State considers tossing out the bulk of its state testing system so it can field-test the common-core exams on a larger scale.
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Five-Minute Film Festival: Digging Into the Common Core

Five-Minute Film Festival: Digging Into the Common Core | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
VideoAmy has collected this playlist of videos and resources for educators everywhere who are facing the challenge of mapping their practice to the Common Core State Standards.
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Integrating Technology into the Middle School Math Classroom

Integrating Technology into the Middle School Math Classroom | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Aligning instruction to meet the Common Core State Standards is the new norm for educators across most of the United States. In the middle school math classroom, technology can be used to help studen
Mel Riddile's insight:

Resources identified include:

  • The Khan Academy
  • Geometry Pad
  • Educreations
  • ScreenChomp
  • Doceri
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Jorge Calderon's curator insight, September 8, 2013 1:24 PM

It is new challenge for middle school teachers, technology might play a big role in this new adventure.

Bobbi Miller's curator insight, April 27, 2015 10:59 PM

Just a few tools. Some I already know.

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Algebra 2: Not the Same Credential It Used to Be?

Algebra 2: Not the Same Credential It Used to Be? | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
New research suggests the value of a course credit in Algebra 2 is declining.
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Literacy By Third-Grade A Renewed Priority For Many States

Literacy By Third-Grade A Renewed Priority For Many States | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

Huffington Post

September 6, 2013


Flunked, retained, held back. Whatever you call it, increasing numbers of states are not promoting students who are struggling to read at the end of third grade.


Thirty-two states have passed legislation designed to improve third-grade literacy, according to the Education Commission of the States. Retention is part of the policies in 14 states, with some offering more leeway than others.


"Passing children up the grade ladder when we know they can't read is irresponsible – and cruel," said Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback in announcing in his recent State of the State address that third-graders should demonstrate an ability to read before being promoted. He also proposed a $12 million program for improving third-graders' reading skills.

Mel Riddile's insight:

We have known for years that many students enter school one or two years behind their peers in language acquisition. That means that K-3 teachers must help students make two years of progress every year if they are to catch up by third grade. These students need additional learning time before school, after school, on Saturdays, or in year round programs. Unfortunately, some states have turned to retaining students so that when they take the NAEP test, they are a year older than their peers in other states. NAEP scores (Florida) will rise, but the long-term consequences are problematic. Even if students reach proficiency by third grade, those coming from under-resourced homes will need direct explicit literacy instruction every year or those early gains will dissipate.

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Close reading is not just academic. Close reading impacts our everyday lives.

Close reading is not just academic.  Close reading impacts our everyday lives. | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Really, another post on Close Reading?  Oh, yes! And here's why. I had the privilege of hearing Kate Roberts (@teachkate) passionately illuminate Close Reading at a session at Teachers College Writ...
Mel Riddile's insight:

Keep in mind Patricia Kain's (Harvard) three steps for close reading:

  1. “Read with  a pencil in hand, and annotate the text.
  2. Look for patterns in the things you’ve noticed about the text—repetitions, contradictions, similarities.
  3. Ask questions about the patterns you’ve noticed—especially how and why.” (Kain, P.How to Do a Close Reading, Harvard University, 1998.
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Stay with Common Core: "We have it right.

Stay with Common Core: "We have it right. | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
I asked mathematicians to respond to a recent critique on the blog of Common Core State Standards in math.
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NCLB Waivers: at-risk students must have access to the best teachers.

NCLB Waivers: at-risk students must have access to the best teachers. | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Through its ESEA waivers, the U.S. Department of Education is renewing a focus on ensuring at-risk students have access to effective teachers.
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Math: With Common Core, Fewer Topics Covered, More Math Learned

Math: With Common Core, Fewer Topics Covered, More Math Learned | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
As states adopt the new Common Core standards for math education, teachers prepare for a shift from breadth to depth, particularly in the earlier grades.
Mel Riddile's insight:

Students will not "learn less math this year." Rather, teachers will cover fewer math topics in more depth. Thus, students will actually learn more math.

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Oregon schools prepare tougher, more incisive lessons for statewide rollout of Common Core

Oregon schools prepare tougher, more incisive lessons for statewide rollout of Common Core | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
In place of Oregon's more lax standards in reading, writing, math and analysis, new standards adopted by 45 states call on Oregon students to step up their critical thinking and analytical writing.
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How secondary school principals can master the Common Core | eSchool News

How secondary school principals can master the Common Core | eSchool News | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

eSchool News

April 15, 2012

by Laura Devaney


As states move toward implementing the Common Core State Standards, school principals must ensure they are fully equipped to help classroom teachers incorporate the standards as effectively as possible.


Not our old standards - “Average isn’t good enough,” said Mel Riddile, associate director for high school services with the National Association of Secondary School Principals and a former high school administrator.

Opportunity brings challenges - “Those of us who have really worked to increase the number of college- and career-ready students, see this as the best opportunity we’ve had in a long time, and with that opportunity comes challenges.”

Major Shift - The Common Core effort is causing a “major shift” in the education conversation, Riddile said, because it will force educators and administrators to measure something different and new.

Second-Order Change - “This is about a second order change—we have to learn new skills, new habits, and new behaviors. We have to unlearn what bad habits we have,” he said.

Standards, Classroom, School - School leaders must know what their school’s teachers know about the standards, and they must be knowledgeable about what needs to be done in the classroom as well as what must be done on a building level.

Culture Change - “This is a big culture change for schools,” Riddile said. School principals will need vision, focus, and a positive mindset as the process continues.

Implementation is the key - “The fidelity of implementation of these standards is going to be the ‘make it or break it’ issue,” Riddile said.

Leaders Grow Leaders - “We’ll have to collaborate [and] share leadership throughout the school; leaders are going to have to grow more leaders … and build the collective capacity of our staff.”

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States accelerate shift in student testing. The good, the bad, and the ugly!

States accelerate shift in student testing. The good, the bad, and the ugly! | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

As reported in the L.A. Times, "in a major shift in how California's 6.2 million public school students are taught and tested, state officials plan to drop the standardized exams used since 1999 and replace them with a computerized system next spring."

Mel Riddile's insight:

The Good

California (and other states) are eliminating "double testing" and moving up the timetable for the new Common Core computerized tests by a year. This means more "at bats" for students and more feedback for teachers.


The Bad

Until now, state standardized tests (in some states) were conducted entirely with pencil and paper. Transitioning from paper and pencil tests to computerized assessments is a huge undertaking. Some states have taken the better part of a decade to make this shift. While there are many advantages to online assessments, making this transition in one year ensures that there will be glitches in the testing process. Experience tells us that school leaders should prepare themselves for every eventuality.


The Ugly

Schools must have enough computers available on each campus to handle the testing. For example. Oklahoma recently announced that the state would not/could not participate in the PARCC assessments because only 15% of OK schools had sufficient hardware and infrastructure.


The Bottom Line

Behind virtually every failure in education we find the best intentions coupled with poor implementation. There is no lack of great ideas or programs. There is, however, an absence of effective implementation.

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Jenny Sloane's curator insight, November 24, 2013 8:36 PM

This article starts off talking about the shift to computerized standardzied testing for the Common Core curriculum. This reminded me of one day in my field experience. This semester I have been going to University Park every tuesday morning to work with a first grade class. One day, all the students 3rd grade and up were taking tests. However, it was a different test because it was all on the computer with different rules and instructions. During our lunch break, I had the opportunity to talk with the teachers about how the tests went. They were all horrified and could not stop complaining about the tests. The students were not used to taking tests in this manner and had no idea what they were supposed to do. The teachers were only allowed to read instructions once, which clearly was not enough for the majority of the students. Furthermore, one teacher explained she had to go around basically to every child individually to explain what they should do next. What should have been a more simplified test, turned into an exhausting and unsuccessful test, or at least that is the reaction I felt from listening to the teachers vent. I was a little comforted when I read "these tests next year are not about scores...this is about testing the test and givign students and teachers experience about what this test will look like." Any change in curriculum take a period of adjustment, but what happens if the tests do not get the anticipated results? I think that no matter what test students take, they should be able to see their results along with their parents. I believe it is important for the student and parents, along with the teacher to be able to track individual performances. 

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Questions and Answers About Formative Assessment

Questions and Answers About Formative Assessment | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Founded in 1943, ASCD (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) is an educational leadership organization dedicated to advancing best practices and policies for the success of each learner.
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SBAC Launches Spanish Webpage

SBAC Launches Spanish Webpage | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Smarter Balanced has rolled out a Spanish-language webpage to provide information about the common assessments to parents, students, and teachers.
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New USC Poll: Public Approval for Testing and Evaluations

New USC Poll: Public Approval for Testing and Evaluations | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Nearly two-thirds of California voters said students should be tested in every grade to ensure that they are progressing, a new PACE/USC Rossier Poll shows.
Via DT Hernandez
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Writing and Close Reading: Annotating for Argumentation

Writing and Close Reading: Annotating for Argumentation | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

Annotation: What is it?

At it simplest form, mark-ups on a text. A reading strategy as old as texts themselves. Yet at its most useful annotation is more purposeful coding rather than mark-ups dotting a page (Fisher and Frey, 2011).

Mel Riddile's insight:

Close Reading and Writing are inextricably linked. Close reading or 'reading with a pencil' is a precursor to meaningful discussion and argumentative writing all of which should occur in every class every day.

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Common Core will limit calculator use

Common Core will limit calculator use | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

New tests linked to Common Core standards will limit the use of calculators on math tests, according to the Hechinger Report. It’s likely calculators will be banned for tests in grades 3 to 5. At sixth grade and above, calculators could be used in some sections, but not in others.

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Importance of Common Core - National Teacher of the Year Jeff Charbonneau

2013 National Teacher of the Year Jeff Charbonneau talks about the importance of Common Core State Standards to him as a teacher and as a parent. Jeff is a high school science teacher.

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Common Core recognizes three tiers of vocabulary

Common Core recognizes three tiers of vocabulary | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

3 Simple Tools to Support the CCSS Academic Vocabulary Shift

Getting Smart


by Susan Oxnevad -


The Common Core identifies six instructional shifts needed to effectively implement the standards in ELA/Literacy. Shift 6 suggests an instructional change in
the teaching of Academic Vocabulary.

Mel Riddile's insight:

For many schools explicit vocabulary instruction may represent a quick-win in building literacy skills. Teachers already teach Tier 1 and Tier 3 vocabulary. Tier 2 vocabulary should be the focus of school wide efforts to improve reading and literacy skills.


The Common Core recognizes three tiers of vocabulary.

Tier 1

Words acquired through every day speech, usually learned in the early grades.

Tier 2

Academic words that appear across all types of text. These are often precise words that are used by the author in place of common words. (i.e. gallop instead of run). They change meaning with use.

Tier 3

Domain specific words” that are specifically tied to content. (i.e. Constitution, lava) These are typically the types of vocabulary words that are included in glossaries, highlighted in textbooks and address by teachers. They are considered difficult words important to understanding content.

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If Mass. were a country, its eighth graders would rank 2nd in the world in science

If Mass. were a country, its eighth graders would rank 2nd in the world in science | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Expecting the Best Yields Results in Massachusetts
Adopting rigorous standards, and sticking with them while giving teachers some breathing room, has helped Massachusetts’ students rise to No. 1 in the nation on science and math achievement.
Mel Riddile's insight:

Key points:


Mass. has the highest NAEP scores. 


New standards were adopted in 1993. Mass. has had two decades to implement more rigorous standards.


The state did not:

  1. offer vouchers for private schools
  2. close poorly performing schools
  3. eliminate tenure for teachers
  4. add merit pay


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Evidence & Arguments: Multiple Ways of Experiencing a Text

Evidence & Arguments: Multiple Ways of Experiencing a Text | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Watch how you can do a literacy analysis with your High School students using evidence and arguments.
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What Close Reading Is and Is Not

What Close Reading Is and Is Not | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

In the opening chapter of our book we share a brief history of close reading across decades, but here we would like to share our current–and evolving–thinking on the use of the term today:

Mel Riddile's insight:

What do you think of this definition of close reading?


Close reading is when a reader independently stops at moments in a text (or media or life) to reread and observe the choices an author has made. He or shereflects on those observations to reach for new understandings that can color the way the rest of the book is read (or song heard or life lived) and thought about.


This definition needs to include 'as evidenced by'...highlighting, annotation, notetaking, writing, and discussion...

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Cindy Riley Klages's curator insight, September 2, 2013 9:32 AM

This is so true!  It's great to have the non-examples; it's not just guided reading or "shut up sheets."