The Common Core State Standards have been accepted by 46 states and the District of Columbia and are scheduled for full implementation in the 2014-15 school year. They are already being piloted in multiple locations, which this blog has written about previously. Teachers have also recently spoken up in several surveys and have described their willingness to do their part to implement the new standards, but they have asked for help. Below are links to new resources from the Council of the Great City Schools, the National Association of State Boards of Education and Hope Street Group that have been designed to support Common Core implementation.
One of the largest issues surrounding the upcoming implementation of the Common Core Math and ELA/Literacy Standards, with similar initiatives taking place in science and social studies, is not the role of teachers; it is how much parents and other community members are being prepared for the changes that will be taking place. For those with a stake in education, such as parents, who might not have the time or access to delve into the details of these new curriculum plans on their own, the first of the following resources should prove to be extremely valuable.
The first resource comes from the Council of the Great City Schools:
The Council of the Great City Schools published Parent Roadmaps to the Common Core Standards in English language arts (in both English and Spanish) and mathematics (in both English and Spanish) for the high school grades. It has also developed other resources over the last several months to help with the implementation of the Common Core Standards: two 30-second Public Service Announcements (one in English and one in Spanish) that tells the public what the Common Core Standards are; two three-minute videos (one in English and one in Spanish) that explains the Common Core in a slightly longer form (particularly good for presentations to community and parent groups); a 45-minute professional development video for central office and school-based staff and teachers on the shifts in the Common Core in English language arts and literacy; a 45-minute professional development video for central office and school-based staff and teachers on the shifts in the Common Core in mathematics; and resources for adapting basal texts to the rigor of the Common Core in English language arts and literacy. In addition, the Council of the Great City Schools, working with Institute for Mathematics and Education and Achieve, has developed draft mathematics progressions documents for teaching across grade levels.
The second resource, more geared towards educators, comes from the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE):
NASBE has been a leader in the effort to assist states as they adopt and implement the Common Core State Standards, and it will apply that experience to help state board members understand the development, history, and future of the Next Generation Science Standards. The development of the science standards – now in their second draft, with a final version expected in March – is being spearheaded by Achieve in conjunction with the National Research Council, the National Science Teachers Association, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
“State education policymakers, like many others, are working hard to answer the national call for greater emphasis on science, and the Next Generation Science Standards will provide them with a critical tool to do this,” said NASBE Deputy Executive Director Brad Hull. “But the existence of the NGSS is just a first step. The state board members who must adopt them need targeted resources and opportunities to discuss the meaning, content, and policy implications of the standards in order to effectively do their jobs. NASBE, in partnership with other education stakeholders, including those involved in the NGSS development as well as other state-level policy organizations, is uniquely positioned to provide this assistance to state boards.”
The NGSS are focused on four areas: physical science; life science; earth and space science; and engineering, technology, and practical applications of science. The standards, which were built upon on a vision for science education established by the Framework for K-12 Science Education, published by the National Academies’ National Research Council in 2011, seek to move science instruction from an inch-deep, mile-wide approach to one that is centered on deeper learning and helping students grasp concepts that stretch across traditional scientific disciplines.
During the year, NASBE will host regional symposia at which state board of education members can develop adoption plans and conduct policy audits to identify other policy areas affected by the NGSS, such as assessments, teacher professional learning, and educator licensure. In addition, NASBE staff will provide state board members with online and print resources, webinars, and toolkits – all with a special emphasis on communications – to help inform policymakers and other local, district, and state-level stakeholders.
The third resource is geared toward district level education professionals:
Hope Street Group and the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) have released a Common Core Playbook-Toolkit that both offers specific recommendations for state boards of education and highlights areas of potential concern that may require attention in coming months and years. This resource was created to provide additional support and guidance for state boards of education as they implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Among the recommendations, the Playbook-Toolkit suggests:
–State boards of education focus their role in CCSS implementation on ensuring that supportive board policies are in place and that state board policies which impede or complicate CCSS implementation are eliminated or changed;
–State boards should work to communicate to the public and educators what CCSS implementation means and how they plan to support implementation, alignment of other key areas, and address the issues that arise as a result of implementation;
–To help with the transition, state boards should work with their departments to ensure that the state has an up-to-date technology plan and policy;
–State boards should consider teacher input in planning and decision-making for educators’ professional learning.
For more information, please visit the following websites:
Council of the Great City Schools Common Core Works – http://www.cgcs.org/Page/334
NASBE Common Core Standards Website – http://www.nasbe.org/project/common-core-state-standards-ccss/
Hope Street Group Common Core Playbook – http://playbook.hopestreetgroup.org/commoncore