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What’s YOUR Common Core Story?

By Dave Stuart Jr.
common core opinion

Let’s dig into the CCSS with a spoon!

I’m switching it up with this post; I want the bulk of the content to come from you, the intrepid readers. I hear what so many of you are saying on Twitter or Facebook or your own blogs or in newspapers and books or at workshops and conferences, and I’m just like, “Dude, there’s a lot out there.”

I’m also aware that Teaching the Core is experiencing a mini-explosion right now: over the last three months, average views per day have increased from 200 to 345 to a current February pace of 480. That’s nuts! To the educational thought leaders of the day, that’s like, peanuts, but to this average teacher in rural Michigan, that’s more ridiculous than eating raw pumpkin innards.

But here’s what really excites me about that kind of traffic: what if a bunch of those Teaching the Core readers were each to take three minutes or so to give a snapshot of their current position on the Common Core? What insights might we gain into the current state of this experiment in educational nationalization?

What’s your take?

We’re just past halfway through the traditional academic calendar. Last fall in districts and buildings and classrooms around the USA, the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) began to seriously enter curricular and pedogogical conversations.

  • In some cases, there has been no room for conversation. The “Powers That Be” have said their piece, and those below have been expected to fall in and get it done.
  • In others, there’s been nothing but conversation. “Common Core” is a nice addition to an edu-jargon-athon, but it hasn’t really changed anything.
  • And in still others, the CCSS has started productive conversations about what it means to promote college- and career-readiness through our K-12 schools.

But those are just my hunches. Is the CCSS impacting your world as a teacher or parent or student or administrator or citizen? Is that impact positive, negative, or negligible? Please leave a comment! Make your comment a sentence, an editorial, a diatribe, a tribute, an argument, an explanation, an anecdote, a poem, a bumper sticker slogan, a link to a video of you rapping — dude, just say something.

My goal is 100 unique commenters on this post — that’s pretty audacious considering our highest comment count for a post so far is 22 comments, but it’s also crazy doable considering that, at the time of this posting, Teaching the Core has 424 subscribers.

So that’s what I’m looking for. At least 100 people — students, teachers, parents, professors, administrators, plumbers, politicians — saying something to the question(s) below.

 

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84 Responses to What’s YOUR Common Core Story?

  1. franmcveigh February 12, 2013 at 6:31 pm #

    Dave,
    What a novel idea! The CCSS is job security for me! There is a lot of learning that we all need to consider as we implement the CCSS.

    Here’s what I am working on for elementary teachers tomorrow!
    Short Example based on Iowa Core Standard R.CCR.3 Characters/Individuals in Fiction Texts (Theory of Character)
    Grade 2: Reader can generate single-word adjectives about the character’s dominant trait or feeling, not directly named in the text, but based on the textual evidence.
    Grade 3: Reader can generate ideas about the character’s feelings, add a descriptor of the character’s personality traits and can trace traits in more than one place in the story/book.
    Grade 4: Reader can generate ideas about main character’s traits in more than a single word and acknowledge that the character is ‘more than one way’ by pointing out different traits based on textual evidence that make the character complex.
    Grade 5: Reader can generate ideas about multiple characters’ traits and/or motivations and address many sides of a character, perhaps seeing how these sides create tensions or contradictions within the character as well as evidence to address the reasons for characters’ traits and motivations.

    Thoughts? How does this match up with your thinking about how characters develop? (And then there are those pesky ideas and events to deal with as well!)

    Thanks for the opportunity for input!

    • davestuartjr February 13, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

      Fran, thanks for kicking off the CCSS check-in. I think that skill progression looks great — lots of text-based detective work that students are doing. Lots of analysis = great. The hard thing with standards is that they can either be lifeless and burdensome, or they can be pictures of lively classrooms where lots of high-quality learning happens. How did the teachers you were working with today respond?

      • franmcveigh February 13, 2013 at 6:06 pm #

        Dave,
        It was a wonderful day. I had 50 K-6 teachers who were thirsty for information. I used only 2 standards in 3 hours. Informational RI.1 and the RL.3 for fiction and really focused on the range. All grade level groups were able to begin planning for changes in their instruction next week to “add in” some “Common-Corey” thinking to deepen student understanding.

        This whole “Theory of Character” came from Lucy Calkins’ work. The depth of understanding for solid implementation of the Core is not in any current basal!

        I probably provide some form of large group, small group, or individual work on Core instruction four days out of five. It has been a steep learning curve for me with some go back and fix misconceptions as well but we are moving forward one step at a time in Iowa!

        • davestuartjr February 14, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

          Fran, it sounds like Iowa is rockin’. I can’t imagine that focusing on deeper understanding is going to result in long-term decreased enjoyment of reading, as some fear. I think it’s all about how the implementation is done.

        • KevinHodgson (@dogtrax) February 21, 2013 at 6:57 am #

          Sounds like a good PD session, Fran. Thinking time/collaboration time/discussion time: valuable time.

  2. Jonetta Jonte February 12, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

    My colleague and I just met to reflect on our first semester of full implementation of CCSS. On the whole the experience has been a great one for us as teachers and for our students. We’ve learned better how to pair them together for meaningful lessons and also how not to. We though are not the norm in our urban school district. Some teachers are planning on retiring, others are in denial, and some are still asking what’s common core. My favorite implementer is the one who says I’ll do it when they make me. Common Core is great for kids. Consider this: I always have breezed through satire for my juniors and prayed they got something out of it. This year I felt comfortable about camping out in satire for a while and discovered that the depth of learning was what I had wanted all along. By streaming our standards down, our students are learning more at deeper levels. This is a movement that I can definitely embrace.

    • davestuartjr February 13, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

      Jonetta, thanks so much for your honest input. You and your colleague are brave for diving into the CCSS on your own–then again, I think your approach is wise because, before being told what to do, you’re developing expertise and experience with the standards. When the higher ups do “make” teachers align with the CCSS (whatever they mean by that!), you’ll have solid ground to stand on.

      I think you’d love Mike Schmoker’s book Focus — he’s the man who first showed me that standards are pointless unless they are drastically reduced. Here’s a link.

      Thanks for commenting again, Jonetta!

  3. Rho February 12, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

    Right now, I am using UbD and the CCSS to rethink everything I do in the classroom. I’m looking at all the novels and other material I use in my 9th and 10th grade classes and looking at the big themes–the big questions. I have usually done units, such as short story, Shakespeare, etc. Now I am mixing it up and looking for thematic ideas that use poetry, non-fiction, novels, and short stories together in a deeper look, such as Jonetta wrote in her extended study of satire. I’ve been teaching a long time, and while the political side of the CCSS bothers me somewhat, I like the ELA standards. Old dogs CAN learn new tricks!

    • Erica Beaton February 13, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

      Yes, Rho! I love the idea of pairing Understanding by Design with the CCSS! I think this is exactly the kind of big-picture thinking they’re asking us to do as educators. It’s about helping the kids see those big themes/questions in our curriculum and in their own lives. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • davestuartjr February 13, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

      Hi Rho,

      The political side of CCSS bothers me, too, and I respect your willingness and ability to be able to separate the politics from one practical question: are these standards better than previous iterations? I haven’t read UbD yet *hangs head in shame*, but my colleague Erica Beaton, who reads about 19x as much as me, keeps me informed.

      Thanks for being contributer #3, Rho! I appreciate hearing from you and I think your kids are lucky to have a trick-learning “old dog” for a teacher 🙂

      • KevinHodgson (@dogtrax) February 21, 2013 at 7:12 am #

        I’d like to point folks to Paul Bogush, who has dug deep into the political realm of Common Core and the folks who are “behind” it from the textbook industry, educational arenas, and more.
        http://blogush.edublogs.org/ccss-posts/
        If nothing else, Paul’s posts give pause and allow us to see CC in a different light beyond our own classrooms.
        Kevin

  4. Tally Bee February 12, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

    In my opinion, CA seems to fall behind others with CCSS, because many districts are just beginning implementation. I am an administrator and ELA Coordinator for a charter school support company that serves 30 schools in 5 states (12 are throughout CA), I have trained our ELA staff in the CCSS during the past year with three professional development sessions and follow-ups. Teachers are reluctant to change. Principals are still learning. There are so many resources available, many which make the switch to CCSS simple. However, we’ve still got a long road ahead.

    • davestuartjr February 13, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

      Hi Tally,

      I don’t know where our state is at, but I’m in a district where we haven’t yet had any Common Core PD. It’s a term that is used more and more, but my hunch is that it freaks out a lot of people because they’re not sure what it means or what it is. To many, Common Core is just one more buzzword that has come and (inevitably) will go. And that tendency in education is one reason why I think teachers are so reluctant to change. Honestly, who can blame them.

      And you mentioned resources — you’re right, there are SO many. Which have you found to be especially helpful?

      Thanks for being contributor #4, Tally!

    • KevinHodgson (@dogtrax) February 21, 2013 at 7:00 am #

      Speaking from Massachusetts … you are not all that far behind us.
      🙂

  5. franmcveigh February 12, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

    Jonetta and Rho,
    It’s so great to hear about the reflection that you are doing as you dig deeper in instruction. I love thinking about the benefits for students who will have common standards guiding instruction across the country. The content choices will vary, of course, but it should be a major reassurance for parents in our mobile society that student expectations will be “similar” across the country!

    Thank you for being the “early implementors” and for sharing your learning!

  6. Darlene February 12, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

    CCSS are being implemented in my district in Idaho. My colleagues and I at the high school are creating curriculum maps that align with the standards. I feel good about this change (and I have been teaching for over 30 years). Studying the standards has made me rethink how best to lead students in my English classes through complex texts. My mantra for the last year has been “teach less, learn more” as my students take a more visible control. Thanks to your blog and cites like teachingchannel.org, achievethecore.org, etc., the transition has been stimulating, full of great ideas. My only fears are for the first round of new state tests because we didn’t start this soon enough at my school.

    • davestuartjr February 13, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

      Hi Darlene,

      Thanks for appreciating Teaching the Core and sharing some other great resources (I’ve benefited greatly from teachingchanell.org but haven’t checked out achievethecore.org yet). I think the next-gen tests (in our state of MI, the SBAC) are going to rock us, and I’m hoping that good conversation comes out of that. The testing aspect of the CCSS is definitely my biggest worry–thought I think the SBAC tests are better than the ones we currently use in my state, they still lend themselves to “teaching to the test,” and that scares me.

      “Teach less, learn more” — it sounds a lot like Mike Schmoker’s Focus book, which has probably reduced my stress more than any other book I’ve read as a high school history/ELA teacher. Have you read it? Here’s a link.

      Thanks for being contributor #5, Darlene!

  7. Ann Magelinski February 13, 2013 at 10:12 am #

    We are implementing CCSS next year in our school district. What concerns me is that there is no preperation for the new standards before we begin implementing them. So, I expect our first year will be try everything and see what sticks. For years we have been trying to get the decision makers to understand that if we teach thematic units in Reading (high school)we can cover every benchmark more holistically. CCSS fits perfectly with what we, as reading teachers, believe is the way to achieve higher order thinking in this lost generation of instant gratification students. We look forward to adapting to the new standards and hope that the decision makers don’t over or under think this through.

    • davestuartjr February 14, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

      Hi Ann,

      Along with you, I am leery of “try everything” approaches to education. At very least, it seems better to take a few minutes, familiarize oneself with the anchor standards, and choose a few to focus on. Also like you, I am excited about the affirmation that the CCSS offers to those who long to journey further with kids than superficial thinking. Thanks so much for sharing as contributor #6, and may your decision makers consult the experts (you and your colleagues) before making decisions!

  8. Alicia Ferrell Rosenbaum February 14, 2013 at 7:38 am #

    I teach in a poor, rural county and the Common Core standards have been a challenge to say the least! But, how many people go to their jobs every day and are challenged? That challenge is living! I love it! However, administrators need to realize that these standards change things in the classroom – and this needs to be communicated to the community. I’ve had more parent conferences this year than ever before, and the school has demanded more of me than ever before. To be successfully implemented, there has to be understanding between teachers and administrators.

    • davestuartjr February 14, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

      Hi Alicia,

      I’m assuming that schools without cohesion between administrators and teachers are going to struggle with CCSS implementation–just as they have always struggled. Yet I admire your attitude that sees every day as a challenge. I believe our students are hungry to be taken seriously; I bet they come alive when you challenge them. Thanks for being Contributor #7!

  9. JamieH February 14, 2013 at 10:31 am #

    I am an instructional coach in a rural Kansas high school. We had a Common Core Camp for teachers last summer; teachers were paid for 5 days of professional development. Our 9th grade is in full implementation this year and other grades are revising curriculum maps and units this year for implementation next year. We used collaboration time during the year to work on implementation. We will be having another Common Core Camp this summer for teachers. Change is not always easy when teachers are completely committed or see that it is necessary. Our students perform very well on our current assessments, so the moral obligation that is necessary for change isn’t present yet. It probably won’t be fully realized until the first year or two of testing.

    School districts near us very on levels of implementation–most of them have not started or are just getting started.

    We would like to see more information coming from Smarter Balance/PARCC on the assessments. Are they going to be ready?

    • davestuartjr February 14, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

      Jamie, you’ve asked the million dollar question — will those ambitious assessments be on time? The skeptic in me finds it hard to believe; the technology infrastructure alone seems way more than a couple years out, and that’s only in administering the test, not assessing it. I admire your district’s Common Core Camp idea — that must have been a large financial investment, but how impressive that your entire school is empowered to work with these standards. Rather than being a scary buzzword, the CCSS are something that your school can make its own. Thanks for being Contributor #8!

  10. Michelle February 18, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

    The CCSS is giving our school a common vocabulary and shared vision for what we are teaching. We have a diverse population due to living in a resort town. The CCSS has created a sense of urgency that wasn’t there before. In our school, we’ve been known to defer student learning issues and take credit for student learning that, quite frankly, might have happened without our presence in the room. Studying the CCSS – especially math – has raised the hackles of many teachers. These standards would be hard for ALL students to master. It’s exciting because now we are having conversations that will lead to better teaching and learning for all students.

    • davestuartjr February 18, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

      Hi Michelle,
      Your school sounds like it’s in the midst of impressive growth. I agree that “these standards would be hard for all students to master.” That, combined with their relative focus, is why I believe the CCSS are a step in a better direction. Thanks for being Contributor #9 🙂

  11. Kelli Anglley February 18, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

    I am an Instructional Coach in Oklahoma. Some of the school districts I work in have added one early release day per month into their calendar. In those schools I am able to provide PD for the teachers on CCSS. We started with the basics and have moved into strategies as to how to implement. (We utilize http://www.teachingchannel.org a lot!). I am also able to go into classrooms and model lessons.

    I have found that the level of implementation resides with the administration and how much emphasis they put on CCSS. Several schools last year had their kindergarten classes use only the CCSS (in place of our Oklahoma PASS). This year kindergarten and first grade went to full implementation. The reason for this is that our state testing begins at 3rd grade. So until 2014-2015, our students will still be taking state tests based on the old standards. Basically, our current first graders will never take the old state test – so there is no reason to be using the old standards.

    Our social studies standards changed this year, and the state incorporated the Common Core literacy standards into the state standards (our C3 standards). Our social studies teachers who thought the CCSS wouldn’t come into play in 2014 and who thought they were just for math and ELA got quite a surprise when they read their new standards last summer.

    I live near a military base, and the thought of common standards is exciting. The students we get have gotten bits and pieces of lots of different things, depending on where their parents have been stationed. (Now, if we can just get Texas on board! LOL)

    I have found that the teachers I work with are trying to implement by increasing the writing in their content areas, having students support their answers with evidence from the text, and asking higher level questions.

    Thanks for your blog! I am always sharing your site with educators!

    • davestuartjr February 18, 2013 at 8:52 pm #

      Kelli, I appreciate the mix of humor and seriousness that you bring to this discussion — such a mixture is perfectly suited for our calling as educators, in my opinion. I admire the way that OK districts are using your expertise, and simply how the schools you are serving are choosing to take time to process and implement the CCSS. For implementation to work–and by that I mean way more than forcing teachers to do them; I mean allowing teachers to bring the standards to life in their classrooms, and to determine what this looks like through productive conversations with their colleagues–teachers need to be given time and space. If the work is valuable, districts should show it with how they use PD time.

      It sounds like the teachers you work with are rocking and focusing — I love it. You seem to be an expert at a non-freaked out approach to the CCSS.

      A pleasure to hear from you, Kelli — I only wish I lived closer to OK so I could see you in action! Thanks for being Contributor #10 🙂

  12. A.D. February 18, 2013 at 6:37 pm #

    I am on the Rigorous Curriculum Design committee in my school district in California. We have met four times so far and all we have done is talk, talk, talk. I am itching to get to work on this! I am excited and I think this is the right direction to go in for our students and our schools but I am getting frustrated because we have not DONE anything yet.

    • Michelle February 18, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

      I am also tired of “going slow to go fast!”

    • davestuartjr February 18, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

      A.D., I feel your pain. Seriously: when I begin to feel like talk is going nowhere, I often experience actual pain. In fact, that’s pretty much how the entirety of my School of Ed experience felt!

      I hope your committee can “get after it” soon — I’m looking forward to hearing how it goes. Please be in touch 🙂

      Thanks for being Contributor #11, A.D.

    • KevinHodgson (@dogtrax) February 21, 2013 at 7:09 am #

      Rigorous Curriculum Design Committee? Wow. That’s quite a name.
      That probably took a committee of administrator a few sessions just to name it.
      🙂
      Hopefully, the rigor comes in action more than talk as you move forward.
      Kevin

  13. davestuartjr February 18, 2013 at 10:19 pm #

    Sylvia made this slogan-worthy response over at the Teaching the Core Facebook page:

    Kansas cannot commit.

    Thanks for being Contributor #12, Sylvia!

  14. Christina Gray February 19, 2013 at 8:21 am #

    I teach in South Florida and the CCSS. are not widely known or understood at the high school level yet. Many teachers still have that “I’ll deal with it when I have to” mentality. I have the good fortune to teach in an International Baccalaureate program that has given me a good foundation for understanding the CORE and I actually love the CCSS and think they are far superior to our old Sunshine State Standards. The concern for me is that if teachers aren’t efficacious enough then the students who already struggle mightily with our state test (FCAT) have no shot at passing an exam based on CCSS.

    • davestuartjr February 19, 2013 at 8:32 am #

      That’s a fair concern, Christina. Districts need to invest in raising teacher efficacy with the standards. They don’t have to be so daunting, but administrators can’t assume teachers are going to set the CCSS on their bedstands for leisure reading. In our social studies group, it literally took less than 30 minutes for us to go from little knowledge of the CCSS to being comfortable with them (more on that process here).

      Thanks for being Contributor #12, Christina. Cheers.

  15. Dr. Dea February 19, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

    Hi Dave–

    I really enjoy yours posts and am so pleased to see all of these responses. I’ve been following you since you started on this journey and commend you for how far you’ve come. I’m not a classroom teacher, anymore. I was a high school English teacher for about 17 years before making a vertical career move. So, now I describe myself as a teacher of teachers.

    I appreciate the CCSS because I believe it values what English teachers have always been doing: teaching kids to get meaning from text. Although I never played the game, I watched my colleagues teach out of textbooks, asking kids to sequence the events in a story rather than talk about the motivations and the nuances of language. Some were sucked into the ease of of letting the textbook dictate the skill to be taught rather than having kids dig deep into a text.

    Reading a quality piece of literature, fiction or nonfiction, is like putting a puzzle together in your brain. My students liked playing the game.

    • davestuartjr February 21, 2013 at 12:15 am #

      Dr. Dea, my first blogging friend — good to hear from you again. Thanks for being the first contributor to this blog’s discussion and the 13th on this particular post 🙂

      I’m glad you are exerting influence on a larger scale than the classroom because there is certainly a demand for quality “teachers of teachers.” It’s easy to understand why folks look to the textbook for guidance–especially when you consider how many changes and lists of standards and innovations that so many seasoned teachers have weathered. To many, the CCSS is just the next trend in the Edu-Fad merry-go-round.

      I’m hoping that won’t be the case because, like you, I believe the CCSS values students and teachers.

  16. Anonymous Developer February 20, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

    Dave, I just stumbled on your blog while doing some research. I am a test developer, and I love the CCSS for two reasons: 1) The standards are nicely aligned with what students are expected to do in college; and 2) They allow assessment-makers and teachers to have the same standards, the same language, and therefore the same expectations for students. I want my tests to accurately assess what students are doing in the classroom, and the CCSS really helps developers do that. I love that I can write challenging assessments knowing that teachers will help students get there.

    • davestuartjr February 21, 2013 at 12:19 am #

      Hi Anonymous Developer, thank you for submitting your thoughts! It’s fascinating to talk to someone in your line of work — we tend to forget that tests are made by people with opinions just like us. The testing aspect of the CCSS is one of the areas I’m more nervous about. A colleague whom I respect fears that the “next-gen” tests like SBAC and PARCC are just going to reward teaching to the test.

      Thanks for being Contributor #14!

    • KevinHodgson (@dogtrax) February 21, 2013 at 7:16 am #

      No offense, but of course you have the Common Core. A cynical view is that CC was designed with your job in mind. (Well, not you personally but the testing industry). There is a lot I like about CC, and a lot of things to value about the focus and critical thinking, but the influence of the testing industry (even including some friends of mine who work for Pearson) unsettles me to no end because I can’t separate those influences on the design of the standards. I hope PARCC and Smarter Balance folks make something worthy of our time and teaching, and of our students’ learning.
      Kevin
      PS — this is nothing personal against you, I hope you understand. I appreciate that you took the time to comment.

      • Anonymous Developer February 21, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

        Kevin and Dave, thanks for responding. I posted with trepidation, because there is such a gulf in understanding between what I actually do as a developer and what people think I do. First, yes, I am a human being and not a monster 🙂 I do love my job, but not only because it feeds my family (and I make roughly what an experienced teacher does). I love it because it affords me the opportunity to create tests that fairly evaluate students and reward good teaching. Most of the developers I work with are former teachers (including me), and are invested in creating good tests that will be useful to teachers.

        Dave, the issue of “teaching to the test” is one fraught with anxiety, but also with a lot of misunderstanding. There is a fundamental disconnect between what policy-makers and administrators are asking you to do, and what the research says is effective. Research resoundingly finds that rote test-prep (even including just working off old prompts) is NOT the best way to prepare students. In fact, creative, innovative, rigorous teaching like the kind you describe on your blog is what gets students their best scores. Of course, the tests must reward that in their design, and that’s what my work is all about. We are constantly–and you’ll have to take my word for it, because I understand the weight of the bias and the real, legitimate frustration that underlies it–seeking ways to elicit complexity and critical thinking in students, the kind of stuff that teachers also seek to elicit. The Common Core goes a long way in making these expectations explicit.

        I get angry a lot, and sometimes I get angry at sectors of the testing industry itself, but mostly I get angry at people who ignore research and write policy that punishes teachers for doing the very things that help students. For instance, I believe that NCLB is a disaster, and is a gross misuse of carefully-written tests. It hurts teachers, schools, students, and communities. Imagine if you made chef’s knives, the really nice ones, and a whole sector of people started marketing them as weapons. It is heartbreaking. So I’m working from the inside, and also reaching out.

        One thing that I’m working on is fostering better transparency and communication between teachers, schools, and developers, so that we’re creating a consistent and fair universe for children. It does no good to stand in separate worlds and fight about who cares about children and education more (I know you didn’t say it, but the cynical view is that testing companies are money-grubbers who don’t care about nuance or complexity or children). So anyway, this is an attempt to get that dialogue going, and I appreciate Dave’s open invitation. Note that I am remaining anonymous; I will not try to promote my company or its views on this blog.

        Hopefully we can continue to have fruitful discussions. Thanks for this blog, Dave–it is really nice to get a teacher’s perspective on CCSS.

        • KevinHodgson (@dogtrax) February 22, 2013 at 5:57 am #

          Dear Anon
          Thank you for the reply and for sharing an insider’s view. Your point about “… working from the inside, and also reaching out” really resonated with me in this discussion. I can’t say that my trepidation is eased about what the Common Core assessments might look like (the ELA prototypes I’ve seen seem to be on the right track in a lot of ways but who knows). I can say that having other voices in the mix is valuable. I appreciate, too, that you are bringing your teaching experience into the job of test development.
          I still can’t shake the sense that the publishing/testing community sees an opening to huge sales from school districts in a panic about Common Core, and administrators looking for the “silver bullet” of alignment curriculum. Everywhere you look — it’s Common-Core-approved this, Common-Core-aligned that. At last year’s NCTE gathering in Las Vegas, walking through the vendor room was like walking into a Common-Core-scented store. That kind of overload makes me cynical of the motives of companies, and their political role in the development of the Common Core movement (I know, that’s above your pay grade).
          However, it is refreshing to get your point of view and be reminded that those who work in those companies have earnest goals and objectives. And I’ll shout out a hearty yes to “transparency and communication.” I hope your goal of helping to create assessments that reward creative thinking and learning exploration of all of our students is more than a tiny ripple effect here on Dave’s blog. I hope it is a message echoing out through the test preparation field.
          I guess we will know when PARCC and Smarter Balance become a reality.
          Sincerely,
          Kevin

          • Anonymous Developer February 22, 2013 at 10:06 am #

            Thanks for the kind reply, Kevin. Most of my academic friends post anti-testing stuff all the time, and when I comment, they fall silent. I appreciate actually getting a response, and an honest one at that. I hope things are better with Common Core and that the assessments are better across the board, too, no matter what entity ends up getting the market share (ugh). In the meantime, I am encouraged to see that good teachers are going to do good teaching no matter what happens in the testing ether (my mom always did, closing her door if she needed to!), as ultimately that is what is good for our kids. I look forward to more conversation.

          • davestuartjr February 22, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

            Kevin and Anon,

            I want to show this conversation to my students as an exemplar of what civil, productive discourse looks like. These few exchanges are exactly what I hope the CCSS helps promote: discussions and arguments that seek to get to the bottom of things” — there’s so much more going on here than winning on argument or spewing venow. Quite the opposite. I tip my hat to both of you.

            Kevin, I share your nausea at the glut of resources publishers are pumping out to cash in on what you aptly call panic. It’s straight-up profiteering. I can’t think of too many “CCSS-aligned” resources I’ve found that aren’t simply repackaged pre-CCSS resources.

            Anon, can’t say enough how thankful I am for your willingness to post and share. It sounds like you are one of those people who have left the classroom for the sake of the greater good. I am rooting for your influence to spread!

            Cheers to both of you.

  17. KevinHodgson (@dogtrax) February 21, 2013 at 6:56 am #

    Common Core implementation in my school district remains a mixed bag. I often feel as if we are having spurts of activity, only to be sidelined by new initiatives (educational evaluation being the main one right now). But, I have been asked to lead various Common Core ELA session with my colleagues and given free rein to do so, and those sessions have been very valuable as we have explored writing and reading, and media, in our work together. (Math barely enters the equation — sorry for the pun.) But it has not been consistent, that’s for sure, and I know from working with some other school districts in our area that many are barely at the starting gate (even though our state issued its new ELA/Math curriculum two years ago and PARCC is coming soon). So, that lack of understanding leads to worry and frustration from teachers. Some are ignoring it. Some are forging ahead on their own. Very few see it as an overall collaborative effort to examine best practices, validate or change, and make the shifts forward.
    Kevin

    • davestuartjr February 22, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

      Hi Kevin 🙂

      Thanks for responding to everyone and adding your voice thickly throughout this conversation. You are Voice #15 — only 85 more to go 🙂

      Isn’t it amazing how school systems can initiative themselves to death? This is the primary reason that I’m such a fan of Schmoker’s Focus (and so thankful that higher-ups are into it to). I still see us shooting ourselves in the foot periodically with new initiatives, but at least the concept of that book are part of the conversation.

      I like how you put the best-case scenario with CCSS: “an overall collaborative effort to examine best practices, validate or change, and make the shifts forward.” That’s what we’re striving for.

      Thanks again, Kevin.

  18. Ms. C. February 21, 2013 at 5:37 pm #

    Dave,
    What a great idea. I’m always interested in hearing what other teachers think about the changes that are affecting us. I think common core is a positive change. It gives teachers the opportunity to be creative and encourages collaboration….I’m all for it. That being said, in my school, common core is being shoved down the throats of teachers who are unprepared and unimpressed. The role out was poorly done in my district. The common core trainings are being given by some teachers in the school who are learning what to say 10 minutes before our “PLC” begins. There is no sharing since no one has ever done this before. Teachers are nervous, confused, and stressed out. Morale is awful. I wish I could have a voice at a faculty meeting to share my views and vision of what we could and should be doing. I do not have a voice. So, I’m just going to continue learning through my graduate school & going to PLCs at other schools where more experience and support has created a strong PLC. Did I mention I’m applying for a transfer?

    • KevinHodgson (@dogtrax) February 22, 2013 at 5:58 am #

      When administrators don’t have a full grasp on the shifts in the Common Core, trouble and confusion quickly follow. That’s been my experience. Finding your own PLC to bolster your own learning and exploration is a wise move.
      Kevin

    • davestuartjr February 22, 2013 at 8:46 pm #

      Ms. C, thanks for being Voice #16 — it’s good to have you here. Your district’s experience sounds familiar with a lot that I’ve heard of. Roll out is so critical and needs to be done so thoughtfully. But, when I consider all of the junk that administrators are saddled with today (at least in my state), I can hardly blame them for not having time to go deep into understanding the standards.

      Ms. C, I hope you get that transfer because I want your voice and vision to be a part of the conversation. Thanks again for sharing your experience.

  19. Heidi February 28, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

    Hi, Dave! I am an associate professor at a state college in Florida; in the teacher preparation program. My students will graduate with an early childhood education degree, along with reading, ESOL and prek disabilities endorsements. We have embraced the CCSS. They are here, and we must understand them. We analyze the CCSS in each class. My objective is for my students to KNOW the CCSS and be able to articulate them (including the appendices!). My students have excellent field placement teachers who are learning CCSS at the same time, so we are so fortunate to be able to share our information with them, and for them to share with us. YOU are one of the resources I share! Thanks again for your help.

    • Dave Stuart Jr. March 2, 2013 at 7:33 am #

      Heidi, thanks so much for commenting — I think I’ve spoken with folks from your program (perhaps you?) on the Facebook page. It’s amazing how simply knowing the CCSS empowers us to have productive conversations about them. Like Anonymous Developer says below, so many teachers who are in the thick of it are not being given time to do this work.

      Your program sounds meaningful — and, from the FB conversations, I can tell your students are engaged.

      Thanks so much for being Contributor #17, Heidi 🙂

  20. Anonymous Developer February 28, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

    Heidi, I think it’s awesome that you are spending so much time with your students on CCSS. That’s the time to deconstruct them and really get into their implications for teaching; by the time you’re in the thick of things in the classroom, your evenings are spent grading and planning lessons. There’s very little time for the ‘meta’ work that is necessary in getting acclimated to CC and shaping one’s approach to teaching.

  21. Courtney March 1, 2013 at 11:39 am #

    Hey Dave! I am a one of Heidi’s ^ students in the Early Childhood Program. As Heidi mentioned, we have fully embraced the CCSS in our classroom and focus our learning around understanding them and using them. As a junior in the ECE Program I am so privileged to be surrounded by constant information and practice with the CCSS. I will be entering the teaching community at a crucial time of 1st year testing with Core assessments in Florida. Because of our constant interaction with Core information including webinars with Tim Shanahan himself, I feel confident in being able to articulate and implement the standards providing my future students with the BEST education practices possible!
    (We love following your Facebook & blog and think you are “freaking awesome”)!!

    • davestuartjr March 2, 2013 at 7:37 am #

      Courtney, you will undoubtedly be a freaking awesome addition to the teacher workforce, esp. during what is sure to be a crucial time. I’m excited for your students, and I’m humbled by your praise 🙂

      Take care of yourself! And thank you for being Contributor #18. And keep being awesome!

  22. Mary March 1, 2013 at 11:17 pm #

    Hi Dave! I run a suburban middle school library (although I am NOT a librarian!) It’s hard to tell what our district is doing because the library techs really aren’t included in professional development for teachers.

    I’ve made it my mission to learn what I can do that will help teachers implement the CCSS. I focus mainly on ELA (because I’d embarrass myself trying to understand the math standards.) I have two Scoop.it topics that I share with my teachers, and which have been shared with others in our district.

    I’m committed to finding ways to ease the pain of transition for teachers who already work their tails off every day. The more I read about the Common Core, the more I tell my teachers to relax, as they already meet most of the CCSS! I’m ready for more collaboration with ELA and Social Studies teachers as they introduce more research reports. A few teachers have already piloted some new projects, and have made use of the library’s print and digital resources.

    My primary mission is teacher support for the CCSS, but I also preach to anyone who will listen that we don’t need to spend money on new resources to implement these standards! Any administrator who spends money on bright and shiny “Common Core aligned” textbooks, etc., is not that familiar with the standards. A good school library, access to digital resources including databases, and someone who can point the way to these resources are all that’s needed. Smart districts would thumb their collective noses at the publishers touting all these “new” materials and develop their own open source textbooks!

    And not to sound smarmy, but I’ve added all your posts to my Scoop.it page, and teachers think I’m awesome by association! 🙂

    Great conversations above! I hope people continue to add to it.

    • davestuartjr March 2, 2013 at 7:44 am #

      Hi Mary,

      Thanks so much for being Contributor #19 — and you sound familiar. Are you @SEMSLibraryLady, by chance?

      What a blessing you are in your district! I couldn’t agree more with your comments–the CCSS don’t call for major investment in new resources. They are much more about the “how” of teaching than the “what.” A district I know of purchased iPads for elementary kids in the name of CCSS-alignment… There’s just a lot of misinformation out there and it’s hard for over-worked admin to sort it all out.

      Take care, Mary — thanks again for all the goodness 🙂

      • Mary March 3, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

        Yes, Dave, good detecting skills! I was going without my Twitter name in case I got too critical 🙂 I do think lots of CCSS related things are being thrown at administrators on top of everything else they do (and they in turn are throwing it right onto teachers) so the reflection on the bigger picture just doesn’t take place. So keep spreading the word!

  23. Kelsey March 3, 2013 at 8:00 pm #

    Hi Dave!

    I am currently a student studying Early Childhood Education at a state college in central Florida. As a student I am surrounded by information on the CCSS and am loving learning about them along with the rest of the nation. I have really enjoyed learning about the new standards as well as how to read them and understand them so that when I become a teacher I can successfully implement them in my classroom. I look forward to the positive shifts in education that we may see across the country and I am excited to be entering the educational field during this time.

    Your facebook page and blog have been a great learning tool for me personally as I continue to research new information regarding the CCSS.

    Thank you!

  24. Andrea Payan (@payanar) March 17, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

    Hi Dave,

    In my district we have really been looking at the Common Core standards for two years now. That being said, I think there are some educators that have embraced the change and are working toward these standards in their classroom and many more who are scared to do so. We currently have some strict DPI mandates because we are a district in need of improvement and this unfortunately means pacing guides and sweeping reforms that do not always take into account the individuals. Since it falls on the shoulders of a few people to develop the pacing guides for our very large urban district, they really relied heavily on the textbooks which is exactly the opposite of what the CCSS are supposed to be doing for us. I am excited about the CCSS and I think there is a great shift to critical thinking and really helping students develop 21st century skills. However, in practice I am not sure that my colleagues or the big shots in my district really understand this. I hope that soon we will be able to have a bigger voice in this and things will start to change.

    • davestuartjr March 18, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

      Andrea, thank you for being Contributor #21 🙂 First of all, I’m amazed at your district — two years ago “Common Core” was nothing but a rarely mentioned, foreboding phrase to me. I’ve experience the types of pressure-created pacing guides you mention, and I remember how hard they made it to teach authentically. There has got to be that mixture of direction from above and empowered collaboration amongst teachers. I am rooting for you, an obviously thoughtful and courageous practitioner, and I wish you the best. If I can ever be of service, do let me know any time!

      Thanks again, Andrea 🙂

  25. Cheryl March 19, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

    Dave (and anyone else who can help!),

    I am currently a fourth grade math teacher who happens to be making a career change at an optimal and confusing time. Next year, I will be the one and only English teacher in a VERY small high school. The school board has earmarked money to replace textbooks for the English classes, which is a major need because they are very out of date (I believe the copyright is nineteen seventy-something). BUT, since I am new to this, I am in desperate need of some advice before I spend their money! I am incredibly excited about having the opportunity to teach a subject that I am passionate about, but I know my zeal will not be enough to meet the Common Core. Are there textbooks out there that do a decent job of addressing the CCSS? Would working from novels and finding my own articles and stories that correlate be too overwhelming for a newbie?

    Any guidance is appreciated!

    • davestuartjr March 19, 2013 at 4:57 pm #

      Hi Cheryl,

      Great questions — what an awesome opportunity you have in front of you. One thing is for certain: next year will be one of intense learning for you!

      Creating a CCSS-aligned English curriculum should be pretty cheap (sorry, publishers). The only main expenditure would be extended complex texts (e.g., novels, memoirs, etc.) that you’re going to read as a whole class.

      I would, however, use a fair amount of the earmarked money to start a classroom library (my colleague Erica at http://www.b10lovesbooks.wordpress.com has good walkthroughs). The CCSS doesn’t talk much about choice reading, but I think choice reading is a key way that we can get students reading a high volume of text while we do units that focus on shorter, in-class readings (i.e., things like articles and short stories that can be printed from the internet).

      As of right now, I wouldn’t spend a dime on CCSS-aligned textbooks. They become dated quickly, and they tend to be outrageously over-priced.

      Just remember: if your board is making it seem like you need to implement the entire CCSS at once, they are not being reasonable or strategic. By focusing on high impact standards, you will simplify your task as THE English teacher in your high school, and you’ll increase your student’s engagement, too.

      Cheers, Cheryl — and thanks for being Contributor #21 to this post 🙂

    • Darlene March 20, 2013 at 8:38 pm #

      Cheryl: In addition to Gallagher’s text, which I have borrowed from as a high school English teacher, NCTE’s publication Teaching English in a Time of Core Standards by Sarah Brown Wessling was a short read that really helped me wrap my head around the standards and gave me the foundation for implementing them from the various models she includes. Further, all those videos on teachingchannel.org allow us to view how teachers are using the standards in everyday language arts lessons. These are the resources I relied on to improve student learning with the CCSS.

      • Cheryl March 20, 2013 at 8:43 pm #

        Darlene,

        Thanks so much for your suggestions! I will definitely check them out!

        Cheryl

  26. Cheryl March 19, 2013 at 7:38 pm #

    Dave,

    Thank you for your response! Do you have any experience with novel guides like these?

    http://www.amazon.com/Catcher-Literature-Common-Standards-Aligned-Teaching/dp/0978920465/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363736149&sr=8-1&keywords=catcher+in+the+rye+common+core

    Just wondering if they are worth the money spent for someone who will be in need of guidance as they get started?

  27. Cheryl March 19, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

    I actually just bought two Gallagher books today, and I will take a look at the others too! I know that no book or guide is going to be able to tell me exactly what to do, nor do I want or need it to. I mostly want something that helps validate my own ideas and provoke my thoughts! I am too much of a perfectionist to not develop quality units, but I would like to have a little time for my family next year too 😉 Thanks for your time and help! You may wish that you had not extended the invite for more questions!

    Cheryl

  28. Annie Coburn-Kane April 22, 2013 at 8:21 am #

    Hi Dave,
    My interest grew out of my quest to improve my daughter’s educational experience at a “good” rural school in NY. At her 6th grade orientation I was told to expect her to have an hour and a half of homework each night. When I asked why this was so I was told this would prepare her (and the other 44% who actually go on to 4 year institutions) for college.

    When word searches and fill in the blank worksheets came home, along with a system of giving zeros for any incomplete homework, I became obsessed with making things different. I researched grading policy, talked to every teacher I encountered and met educational consultants for lunch!

    I came across the CCSS and learned that David Coleman was one of the architects. I had worked for his mother in my first job and found her to be wise and a visionary for meaningful change and policy. I remember her leading my departments’ review of practice and policy to make our work more meaningful and productive. And as I studied the CCSS I felt like there was hope more relevant education in my children’s school.

    Many of teachers in our district are not as supportive of CCSS as I hoped. I suspect this is due in part to being provided very little time and resources to adopt the Core in our district. One local district has been given one afternoon a month of administrative time to prepare. And some of our teachers are even publicly supporting the opt-out/refuse movement.

    Meanwhile, my husband (college professor) and I see the work our children bring home. Many of the teachers seem to lack content knowledge. There are extremely few opportunities to write or become engaged in project based learning. The teachers claim the tests demand they teach as they do. And the incorporation of the Common Core is happening at a slow pace.

    As I read the blogs and resources regarding the Core I am excited and eager for swift implementation. My children are ready and eager for rich content as well. And I think, in order for the Common Core to succeed, we need to have a national effort to inform and engage parents in conversation and information about what is needed to supports CCLS at home.

    Best wishes to you and thank you for creating the topic and space for this conversation,
    Annie Coburn-Kane

    • davestuartjr April 23, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

      Annie, thanks so much for this impassioned, insightful response. I especially appreciate the parental perspective on this. I’m sharing your words with my social networks because they are that thought provoking!

      Thanks for being Contributor #22 to this post 🙂

  29. Roxie Munro April 25, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

    The goals are great – just hope it works. Seems to me that CCSS is really rather flexible in the materials they will be using, which to me is a good and creative thing. I’m coming from the “content provider” world – I’m a nonfiction trade book author/illustrator (and also do interactive apps for the iPad). A couple weeks ago I went to a panel in NYC organized by PW (that’s Publisher’s Weekly) for trade book publishers. Frankly, although the speakers (librarians, educators, a publisher) were great, I don’t think we went away with much more of a grip, or specifics, on what’s required than we had before we heard the panel. But the good news for us (“content providers”) is that high quality and well-written interesting nonfiction of all sorts will be required and used. That straightforward text-book memorization will be less important, and, we hope, students will deal with and use creative thinking, collaboration, and more nuanced complex information.

    • davestuartjr April 25, 2013 at 7:29 pm #

      Roxie, thanks for being Contributor #23 to this post, and our first contributor from the book author/illustrator field! I think your experience at the PW panel is pretty typical — the CCSS aren’t that complicated until you start getting to issues of standardized testing and overbearing administrators. Making well-written and high quality NF is a good bet!

      In terms of “required” texts for the CCSS, I’ve got a post on that — the list isn’t long!

  30. Cathy Henry April 26, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

    Hi Dave! My business partner and I have spent the last year diving into the Common Core via our work on our web site The Curriculum Corner (www.thecurriculumcorner.com.) Our focus is on creating free lesson plans and activities for the elementary classroom. As a result of our work, we have found positives and negatives when it comes to the CCSS.

    We love the idea of national standards. We think there are so many benefits to one set of standards when it comes to creating and sharing between teachers. Also, as educators, we believe it is important to determine where each grade level of students should be achieving so that there is some consistency from state to state.

    On the negative side, we feel like there needs to be some imput from teachers in revising the standards. As we have worked to develop “I Can” standards for kindergarten through fifth grade, we have encountered some wording which is difficult to understand. We believe that the standards should be written in a way that can benefit teachers and parents. Clearer wording on some standards would assist both groups.

    We feel like much of the negative feedback is coming from those who have not worked closely with the standards. We will not argue that they are all good but they are a starting point. Also, many do not understand that the standards are supposed to be the base to which other requirements can be added. We believe that much good could be done by the creators of the standards and practicing educators working together to fine tune the standards.

    • davestuartjr May 1, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

      Cathy, thanks for being Contributor #24 to this post! Yes, the standards make it easier for teachers to collaborate across state lines (very helpful for online PLNs). And yes, some of the wording (and even some of the standards) is clunking and could use reduction.

      And thank you for calling them a starting point. Will they be tested idiotically? Probably. Will they be used as a stick by politicians? Most likely. But at the end of the day, they CAN be a helpful starting point for us as teachers.

  31. Angel Rodriguez April 27, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    My worries are always teach buy-in. I’ve seen too many folks already dismiss it without really understanding it. It doesn’t matter who the learner is, or what they are trying to learn, it all really does have value, if you are determined to dig deep. Time will tell.

    In the meantime, I did enjoy this picture on how to become a “Common Core Ninja”
    http://pinterest.com/pin/368943394443863674/

    • davestuartjr May 1, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

      Angel, teacher buy-in is huge–without it, we’re often wasting our time. Roll out is such an important skill for admins and district leaders. Thanks for the infographic — people on Twitter loved it.

      Thanks for being Contributor #25, Angel — we’re a quarter of the way to 100!

  32. Kalina Noelle April 30, 2013 at 11:24 am #

    Dave, I’m a CC Fellow at LAUSD, where our cohort does extensive conversation, researxh, questioning, and curriculum design aimed at assisting teachers in the CA rollout next fall.
    I take an open-minded stance on this. The idealogy is what many good teachers have done for years, but standards get us on the same page. The politics of fear don’t interest me, and I am not always warm and fuzzy for “new” concepts to interrupt my flow. Not a bandwagon girl, but this time I see relevance. Try checking our edublog/ruminatingonthecore

    Kalina Noelle

    • davestuartjr May 1, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

      Sweet edublog, Kalina! Honestly, I don’t think you’re necessarily on the bandwagon to have an open-minded approach to the CCSS. I appreciate your approach, though — we need more “deep breaths” like yours.

      Thanks for being Contributor #26! 🙂

  33. Tagrid Sihly May 1, 2013 at 11:10 am #

    I’m a reading teacher in NYC and this year we just started to talk about implementing the CCSS in our planning. I didn’t experience real rigorous PD among teachers where we really dig in the core and align it to our instruction. We have been gets bits and pieces and overview type PDs about the CCSS. Not very effective to say the least. However, I have been informing myself through articles and books about the standards. I think the standards are rigorous and goal-oriented. I feel that they promote great teaching as they hone in on breadth over quantity. Children really need to spend time to learn a topic deeply. The fragmented instruction of the past does not endorse deep learning and inquiry. I really feel that the CCSS reiterate what great teachers have been doing naturally all along. If we are teaching effectively then we are naturally aligning our instruction to the standards. Teachers and school leaders should not be intimidated or threatened by the new standards. However, I have an aversion to the new common core aligned state testing in math and literacy. They are being administered way too soon. As with any new initiative, teachers and students need time to fully understand it and implement it in their instruction before they can be assessed and evaluated on their success.

    • davestuartjr May 1, 2013 at 5:29 pm #

      Thanks for being Contributor #27, Tagrid, and for being a new Twitter friend 🙂

      Gotta love the shotgun approach to PD — “If we just mention it enough times, they’ll learn it!” Just as children need time to learn something deeply, so do teachers. This is why I think schools should get really, really good at simple literacy models before they start “innovating” with the latest and greatest techniques and fads. (And, disclaimer, I totally took that stance from Mike Schmoker’s Focus.)

      And Tagrid, not even the most Positive Polly in the world can be excited at the way these tests are shaping up to be. They seem to be, like so much being sold in the education market, little more than flashy updates to old ideas that have been proven ineffective. Wise folks won’t freak out about these tests, opting instead to focus on key, high-impact literacy work rather than tested-minutiae.

  34. John Marr, Ed.D. May 4, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

    I love the idea of the CCSS. Do not love the lack of PD for implementing in classes like social studies. I am told that “we are all English teachers” with CCSS. My local portion of my final evaluation is tied to the ELA advances. Why am I denied English PD then?

    • davestuartjr July 15, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

      Hi John,

      Thanks for being Voice #28 on this post — I whole-heartedly agree with you that there is a dearth of PD for Common Core in the social studies. If you are told “we are all English teachers,” someone is giving you fine example of demotivating, reductionistic thinking. We are all literacy teachers–meaning we all want students to develop the capacity to think, speak, write, and read in our disciplines–but we are not all English teachers.

      As a social studies teacher and a PD guy, I’d love to come to your school, John — just give me the contact info of the powers that be in your district, or have them contact me through davestuartjr.com!

  35. Kim Howell July 15, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

    Dave,
    Here in LA, we are just beginning to truly roll out the Common Core PD especially in our District. Overcoming the overwhelming question and concerns of “where to start!”
    2000 Teacher Leaders have met throughout the past year and summer to collaborate with the DOE and our fantastic superintendent, John White, in order to prepare to re-deliver this to our home schools. Each district has their own methodology of how this will look in each district in LA.
    This morning I attended a principal’s meeting which discussed PD and its vital importance to the implementation of common core.
    Personally. I view the shift to Common Core as a plus for our children. Overall, this shift has more focus on the student and less focus on the adult in the classroom. Being the parent of 3 college aged children, I was extremely aware of their frustrations regarding the feeling of “not being prepared” for secondary Ed. This concerns me with my personal children immensely, but also makes me fear that I am not preparing those children I am responsible for in my own schoolhouse. Therefore, this shift to the Common Core seems to be a move in the right direction. Putting the teacher/educator “back in the driver’s seat ” to facilitate the students in each diverse area or school. This shift also focuses on the student and NOT on the teacher, administrator, supervisor, district leaders….FINALLY!! A bit of common sense for our Learners of this century…..Press on! DREAM BIG!!!

    • davestuartjr July 15, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

      Kim, thanks for being Voice #29 in this discussion. You are one of those high-will educators that will see a good idea through. I would love to come work with your school, or simply to point you towards other useful resources here at teachingthecore.com or eslewhere. Let me know how I can be of service, Kim!

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