For her leadership in the areas of teacher quality and educational equity and reform, the Learning First Alliance has named Stanford professor and accomplished author Linda Darling-Hammond as our 2013 Education Visionary Award winner.
Common Core State Standards
In the summer of 2009, the Learning First Alliance released a statement in support of steps being taken by the Common Core State Standards Initiative to develop a common core of state K-12 standards in math and English language arts.
As the 2014 deadline for the rollout of the online assessments of these standards approaches, participating states are working tirelessly to ensure fidelity in implementation. LFA member associations, representing over 10 million members working in our nation's public schools, are committed to the success of Common Core. To that end, many of them are assembling collections of resources to help guide their respective membership - in particular teachers, parents, principals and administrators - in this endeavor. LFA is collecting links to all these resources to house here on our site, and we will update this page accordingly in the months ahead.
"Over the years, the AFT has adopted a few resolutions in support of standards outlining what we believe to be characteristics of quality standards and a comprehensive standards-based system. In 2010, Randi Weingarten created the AFT Ad Hoc Committee on Standards Rollout. This committee, made up of AFT state and local presidents, higher education representatives, state education issues coordinators and classroom teachers, met with the writers of the standards, representatives of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) and Smarter Balanced assessment consortia and other experts to developed recommendations for the appropriate rollout of the CCSS. These recommendations were adopted as a resolution on May 19, 2011."
The AFT has a collection of Common Core resources available on its website. Some provide AFT positions, some outline key issues regarding implementation, and others redirect to external sites. The AFT Innovation Fund is also supporting local state affiliates in the rollout of Common Core - examples of state work can be found here.
"Middle grades educators would have to live on another planet not to be aware of initiatives involving the Common Core State Standards, teacher accountability, and PreK–12 state achievement tests. How do we sort through the good, the bad, and the ugly to provide optimal educational experiences for our students, manifest the values of This We Believe, and use what we know "works" for our kids? In the end, the Common Core State Standards are neither good nor bad. How we decide to use them will determine their impact and meaning. The choice is ours."
~ Susan Rakow, "The Common Core: The Good, the Bad, the Possible."
Check out AMLE's resources from October 2012 and an article available here. These resources, primarily for members only, are available for purchase. Free feature articles focus on the standards and implications for students and educators, and the opportunity Common Core provides to develop deep conceptual learning. In January 2013, AMLE released a second publication focused on Common Core, resources are available for purchase.
"The need for high-quality professional learning will be fulfilled when stakeholders from the state level to the classroom level align their goals and strategies. This has an impact on every stage of implementation, from planning to resource allocation to evaluation. As part of its work to support the development of a comprehensive statewide professional learning system to support Common Core implementation, Learning Forward is working with educators at the school, school system, and state levels to create meaningful and aligned professional learning.This project is called Transforming Professional Learning to Prepare College- and Career-Ready Students: Implementing the Common Core. (Learn more about the project here.)
Among the products created as part of the project, the brief Meet the Promise of Content Standards: Professional Learning Required outlines the importance of high-quality professional learning as well as recommendations for stakeholder actions to enact comprehensive professional learning."
~ Tracy Crow, Learning Forward
Learning Forward's resources are available here, and the collection includes numerous articles from Learning Forward staff, as well as research and reports on implementation challenges, the importance of imbedded professional learning, and much more.
"Principal leadership is critical in the transition to Common Core State Standards. NAESP has developed this checklist to help you determine what bodies of knowledge and skill sets you will need to gain as you prepare to lead your school into using the new standards. As a first step, you will need to gauge your basic knowledge of the standards—asking yourself if you are informed about the standards themselves, your state/district’s approach to implementation, recommendation from experts, models from other states, and national updates and trends. You might find it helpful to have key resources at your fingertips, several of which are identified in the checklist below."
NAESP's resources can be found here (some resources are for members only). There are webinars, resources for principals relating to professional development for teachers and as well as several external sites.
In addition, NAESP dedicated the September/October 2012 issue of Principal to exploring issues around the Common Core. View it here (some items are available to the public, others are for members only).
"The responsibility for implementation of the standards will fall squarely on the shoulders of the principal. School leaders need so much more than understanding the standards. Rather than simply drilling down into the details of the Standards, school leaders, including principals, assistant principals, teacher leaders, and district leaders need a practical understanding of the school wide changes made necessary by these new Common Core State Standards and how to lead those changes to create a culture of success in our schools."
NASSP has resources available on their website here (some are for members only while other items are available to the public). There is an extensive set of webinars and accompanying powerpoints as well as a series of articles for principals on: moving to standards-based grading, what's new about the standards, the key to successful implementation and more.
"With the adoption of these research-and-evidence based, internationally benchmarked standards, states have taken a step to better prepare students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in college and the workforce in this 21st century global economy. Common standards is a significant and historic movement as students will now have clearer and consistent expectations across the nation, helping to minimize academic challenges when moving across state or district lines. In response to state boards of education adopting the CCSS, NASBE will convene regional conferences to assist state boards of education and state-level partners in the implementation and policy alignment of the CCSS. Additionally, NASBE will be developing a general tool kit filled with resources for implementation and promising practices to be distributed in 2012."
View NASBE's Common Core resources on their website. They include two policy updates, an FAQ for state board members and a NASBE presentation. Additional resources from NASBE's August issue of the Standard are also accessible online.
"The goal of the Common Core State Standards is to provide a clear, consistent understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that young people need for success in college and careers. NEA believes that this work on Common Standards has the potential to provide teachers with more manageable curriculum goals. Their broadness allows teachers to exercise professional judgment in planning instruction that promotes student success."
NEA has Common Core resources available on their website. They include an overview, information on NEA's involvement with the standards, a toolkit (pdf format), a policy brief and external links.
The National School Boards Association applauds the work of the National Governors Association and Council of Chief State School Officers for their work in assembling an important first step - the Draft Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics. In their attempt to “define the knowledge and skills students should have to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing, academic college courses and in workforce training programs” the groups have brought clarity to a widely varied and disparate set of state standards.~ Sep 21, 2009
“National PTA is making a long-term push for the implementation of Common Core State Standards. With the selection of these additional PTAs, thousands of students nationwide will benefit from the same educational standards which will allow them to compete academically and in an increasingly global economy."
~ Betsy Landers, PTA President.
The National PTA has an extensive set of resources available on their website. They include a parent's guide to student success that outlines what students should be able to do in each grade, an issue brief, articles about Common Core and content briefs for math and reading.
A VISION FOR GREAT SCHOOLS
On this website, educators, parents and policymakers from coast to coast are sharing what's already working in public schools--and sparking a national conversation about how to make it work for children in every school. Join the conversation!