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Mark Gillingham

SmartBlog on Education - Q-and-A: Back to school with Arne Duncan - SmartBrief, Inc. Sm... - 3 views

  • To make this transition, states, districts, and schools should do as much as possible to provide teachers with support for professional learning tied to the new standards. It’s also critical for teachers to connect with and learn from each other.
  • But many educators aren’t “connected” yet because they haven’t taken advantage of opportunities for professional learning online or they aren’t realizing the full benefits. Many districts and states also haven’t done enough to recognize this essential learning as legitimate professional development.
  • The nonprofit Academy for Urban School Leadership in Chicago provides a great “alternative” route to the classroom, in which participants complete a yearlong residency working with effective mentor teachers.
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  • But, among 4-year-olds in the U.S., fewer than three in 10 attend a high-quality preschool program. This opportunity gap confronts far too many American children — particularly those living in low-income communities. We need to work hard to reach many more students.
Keith Schoch

Six Ways to Improve Close Readings - 17 views

    Close reading, a key practice for Common Core teaching, is discussed here through six simple steps.
Mark Gillingham

IRA recommends lively and critical discussions of high-quality text. - 11 views

    Collaborative discussion methods help students engage text and become better readers.
Suzie Nestico

Five Myths About the Common Core - 8 views

  • Myth #1 The Common Core State Standards are a national curriculum.
  • Myth #2 The Common Core State Standards are an Obama administration initiative.
  • Myth #3 The Common Core standards represent a modest change from current practice.
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  • Myth #4 States cannot implement the Common Core standards in the current budget climate.
  • Myth #5 The Common Core State Standards will transform schools.
  • Standards are not curriculum: standards spell out what students should know and be able to do at the end of a year; curriculum defines the specific course of study—the scope and sequence—that will enable students to meet standards.
  • States are building the assessments, and once the assessments are in place, they will be administered and operated by states. They are not federal tests.
  • In preparation for adoption of the Common Core standards, several states conducted analyses that found considerable alignment between them and their current standards
    • Suzie Nestico
      Pennsylvania has same findinggs in its analysis of alignment of PA academic standards - closely aligned, ELA more than Math.
  • And officials in 76 percent of districts in Common Core states said in a survey released in September 2011 by the Center on Education Policy that inadequate funds for implementation was a major challenge.
  • But to have an effect on the day-to-day interaction between students and teachers, and thus improve learning, states and districts will have to implement the standards. That will require changes in curricula and assessments to align with the standards, professional development to ensure that teachers know what they are expected to teach, and ultimately, changes in teacher education so that all teachers have the capability to teach all students to the standards. The standards are only the first step on the road to higher levels of learning.
    What I've encountered most in dealing with colleagues is the fear and the notion that this is just another five to ten year fad in education. It is important first to help others understand CCSS are not a quick-fix or an answer. In some ways, CCSS take us back to what good teaching looks. Ultimately, aside from the budgetary concerns with implementation, perhaps the other greatest struggle here will be the state-level assessment of the CCSS. In order for states to get it right, there needs to adequate time devoted to determining adequate assessment, not drill-and-kill. Broad, interconnected, higher-order thinking cannot be bubbled-in. Period.
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