CIC Snapshot: Common Core Conundrum

In an effort to cut through the noise on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and talk about what’s happening in the classroom, the 2015 Content in Context featured the Common Core Conundrum as its closing session. With experts from the publishing, research, classroom, and legislative sectors the panelists shared their insights to help educational resource developers understand and change the conversation and refocus on the goal: helping students learn.

  • Opposition to the standards has very little to do with the standards and more about critiquing government policies related to education. The constant message should be that standards do not dictate curriculum.
  • Many states that dropped the CCSS have adopted new standards that look like the CCSS; the name is the big difference.
  • Even in states that still have the CCSS, Common Core cannot be the first message. Publishers need to talk about the concepts in their materials first, how the products were developed, and how they will be updated. Then, they can go into how the lessons align with the standards.
  • Schools are looking for packages of materials, starting with professional development, that can help classes make the transition to the CCSS. Often, it’s not the standards that are an issue, but the interpretation and implementation. Anything publishers can do to help the teachers make the transition first is invaluable.
  • Moreover, publishers can also help expand the conversation by involving the parents and the larger community and helping them understand the steps needed for student success.
  • Finally, while there are schools and districts making headlines with developing their own materials, the panelists did not see this trend overtaking all of the United States. If 14,000 school districts all created their own curricula and materials, there could be larger problems, including varying quality and inequity.

 

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Content in Context
Educational Standards