The Impact of Teacher Leadership on Common Core Implementation

Setting the political debate about the Common Core State Standards aside, a new report from the Center for American Progress (CAP) looks at what’s important to teachers when implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The focus was on districts that have taken a collaborative approach between management and teachers, giving educators a significant voice during CCSS rollout. While the report acknowledges that the impact of this approach on student outcomes cannot be measured yet, the authors believe that creating supportive environments that involve teachers in decision making is one key to successful implementation.

The authors surveyed a variety of schools districts, but found that teacher-leader roles fell into three groups.

  1. Teachers involved in district- and school-level governance.
  2. Teachers on special assignment outside the classroom, allowing them to support practicing teachers as well as students.
  3. Teachers in leadership roles who still actively practice in the classroom.

As a direct result of these leadership roles, teachers felt they had more opportunity to affect key areas of their school, from directing their professional development to being involved in purchasing decisions. Based on the survey CAP has four recommendations.

  1. Create teacher leadership roles at the classroom, school, and district levels.
  2. Allocate time for teachers to collaborate.
  3. Create systems for embedded teacher professional development.
  4. Give teachers an active role in the selection and development of Common Core instructional materials.

Read Teacher Leadership – The Pathway to Common Core Success by Andrew Amore, Nichole M. Hoeflich, and Kaitlin Pennington from the Center for American Progress (April 2015)

For more on the Common Core, attend the 2015 Content in Context conference session The Common Core Conundrum.

Educational Standards