Common Core State Standards
CORE districts are committed to fully transition to the Common Core State Standards and aligned assessments by 2014-15. The Common Core State Standards provide a framework for learning and achievement that will revolutionize how students learn and the way teachers teach. Putting the Common Core into practice will demand creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration by both teachers and their students. This transition will encourage innovation, project-based learning, and a focus on deeper learning by all educators so that every students’ capacity to think critically, deal with complexity, communicate their ideas, and collaborate effectively is developed. These skills are needed for successful transitions to college and career, and to be competitive in the global marketplace.
The Common Core State Standards are clear in specifying what skills students need to learn, not how to learn them. Successfully navigating this transition will require districts to identify the professional development strategies that they will need and the capacity to implement these strategies. CORE districts believe that these efforts can be accelerated and enhanced by collaboration and sharing best practices.
Building Understanding About Instructional Shifts Through Performance Assessment
To build understanding and expertise in the type of instructional shifts required by the Common Core State Standards, the CORE Standards, Assessment and Instruction Leadership team facilitated an ambitious formative assessment initiative involving the development, pilot testing, and refinement of a set of 64 performance assessment modules. The formative assessment initiative was kick-started by teachers and teacher coaches at a hands-on Summer Design Institute in 2012. In fall 2012, the modules were piloted by approximately 400 classroom teachers, engaging more than 15,000 students.
Read More English Language Arts Performance Assessment Modules
Read More Math Performance Assessment Modules
Arts Integration and Alignment with the Common Core State Standards
With their emphasis on applying knowledge and skills, the Common Core State Standards provide a great opportunity to bring arts instruction back into the classroom and to integrate the arts with other subjects. CORE is supporting districts’ work to offer arts education by developing a set of resources for arts integration and alignment with the Common Core State Standards. CORE worked with WestEd to conduct a national scan of state education agency websites and national arts organization websites. In their research summary [insert hyperlink] and research brief [insert hyperlink], WestEd reports that there is very little information available about arts and the Common Core State Standards, and it’s nearly impossible to find assessments and arts integration policies online. Check back soon for additional resources!
Get an inside look at CORE’s 2012 Summer Design Experience.
The process of developing the Common Core-aligned formative assessment modules was designed to provide participants with new aligned formative assessment resources as well as provide professional development through the creation of the modules.
The modules incorporate a “stimulus” (in ELA, an excerpt of complex text; in math, a set of variables), a series of “constructed response” questions arrayed along a cognitive ramp of increasing complexity, and a culminating performance task (an evidence-based writing prompt in ELA; a complex problem to solve and write about in math).
Focus on academic language and literacy development
Over the course of CORE districts’ work on Common Core State Standards implementation, a set of pedagogical strategies have begun to guide the Leadership Team’s work:
- Collaborative inquiry involves framing key questions, actively collecting and analyzing evidence, and drawing and articulating conclusions.
- Academic discourse refers to various processes of formal and informal idea exchange—discussing, unpacking, and even debating evidence-based conclusions using discipline specific academic language.
While these are not new ideas in education, these strategies hold promise for fostering deeper learning through collaboration and embodying the instructional shifts outlined by the Common Core State Standards.
CORE Common Core Assessment Performance Assesment Modules by http://coredistricts.org/our-work/standards-and-data-assessments/ is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
The 2013 Summer Symposium
The Standards, Assessment, and Instruction Leadership Team hosted a Summer Symposium in August to focus on the importance of academic language and literacy development to help students build capacity to engage in substantive academic discourse and inquiry, and deepen their academic content knowledge. Because development of academic language is facilitated through deep exposure to academic content, the development of academic language and content knowledge are interconnected. The 2013 Summer Symposium will also include a focus on school leadership development.
For resources regarding the 2013 Summer Symposium, held August 1-2 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, please click here.
Supporting Leadership Development
While the Common Core standards hold real potential for higher achievement for all students, the standards alone won’t improve academic performance. To realize the promise of the Common Core State Standards for students, it is essential that districts grow new leadership capabilities at all levels. Examples include developing school leaders who can foster organizational cultures of collaboration, risk taking, self-reflection and ongoing learning; working with the teachers who lead innovation in the classroom; and cultivating effective leadership from parents, boards and the community—including students.
Building organizational capacity and leadership will be a focus of CORE’s 2013 Summer Symposium, and this issue is an important topic for the Standards, Assessment and Instruction Leadership Team’s professional learning network. The 2013 Summer Symposium will also focus on the importance of academic language and literacy development to help students build capacity to engage in substantive academic discourse and inquiry, and deepen their academic content knowledge.
Standards, Assessment and Instruction initiative is guided by a Leadership Team
CORE’s Standards, Assessment and Instruction initiative is guided by a Leadership Team comprised of 50 senior instructional leaders representing each of the 10 CORE districts. These leaders have established a true professional learning network, and their collaborative work is informed by renowned educational experts.