The implications of the new national Common Core State Standards are both exciting and daunting. The Common Core State Standards and related next generational assessments will mean major changes for education:
- Fewer but higher standards and grade level expectations
- Focus on both college and career readiness
- Learner expectations that are academically rigorous and also emphasize application and performance
- Assessments that are more open-ended and authentic indicators of what students know and can do with knowledge acquired.
Of course, standards do not tell teachers how to teach and cannot by themselves ensure the quality of our nation's education system. However, they constitute an important starting point in helping schools determine the knowledge and skills that ALL students must be equipped with upon graduation.
The International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE), sees the new standards and accompanying assessments as an opportunity for educators to think critically about the types of instruction that can best serve our students. That will probably mean letting go of some of the practices we have used in the past and retooling disparate programs of study.
States, districts, schools and teachers need to begin planning now for how the new standards will impact instruction and assessment. Making appropriate changes to reflect these standards should be evolutionary rather than revolutionary in preparations for full implementation by 2014. Schools and districts will need a focused transition plan and a process to implement the plan. Read more about how ICLE can support your transition plan.
The International Center supports the Common Core State Standards movement and the work that the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) are doing. The entire movement aligns with the higher order thinking and doing skills reflected in Quadrant D learning and instruction as described in the International Center’s Rigor/Relevance Framework®.