Fordham produced a series of reports after examining the districts considered to be "early implementers" of the Common Core. Their findings published in "Common Core in the Districts: An Early Look at Early Implementer" are predictable and set the stage for a call for common curricula to go with the Common Core, the desired goal all along. Take particular note of #3 and #4:
This up-close look at district-level, school-level, and classroom-level implementation yields several key findings:
- Teachers and principals are the primary faces and voices of the Common Core standards in their communities
- Implementation works best when district and school leaders lock onto the Common Core standards as the linchpin of instruction, professional learning, and accountability in their buildings
- In the absence of externally vetted, high-quality Common Core materials, districts are striving—with mixed success—to devise their own
- The scramble to deliver quality CCSS-aligned professional development to all who need it is as crucial and (so far) as patchy as the quest for suitable curriculum materials
- The lack of aligned assessments will make effective implementation of the Common Core challenging for another year
In short, districts are in the near-impossible situation of operationalizing new standards before high-quality curriculum and tests aligned to them are finished. Yet the clock is ticking, and the new tests and truly aligned textbooks are forthcoming.
Translation: Time is short. School districts are scrambling. Tests are coming. The situation is "near-impossible." Common Curriculum "truly aligned" is coming.
According to an article in Education Week, the report claims teachers support a more centralized approach to curriculum.
Even as they steer clear of the marketplace's dubiously "aligned" materials in favor of writing their own, there is a shift to a more centralized approach, Cristol and Ramsay found.
"Letting a thousand flowers bloom isn't consistent with ensuring that all teachers are using high-quality and well-aligned materials," they write.
Lawmakers and state school officials who still push the myth that Common Core was just about a higher standards hat won't tell teachers how to teach are wrong. Centralized common curriculum "truly-aligned" to the Common Core was the goal all along.
Karen Braun is a blogger and homeschool mom of 6 from Michigan. This post was cross-posted at www.stopcommoncoreinmichigan.com .