Achieving the Common Core

Wednesday, June 6, 2012Printer-friendly version

With forty-six states and the District of Columbia implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) a bevy of new research and resources around the CCSS has been released in the last month - with more to come.

Earlier this month Dr. William Schmidt released key conclusions from his research analyzing how the Common Core State Standards for mathematics have the potential to improve the performance of U.S. students, if implemented appropriately. In an event co-sponsored by Achieve, Chiefs for Change and the Foundation for Excellence in Education, Dr. Schmidt presented a briefing on his work: Common Core State Standards Math: The Relationship Between High Standards, Systemic Implementation and Student Achievement. Schmidt explained during the event that the CCSS for mathematics strongly resemble the standards of the highest-achieving nations, and that they have more focus, coherence and rigor than most of the state standards they replaced. He also found states with standards most like the CCSS for mathematics have higher scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), demonstrating that standards - and implementing them well - matter.

"What is clear in the research is that the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics are an important improvement over the state standards that they replaced and that to see their full potential realized, they must be implemented well," said Schmidt. "Their consistency with the international benchmark set by top-achieving countries shows that the CCSS are coherent, focused and rigorous, key attributes of math standards from countries that outperform the U.S. on international assessments." Read the news statement and watch the video...

CCSS & CTEAnother important issue in CCSS implementation is the role of career and technical education (CTE) teachers and leaders. To explore the relationship between the CCSS and CTE, Achieve released a report laying out a blueprint for increased engagement between state education leaders and the career and technical education (CTE) community. The report, Common Core State Standards & Career and Technical Education: Bridging the Divide between College and Career Readiness, was developed in partnership with the Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE) and the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc). The paper outlines a set of strategies state and district leaders can leverage to ensure the implementation of CCSS engages, informs, and benefits from the career and technical education community as a partner in the broader college- and career-ready agenda. Strategies highlighted include examples of practices currently employed in states across the nation, such as forming cross-disciplinary teams for planning and implementing the CCSS, enhancing literacy and math strategies within CTE instruction, and fostering CTE and academic teacher collaboration. More...

Achieve is focused on supporting states as they transition to the CCSS and has created and amassed a range of communications, implementation, and other tools, all found at Achieving the Common Core

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