The Shift to Common Core Must Include Professional Development

The Common Core Standards are becoming a reality for 46 states and the District of Columbia.  This is a major step toward better preparing our students to graduate from high school and be career ready. And while most buy in to the premise of a change in creating a coherent national framework for what students should know and the way they learn, there is a disconnect in the lack of professional development for teachers to transform their classroom practice to align to these new benchmarks.

In speaking with teachers about the Common Core Standards, a large majority of them groan with the prospect of working through another standards change, mapping gaps, and understanding what and how will be tested at their grade levels.

In many cases, the professional learning opportunities provided to teachers does not currently support the substantive changes required of teachers to meet these new standards for English/language arts and mathematics.

Gene Wilhoit, the executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers, one of the groups behind the common-core initiative, made this point directly to state leaders recently when he asked them: “What made you think you could transform teacher practice and student learning with traditional models of professional development?” To their credit, most states understand and acknowledge the contradiction as they struggle to prepare teachers to prepare parents and students.  Even so, few states are providing adequate professional development. That must change.

Learn more about a new  professional development workshop, Preparing students with the Common Core Standards,  designed to provide an in-depth look at the criteria and development of the standards, what the Common Core Standards mean to educators and students, and practical instructional strategies for success in diverse classrooms. carries the best selection of instructional resources for students in preschool through high school including differentiated instructioncritical thinkingstandardized test prep, and response to intervention.

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