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Halfway there: Implementing the Common Core Standards. Patte Barth Center for Public Education. Agenda. a quick overview of the CCSS truths, untruths & ambiguities what to expect in 2014 be prepared q&a. The Common C ore S tate S tandards. A policy overview.

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Halfway there: Implementing the Common Core Standards

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Halfway there:Implementing the Common Core Standards

Patte Barth

Center for Public Education


  • a quick overview of the CCSS

  • truths, untruths & ambiguities

  • what to expect in 2014

  • be prepared

  • q&a

The Common Core State Standards

A policy overview

The Common Core Standards are intended to be:

Aligned with college and work expectations for ELA and math

Focused and coherent

Include rigorous content and application of knowledge through high-order skills

Build upon strengths and lessons of current state standards

Internationally benchmarked so that all students are prepared to succeed in our global economy and society

Based on evidence and research

State led – coordinated by NGA Center and CCSSO

SOURCE: Common Core State Standards, www.corestandards.org

What ‘adoption’ means for states

  • must adopt 100%of CCSS K-12 standards

    • CCSS should not represent more than 85% of curriculum

  • must begin assessments on CCSS within three years

  • no requirements for public accountability


46 states & DC have adopted the CCSS


not adopted

Second thoughts


not adopted

2nd thoughts

Second thoughts


not adopted

2nd thoughts

CCSS development was state-led.


The Common Core Standards process:

  • CCSSO and NGA’s Center for Best Practices

  • Advisory group: Achieve, Inc.; ACT, Inc.; College Board, NASBE, and SHEEO

  • Two rounds of public review

  • Final documents released June 2010

  • No federal dollars for development; foundation support


  • supports NGA/CCSSO state-led process

  • supports federal funding for research and/or help to states for developing assessments

  • supports nationally available tests that states may adopt voluntarily

  • opposes federal mandates or coercion, eg. a condition for receiving Title 1 funds

Next Generation Science Standards

  • Collaboration of Achieve, NRC, AAAS, NSTA and 26 lead states

  • “Internationally benchmarked”

  • Final version released April 9, 2013

  • Intended to be adopted ‘in whole’

  • Carnegie Corp, Noyce Foundation & Dupont sponsors

26 lead states – Next Generation Science Standards


non participant

The federal government is behind the CCSS assessments

Mostly true

  • federal dollars support assessment development

  • state consortia are doing the work

State CCSSassessment consortia

  • formed to develop common “next generation” assessments aligned to the CCSS

  • supported by $346 million federal grants

  • PARCC: Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College & Careers headed by Achieve, Inc.

  • SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium headed by Washington state department of education

24 states & DC are in the PARCC consortium


non participant

28 states are in the SMARTER consortium


non participant

Other assessment consortia

  • Alternative assessments: $67 million to Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) and National Center and State Collaboration (NCSC)

    • Assessments for students with “most significant cognitive impairments”

  • Assessments for ELL: $10.5 million to ASSETS, Assessment Services Supporting ELLs Through Technology Systems

SOURCE: The K-12 Center at ETS, www.k12center.org

Federal technical review of state consortia

Expert panel to review consortia processes:

  • how they establish test validity

  • how they developed test items

    The panel will not review individual items

SOURCE; U.S. Department of Education, March 2013, http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-assessment/performance.html

States had to adopt the CCSS to qualify for RTTT grants or NCLB waivers.

Not true, but it didn’t hurt

Federal Policy and CCSS

College- and career- ready standards must be:

  • common to a significant number of states; or

  • approved by a “state network of institutions of higher education”, certify students will not need remedial courses (a network of 4-year IHEs that enroll at least 50% of students who attend state’s 4-year public IHEs).

    High quality assessments must be:

  • Valid, reliable and fair; measure college & career readiness.

  • Measure student growth.

Federal Policy and CCSS

Race to the Top

  • States do not have to adopt common standards to be eligible; but get points for doing so, more points for joining larger consortium (e.g. CCSSO/NGA).

  • Points for supporting transition to new standards/assessments.

  • Same criteria applied to assessments.

  • Make up 70 points of 500 points total.

RTTT scoring rubric for standards & assessments(total 500 points)

Federal Policy and CCSS

NCLB waivers

  • develop and implement rigorous college- & career-ready standards & assessments in reading & math.

  • adopt English language proficiency standards aligned to new standards and assessments to support ELL students.

CCSS will cost the country $16 billion to implement

Hard to say

SOURCE: Pioneer Institute, 2012

CCSS assessments might save dollars

$27current per pupil cost for state assessments (Brookings Institute)

$11-20estimated per pupil for

CCSS assessment (PARCC - SMARTER)

SOURCES: Brookings Institute, 2012; PARCC, 2012; Education Week, December 7, 2012

Other implementation costs

  • new curriculum and materials

  • technology

  • professional development

    other cost considerations

  • were your standards due for an overhaul anyway?

  • are these things your state needs?

The Common Core State Standards

How they differ from current practice

The CCSS are mediocre.

Not true

Fordham Institute: CCSS to state standards

  • CCSS “clearly superior” to 39 states’ standards in math and 37 states in ELA

  • CCSS “clearly inferior” to 3 states in ELA

  • All others were about the same

SOURCE: Fordham Institute, The State of state standards – and the common core, 2010

The CCSS-ELA will crowd out classical literature.

Not true

Balance of texts

NAEP 2009 reading framework, recommended by common core standards, 2012

Balance of writing modes

NAEP 2009 writing framework, recommended by common core standards, 2012

What’s different?English language arts

Standards for reading and writing in history/social

studies, science, and technical subjects

  • Complement rather than replace content standards in those subjects

  • Responsibility of teachers in those subjects

    Emphasis on research and using evidence

    Attention to text complexity

SOURCE: Common Core Standards, June 2010

Why emphasize reading for information?

US students do well internationally in reading literature but fall behind in reading for information.

Rankings based on statistically significant differences in scores between US and other countries.

Sample texts, grade 6-8

SOURCE: Common core state standards, ELA, Appendix B, www.corestandards.org

PARRC/ELA assessment guidelines

Two CCSS standards are always in play—whether they be reading or writing items:

  • Reading Standard One (Use of Evidence)

  • Reading Standard Ten (Complex Texts)

SOURCE: PARRC, August 2012

PARRC/grade 10constructed response

Use what you have learned from reading “Daedalus and Icarus” by Ovid and “To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Triumph” by Anne Sexton to write an essay that provides an analysis of how Sexton transforms Daedalus and Icarus.

* * *

Develop your essay by providing textual evidence from both texts. Be sure to follow the conventions of standard English.

SOURCE: PARRC sample item, 2012

The CCSS do not require cursive writing.


Schools cannot teach cursive writing.

Not true

The CCSS-math are internationally benchmarked.


Comparison of CCSS-math to top-achieving countries

  • Are world-class

  • Can potentially elevate the academic performance of America’s students

  • Most states have a long way to go: some less

SOURCE: William H. Schmidt, Michigan State University, analysis for Achieve, Inc. 2012

Comparison of CCSS-math to top-achieving countries

Top-achieving countries


SOURCE: William H. Schmidt, Michigan State University, analysis for Achieve, Inc. 2012

What’s in the standards –Mathematics

  • Number & quantity

  • Algebra - algebraic thinking K-5

  • Functions

  • Modeling - high school

  • Geometry

  • Statistics & probability

  • Emphasis on Mathematical practice

SOURCE: Common Core Standards, June 2010

pre-calculus, calculus, advanced statistics, discrete math, advanced quantitative reasoning, specific technical POS

Pathways through high school mathematics

Algebra II

Math III


Math II

Algebra I

Math I

SOURCE: Common Core Standards, Mathematics Appendix A, 2010

The emphasis on mathematical practices is fuzzy math.

Let’s take a look

Before CCSS

Which of the following numbers will round to 26?

  • 25.3

  • 25.5

  • 26.7

  • 27.1

SOURCE: Virginia SOL released items, grade 4 math, 2010

After CCSS

Capacity of different baseball stadiums

 San Francisco Giants’ stadium: 41,915 seats

Washington Nationals’ stadium: 41,888 seats

San Diego Padres’ stadium: 42,445 seats

Jeff said, “I get the same number when I round all three numbers of seats in these stadiums.”

Sara said, “When I round them, I get the same number for two of the stadiums but a different number for the other stadium.”

Can Jeff and Sara both be correct? Explain how you know.

SOURCE: The Mathematics Common Core Toolbox, grade 4

What’s different?

  • Both assess rounding

  • The second further requires the ability to reason mathematically, critique the reasoning of others, and communicate their own reasoning


SOURCE: SMARTER Balanced sample items, 2013


SOURCE: SMARTER Balanced sample items, 2013

The CCSS will make every student college and career-ready.

Remains to be seen

The Common Core State Standards

The challenges


PARCC/SMARTER assessments will be ready in 2014-15

Kentucky has already started

Technology needs

  • 33 states offer some level of online testing

  • Most don’t assess all students

  • Most are voluntary

  • Most are summative only

  • Most schools will need more computers & more bandwidth

SOURCE: SETDA, Technology Requirements for Large Scale, Computer-Based & Online Assessment, June 2011

Conditions for Success

  • Professional development for staff

    • Do teachers have sufficient time and support to learn new standards?

  • Aligned assessments & curriculum

  • Aligned instructional materials

  • Supports for students

Managing initial expectations ACT’s ‘first look’ at the common core standardsEnglish language arts

Percent of 2009 11th graders scoring at college-career ready benchmark

SOURCE: ACT, Inc., A First Look at the Common Core and College and Career Readiness, December 2010

NAEP performance v. common core standards – Mathematics

Percent of 2009 8th graders answering NAEP/common core items correctly

SOURCE: Brown Center on Education Policy, How well are American students learning? January, 2011

Lessons from Kentucky:1st year CCSS scores show decline in proficiency rates

SOURCE: Education Week, Scores drop on KY’s common core-aligned tests, November 19, 2012

Create the public will to succeed

  • Short term consequences

  • Long term (mutual) benefits

  • Engage local media in your efforts

SOURCE: David Baird, Kentucky School Boards Association, 2013

Hold the system accountable

Monitor district’s progress toward successful implementation of the new standards

  • What kind of reports is the board receiving?

  • How does the superintendent’s evaluation reflect implementation of the standards?

  • Establish relationships with key stakeholders

SOURCE: David Baird, Kentucky School Boards Association, 2013

Learn as a Board team

  • State Level Collaboration

  • Include relevant topics on board agendas & work sessions

  • Use multiple sources of information

  • State Department of Education

  • Center for Public Education

Watch this space

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