Implementing the Common Core: Set goals and monitor progress - frequently

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We're excited to have a guest blog post today on SmartBlog on Education: Implementing the Common Core: 4 Lessons Learned for School and District Leaders. Check out the conversation between Superintendent Sharon Contreras from Syracuse City School District (NY) and our very own, Dr. Michael Moody, CEO of Insight Education Group. Let us know how the lessons resonate in your district or state.

In addition to the four lessons in SmartBlog, we're going to going to feature additional lessons here over the next few weeks. Here's one for today.

Set goals and monitor progress - frequently. 

Dr. Moody: Be clear with educators about expectations during each step of the process, assess for effectiveness, and address gaps immediately. Be careful not to wait too long to see what is sticking and what needs more attention. After all, the worst time to find about the success of your implementation is when you get the results of the new assessments. 

Superintendent Contreras: Yes, but I would add that you need to make sure you get enough feedback to actually address the gaps.  When you set up the process for getting feedback, you need to put forth effort to not only get good information, but then to use to the information to support students, teachers and building leaders.   

One of the problems we experienced is that we didn’t develop a robust enough feedback system.  We sent out online surveys, for example, and we didn’t hear from very many teachers.  Months went by and we thought things were going relatively smoothly.

As we dug deeper, however, we realized most teachers were struggling with implementation of the CCSS.  They were struggling with teaching more rigorous content and in aligning curriculum and instructional practices. 


In retrospect, we acknowledged that there were probably more effective ways to gather and process feedback. For example, we should have solicited feedback about implementation more often and through multiple venues like focus groups and online teacher chat rooms. Consequently, in some instances we had to completely start over with curricular and/or assessment design.  

What do you think? Have more lessons you've learned? Share it in the comments below.

Follow us on Twitter! @insighteducationgroup, @drmichaelmoody@SyracuseSchools and @SContrerasSCSD

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