Common Core Implementation: A Marathon, Not a Sprint

A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of meeting with several outstanding educators at the Common Core Leadership Institute hosted by Insight in Oakland, CA.Common Core Implementation

In discussing the many moving pieces of implementation – from aligning instruction and assessment to providing meaningful feedback to teachers – we shared experiences and reflected on the biggest challenges in what often feels like a race to the Common Core.

Through our conversation, we came back to this: Common Core implementation is a marathon, not a sprint.

The complexity (and importance) of this work requires school and district leaders to be thoughtful and deliberate from start to finish.

In our work with schools across the country, we partner with educators who are dedicated to ensuring successful, sustainable implementation, and we know the importance of a process-oriented approach that includes:

  1. Establishing a leadership team that shares CCSS alignment goals for instructional practices, assessments, and resources - and clearly communicating expectations to teachers.
  2. Developing a plan for professional development that supports the implementation goals and provides teachers with authentic learning experiences and opportunities to express their ideas.
  3. Reviewing and analyzing existing resources and materials for alignment to implementation goals and carefully considering the need to create or purchase new materials.

Check out more on these steps and CCSS Indicators in Implementation of the Common Core State Standards: A Transition Guide for School-Level Leaders, which we developed in partnership with the Aspen Institute and several other leading organizations to help you reach the depth that the Common Core calls for.

Regardless of where your school or district is in its efforts to carry out the Common Core – or any initiative – take the time to truly engage yourself and your school in the process. Don’t miss the valuable opportunities for collaboration, reflection and growth along the way.

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