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Need for more rigor and a move from previous standards that were more focused on breadth to new standards that focus on deep conceptual understanding and ability to apply knowledge to solve problems. coherent. In addition they are research and evidence based and include emphasis on knowledge and skills. Equity/Student Mobility: Common standards set the same expectations of students regardless of where they live. all involved in the learning process understand what is expected of students. Students moving in and out of state will have the same standards. Q: Why are Common Core State Standards (CCSS) needed? A: Preparation: By being aligned with college and career expectations. State by state results will be comparable through common assessments. but the spirit and approach of the Common Core Standards? For example. Is the authorship team attuned to the goals of the CCSS? What are the authors’ positions on the CCSS? For new programs developed for CCSS. includes rigorous content and a focus on the application of knowledge as a true measure of understanding. This includes: Need for greater text complexity to bridge the huge jump from current high school standards to College expectations. the standards set the bar for appropriate knowledge and skills needed to succeed in education and training after high school.pearsoned.Common Core General Q: What is the Common Core State Standards Initiative? A: The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a voluntary. Q: All companies are claiming their programs are CCSS aligned. The guiding principles were to create fewer. Aligning expectations will reduce the amount of remediation students need when arriving at college. which helps to ensure American children are globally competitive. Shift in writing in genres to better reflect the real world. state-led initiative to develop common standards in K–12 English language arts and Mathematics. com/ . and clear. is the content focused and coherent? Is there any extraneous content? http://commoncore. and clearer standards that draw upon the best practices and standards of leading states and countries and prepare students for college and career. Clarity/Comparability: Because the standards are focused. with more focus on informational texts and media literacy. higher. The initiative currently focuses primarily on Math and ELA standards. Competition: The standards are internationally benchmarked. The initiative is led by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governors’ Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center). What are key differentiators or things I should be looking for to validate the accuracy of their claims? A: There are really three things you should consider when evaluating the CCSS alignments of programs you are considering: 1) How comprehensively does the program cover ALL of the Common Core Standards? Does the program “stretch” its alignment claims in how some of its lessons meet certain standards? 2) How well does the program embrace not just the content.
pearsoned. since this work began.k12. com/ . Standards are a first step—a key building block—in providing our young people with a high-quality education that will prepare them for success in college and work.For existing programs. how much extraneous content is there? What kind of support/pacing materials are offered that provide a CCSS-aligned curriculum based on the program? Is the content rigorous enough to help students develop deep conceptual understanding and higher-order thinking skills? Does the program help students become proficient with the academic behaviors of the new Standards for Mathematical Practices? 3) How apparent is the use of CCSS throughout the program? Does the language being used in instruction suggest CCSS? (A good example of this is the run-in head in enVisionMATH that are taken from the Standards for Mathematical Practices).wa. students are graduating and passing all the required tests. but the transition timing will vary by state.org/ SMARTER Balanced: http://www. Q: How will implementing CCSS benefit my school? A: Common standards will provide a greater opportunity to share experiences and best practices within and across states that will improve our ability to best serve the needs of students. We need college and career ready standards because even in high-performing states. Q: Are Common Core standards academically higher or lower than previous standards? A: The Standards are designed to build upon the most advanced current thinking about preparing all students for success in college and their careers. which states will first administer in 2014–2015.us/smarter/ Q: At what point will states that have adopted CCSS drop their current standards? A: The implementation of the Common Core will take place over 4 years. educators will be able to determine how closely they are currently aligned to the spirit and intent of the CCSS. to support states working together to design and develop common K–12 assessment systems. The expectation is that states will begin teaching to the Common Core State Standards as early as the 2011–12 school year and that by 2014–15 students will be assessed based on those standards rather than their current state standards. Web sites for both consortia: PARCC: http://www. If they are not http://commoncore. The consortia have four years to develop assessment systems.parcconline. This will result in moving even the best state standards to the next level. Standards do not tell teachers how to teach. The development of the assessments is being funded through Race to the Top Comprehensive Assessment grants ($362 million) from the Unites States Department of Education. the highest international standards. The Standards were informed by the best in the country. If a crosswalk has been developed. but still require remediation in their postsecondary work. Q: What information is available about the new assessments? A: Two state consortia (PARCC and Smarter Balanced) are developing assessment systems that will be aligned to the Common Core State Standards. Q: How do we teach to the new standards while being tested by the old ones? A: Some of this depends on the state. there has been an explicit agreement that no state would lower its standards. In fact. but they do help teachers figure out the knowledge and skills their students should have so that teachers can build the best lessons and environments for their classrooms. and evidence and expertise about educational outcomes.
if at all. Educators (and ultimately students) would be well served if they identified a body of “look fors” relative to instruction under the CCSS. They should then compare those desired practices against what is happening in their classrooms today. Leaders should also look critically at what activities they are well suited to manage and where they need to seek outside counsel. it would be best for educators to begin altering their instruction to account for the classroom practices needed under the CCSS. Q: What are the most important implications for professional development of teachers and are there materials that will help with this process? http://commoncore. but when it is covered—the sequencing of instruction. This increases the likelihood of successful implementation in that the focus of change is not left to the ELA or literacy classroom — rather. using the September 2014 implementation of the new assessments as a “must be fully implemented by” date is a logical place to start. calendarized activities for various stakeholders. The CCSS did not explain the how of instruction—they purposefully left that up to states and LEAs. Leaders charged with implementation would be advised to read books by John Kotter on creating a sense of urgency and managing change. will true adherence to CCSS impact teaching methodology and how a typical class will look? A: This is really the ultimate question. District leaders should then back map activities and evaluation touch points that are essential for success.aligned. com/ .” and become an impediment to effective change. Many school personnel who have been through other change periods and initiatives may see the CCSS as “the initiative of the month.pearsoned. While Pearson does not advocate teaching to the tests. Q: Should we hold off writing curriculum until there are assessments that match the core curriculum? A: Not necessarily. Pearson is positioned to help develop the implementation plan and deliver associated services. Districts could outline the content of their curriculum now and then look to align it sequentially when the consortia identify the timing of the interim and summative assessments. Professional Development Q: How. will Pearson provide transition when CCSS are defined for these disciplines? A: The ELA standards are somewhat “whole school” in their approach. as they include standards for the humanities (social studies and history) and sciences at the secondary level. and measures of success. Q: What should schools begin doing now to help prepare them to go to these national standards? A: Fundamentally. Such an exercise will identify the gap that has to be closed through professional development intervention. the intent is that the ELA standards and focus will be reinforced in other subject areas. “Look fors” here refers to classroom teaching practices that administrative leaders should expect to see that will help realize the intent of the CCSS to prepare students for the rigors of college or a meaningful career after high school. districts should develop a CCSS implementation plan complete with goals. since “writing curriculum” entails not just what is covered. Q: What is happening with CCSS in other disciplines. such as Humanities and Science? If a district adopts new materials now.
pearsoned. Generally this is in the form of supplemental lessons that complement and complete their existing program. incorporate “point-of-use PD” into its programs. many of whom do not have expertise in math to teach for deep conceptual understanding? A: Some math programs. how administrators will monitor new teacher practices. This is done through the Math Background feature and other thoughtful suggestions and support throughout the Teacher’s Editions. http://commoncore. Common Core Math Q: How can we fill in gaps and manage the transition where math content shifts? A: Some publishers such as Pearson are providing their customers with resources to help them transition from their existing (pre-CCSS) curriculum. standards for mathematics that require students to build deep conceptual understanding of concepts and practices may create new classroom conversational situations that some teachers of mathematics are not currently prepared to manage. and how technology. Initiating professional development for teachers now will make the transition to new teaching methods and skills easier. Pearson currently offers a wide array of services to help districts in all of these areas. Q: How can we train elementary teachers. As part of that plan. will be infused into both instruction and assessment. including reteaching and intervention guidelines. including all those developed by Pearson. to help district and school leaders and teachers analyze the impact the standards will have in their educational community and build and document a plan to address the specific gaps and changes required to meet Common Core expectations. is different. Pearson offers consultative services from leading education experts. as well as via online/on demand video workshops. the plan will typically include considerations for implementation success metrics and a recommended system for measuring ongoing success and engaging in a selfsustaining system of continual improvement using mobile technologies like Teacher Compass. like each student. Q: How does a teacher or school leader determine what is the most effective approach to embedding the standards expectation for ongoing learning? A: Each school. com/ . for enVisionMATH 2012 or HS Math 2012 customers who are implementing the CCSS curriculum using these new programs. Many publishers are also offering professional development opportunities designed to help teachers become fluent with the CCSS. initial and ongoing professional development plans are centered around the implementation of the Common Core. which is heavily referenced in the standards. as well as through Professional Development and Implementation Training available both for in-person workshops. Additionally.A: Effective implementation of the CCSS ultimately comes down to what happens—or doesn’t happen—in the classroom. Quality professional development will raise teachers’ awareness around the implications of the standards for instructional practice and provide them with the opportunity to meet these new expectations in the classroom. In addition. including a Getting Started diagnostic service. to one that fully embodies the CCSS standards. as well as with a recommended Pacing Guide for the core and supplemental materials. For example. Pearson will offer lessons that “bridge” back to content still being assessed in existing state tests (anticipated to be the case until the new CCSS Assessments replace these in 2014/2015 school year). Implications include how teachers will have to change their instruction to accommodate new practices and tasks outlined by the CCSS.
and are now incorporated into. each publisher. incorporated throughout the goals of the new CCSS. (e.g. including Pearson. the High School standards are not organized by course or grade. a significant contributor to the latter. students are expected to have understanding of linearity and linear functions. have chosen to maintain the study of linearity in Algebra 1. and Dr. including those designed by Pearson/America’s Choice. This pedagogical approach. will decide on the content. and its more recent Curriculum Focal Points (2009) were both influential documents in the development of the CCSS. 1) A welldesigned curriculum fosters this Problem Based Interactive Learning approach when implemented as designed.pearsoned. http://commoncore. as well as the topics not in CCSS but still being state-tested. but in more depth. a look at the Grade 8 standards reveals that a number of concepts that have traditionally been included in the Algebra 1 curriculum are now part of the Grade 8 course of study. allowing for greater focus on other functions. Many of Pearson’s key authors. the new CCSS. have been created to provide support for teachers who may need to learn a new approach to teaching conceptual understanding. Inc. and has also developed a recommended Pacing Guide as to how to cover both sets of content. while also including some of the High School Standards that are not part of the Achieve pathway. and progression within its HS Math courses. Customers have asked for this support over the next 2–3 “transition” years prior to the CCSS Assessments replacing the state tests. Many new CCSS-developed Algebra 1 programs may look a bit “heavy” in that many publishers. unlike the K–8 standards. com/ . Randall Charles who was a significant contributor to the former. including Dr. a not-for-profit educational reform group and partner in the CCSS Initiative. 2) Professional Development workshops. Some publishers may decide to follow the pathways proposed by Achieve. How do you allow time for students to truly understand the depth of the concepts? A: The CC Standards for High School Mathematics (the non(+) standards) have as a goal college and careerreadiness. This flexible approach allows those customers who choose to teach only the content required by CCSS to follow the CCSS Pacing Guide provided with the program (in the case of Pearson’s HS math programs). To assist them in their efforts. logarithmic) in high school mathematics. Therefore. using the problem to learn the math? What resources are available? A: There are really two ways that this can happen. A common theme of Pearson K–12 Math programs is the use of this type of approach. quadratic. These teachers will in fact find fewer topics to cover. optimally when both approaches are blended. is not as coincidental as it may sound seeing many of our authors played a key role in the design of the new CCSS. a key tenant of CCSS. Q: How well do the Math NCTM standards align with the Common Core? A: NCTM has long advocated for consistency and coherence in its mathematical curriculum. Its Principles and Standards for Mathematics (2000). the NCTM standards were an evolutionary step toward. keeping to the spirit and goals of the CCSS. but may still be assessed in state tests. By the end of the middle years. “Skip” Francis Fennell.Q: How can we “retrain” US teachers to reverse their ideas about getting the answer to the problem vs. To directly answer the question. exponential. it will of course be a bit more challenging. However. Q: It seems as though Algebra 1 now includes a great deal more content than previously taught. with advice and counsel from its authors and advisors. Nevertheless... Pearson has included the additional lessons in its HS programs. For those teachers who are required by their districts to cover both the CCSS.
” Q: Where do text complexity bands come from? A: Recent text measurement studies have found that college textbooks. workplace texts.Common Core ELA Q: What are the Common Core ELA standards? A: Sally Hampton who was one of the writers for the CCSS for ELA says the following: “The Common Core Standards have been derived from the College and Career Ready Standards. writing. The grade level bands for text complexity were developed working backward from the kinds of texts that are required for college and career readiness by the end of 12th grade.pearsoned. speaking and listening. ELL Q: How do the Common Core State Standards affect English language learners? What solutions (programs & PD) does Pearson offer? http://commoncore. They are end of the year grade-by-grade descriptions (for K–12) of what students should know and be able to do (performances) in reading. is the expectation that all publishers will provide this exact literature within their programs? A: The specific selections that are cited are provided as “exemplars. Q: What is the implication of integrating Science and Social Studies into the CCSS ELA standards? A: Deep and transferable knowledge in Science and Social Studies is achieved through close reading of multiple genres. Q: What type of support is available to determine complexity levels? A: There are groups within the Common Core working on text complexity. com/ .org has some valuable information. Wikipedia feature articles) all share a remarkably consistent range of text complexity (1200L to 1400L). They are not lists of literacy subskills that correlate to comprehension or to writing proficiency and that are meant to be taught in a singular manner and measured with multiple choice items on state tests. international English newspapers. Q: When specific literature is listed. In addition Freddy Heibert’s www. Q: How can we fit in everything required for reading. domestic newspapers. with an emphasis on vocabulary and concept development through interfacing with non-fiction text. and language competency. juror instructions. writing and math.” They are offered so teachers can make judgments about all texts based on the chosen models at each grade-level band. and citizenship texts (IRS 1040 form.textproject. especially at the K–2 level? A: Pearson offers planning support in our teacher materials with multiple blueprints for customizing content delivery to district blocks and objectives. health advisories. It is not the expectation that all teachers will teach those exact selections or that all publishers would include those specific texts in their materials.
k12center. sequence. As shown in the following diagram (http://www.org/rsc/pdf/SBAC_System_5-2-11. 2) ELLs require additional time. A+RISE ) and one CCSS Workshop. RTI for English Learners. The scope. In addition. The end-of-year assessment will be administered when 90% of instruction is complete. Pearson currently offers three Professional Development programs (SIOP.pearsoned. Technology will be leveraged to the extent possible to deliver assessments online. 50%. The summative system includes both performance tasks and computer-adaptive assessments administered during the last 12 weeks of instruction.pdf) the PARCC summative assessment includes through-course and end-of-year assessment components for Grades 3–11. Science. The interim assessments will be computeradaptive assessments and include performance tasks. and 75% of instruction is complete in both English-language arts and mathematics.A: As of yet. com/ . appropriate instructional support. there are no definitive answers. Next Generation Assessments Q: What will the new assessments look like? A: As shown in the following diagram (http://www.pdf ) the SMARTER Balanced assessment system includes interim and summative components for Grades 3–8 and high school for English-language arts and mathematics. The through course assessments are administered when 25%.org/rsc/pdf/PARCC_System_5-2-11. A digital library of optional resources will also be provided to support teachers and students in grades K–12. Q: Could you elaborate on the basic differences between PARCC and Smarter Balanced? A: Similarities between the 2 consortia include: Emphasis on college and career readiness Balanced to include multiple measures and item types Performance assessments through the year Online testing Automated scoring Digital libraries and open source Differences are: PARCC: improved accountability system centered on student achievement & growth S/B: improved instructional system centered on student and teacher performance More information is available on the consortia websites: http://commoncore. The system will be supported by a digital library of optional resources to support teachers and students including item banks and formative assessments for students in Grades K–2.k12center. and Math are programs that will help English learners be held to the same standards as all other students. The CCSS initiative provides some direction for schools and districts that states: 1) ELLs should be held to the same expectations outlined in the CCSS. number and timing of these optional assessments will be determined locally. Language Central for ELD. whereas the end-of-year assessments will be comprised of computer-enhanced innovative items and other items that can be rapidly scored and reported. The TCAs will be comprised of mostly constructed response items and performance tasks (TCA 3). and aligned assessments as they acquire both English language proficiency and content knowledge. (a Leading the Way for CCSS for Special Needs Students and English Learners). The summative tests are required by states participating in the consortia when it becomes operational in 2014–2015.
Q: How will the Common Core be reflected in upcoming state exams and other high-stakes tests? A: This decision will be made on a state-by-state basis. Q: Do you have any insight into how the challenges associated with the move to electronic/ online testing will be addressed? http://commoncore. Performance tasks are provided over an extended time such that. As part of this process. for example. By 2014-2015 states will need to decide which consortia they will belong to. adoption of the CCSS does not dictate which assessment system a state will use.com/NR/rdonlyres/D8307AB2-39E7-4CCD-855531B93F84D6D7/0/Ohio_ PerformanceAssess. Such practice in the classroom using subtasks is extremely useful in preparing students to answer these overarching questions on the assessment. Smarter Balance’s timeline shows item pools available to administrators in 2012 and field testing in 2013.ic.pdf.org/parcc & www.ncs. For instructional purposes.fldoe. for ELA students can identify and read relevant research materials and then compose essays based on what they read. http://halkboard. Link to presentation: http://www. PARCCs current timeline shows plans to have a first year field test in 2012 and a second year field test in 2013. Q: What are some ways we can move teachers toward employing performance tasks? A: Pearson has invested in a number of professional development programs to support educators as they transition to the CCSS.us/smarter/ Q: Will the assessments be field tested prior to 2014–15? A: Both consortia plan to field test their assessments. Q: Are states that adopt the Common Core required to use the Common Core assessment? A: No.pearsoned. identify unsupported arguments. or they may opt out of the consortia and develop their own assessment systems. Many of these programs are described in our CCSSO response for implementing the Common Core State Standards. Last year.com/confluence/display/propdev/NS11_CSCSO_CCSS_25_FinalPDFs. com/ . Some states are in the process of modifying their state tests to measure Common Core State Standards during the transition years to 2014–2015. some states are including a wider variety of item types and formats into their current systems—such as the inclusion of performance tasks and through course assessments. One example used within Pearson is that students are provided with three articles on body image. as member states at that time will be required to administer the tests annually.org/parcc http://www.PARCC web sites: SBAC web site: www. the students are asked a number of questions (compare and contrast major points made in the articles. Pearson presented the following paper to Ohio Recommendations Related to the Operational Implementation of Performance Assessments with Ohio’s K-12 Assessment System to describe a vision for effectively developing and implementing performance assessments.). but in the assessment situation the students would receive such articles without subtask questions specified.k12. etc.achieve. This may be done over multiple class periods and require students to access a pre-defined set of resources online.pearsonassessments. The student would be responding to a higher-order topic.wa.
the SBAC and PARCC consortia released a joint RFP on May 23. and consistent with digital environments young people encounter outside the classroom is a key design goal for our curriculum teams.gov/programs/racetothetop-assessment/ resources. but there are no agreements currently in place to do so. we anticipate that we might partner with select hardware manufacturers to provide discounted or otherwise preferred pricing for school districts. foundational system of instruction built around the Common Core across 24 courses covering K–12 ELA and K–10 Math. but we’re encouraged that many schools and school districts are making smart decisions about ways in which they can best make use of the limited resources available to them. Pearson is working with partners like Digital Learning Now! And CCSSO to develop a roadmap that will help states/districts work through the steps/considerations necessary for a successful transition. We do expect that some schools or districts will wish to supplement or support these materials with print as well. Q: The press release says 4 courses will be free in order to spur innovation around the Common Core and widen access to the program. social media. In addition. As the courses come available. Q: When will these courses be ready? A: We expect the courses to be completed beginning in 2013. and we aim to develop a print-on-demand solution that will make this possible for those schools that require it. and the most effective tools for engagement. Pearson/Gates Foundation Q: What is the Pearson/Gates Foundation initiative? A: The Gates and Pearson Foundations have come together to build a foundational system of courses for students and teachers that are coherent with the Common Core and provide the support teachers need to be successful and effective in advancing student achievement. The initiative is unique in its visionary approach to user engagement and its original development dedicated to building a complete. Why isn’t this Foundationfunded project making all 24 courses free? http://commoncore. and infused with gaming.A: The United States Department of Education sponsored a public meeting to get input from experts on this topic on April 15. com/ .ed. 2011. Resources from this meeting are available at http://www2.html#post-award. personalized. engaging. Q: How will Gates/Pearson Foundation help schools that want to use these programs. and that the full complement of courses will be available to schools beginning with the 2014–2015 school year—the time when many states expect to start implementing the Common Core Standards and the assessments that support them.pearsoned. 2011 to hire a vendor to develop a technology readiness tool to automatically identify gaps in school’s current technology and infrastructure and to recommend strategies for readiness. The plan is to meet and embrace students in their own technological reality with content that is delivered digitally. Q: Are these programs100% digital with no print components? A: The courses are being created from the bottom up to be fully digital—and in fact making use of digital technology in a way that makes the learning fun. but do not have enough computers for their schools? A: Having computers or other digital hardware like tablets that can access and make use of these programs is of course a key concern.
and for many schools. . gaming. And.” The current programs are what we consider print/digital hybrids. For now. The thinking is that making these four courses freely accessible will spur wider knowledge about the Common Core standards. If a district wants to start transitioning early in anticipation of the upcoming assessments. then there is no reason to wait. whether you invest now in a program or wait for the Gates/Pearson Foundation program. The courses will come with video-based professional development on Common Core.pearsonschool. Q: Will Gates/Pearson Foundation provide training to teachers on how to implement the free programs? . with minimal print support. Programs like Reading Street and enVisionMATH have already been updated to fully embed the content and spirit of the common core standards. And new programs like Digits. However. However. for some schools. Bryan PreK-12 Sales 803-463-9299 james. David Pearson. Pearson subject matter experts will be happy to discuss the merits of each program to help you understand the best option for your teachers and students. So the project organizers believe that third-party licensing will help fuel adoption of these courses and their use by the greatest number of students and educators. The first consideration is timing. will allow even more personalization for students and automation for teachers. have been built from the ground up to Common Core standards. you will get sound scholarship and effective programs. They allow the teacher and student to work in both a print and digital world. the Gates/Pearson Foundation programs will be digital from the ground up with a broader portfolio of integrated online offerings. professional development for these programs is particularly important. and with specific digital-based resources for educators making use of specific courses or programs. teacher training. though no commercial program has been articulated to date.com www. as the 24 basic courses are augmented by the other resources that these education companies bring to bear. We anticipate that these materials will be supplemented by in-person training and support provided by our commercial partners. such as P. James A. this is the right mix. social media. . In fact.A: Education companies have longstanding relationships with school districts and other clients. com/ .bryan@pearson. So. Q: How does a district decide whether to purchase the Gates/Pearson Foundation curriculum or the curriculum offered by the Pearson businesses? A: There are several major factors schools should consider when trying to decide between the Pearson Common Core offerings in a particular domain. and because the Common Core standards and assessments are new. and assessment related to courses.pearsoned. etc. This orientation. this will be the right mix.com http://commoncore. and Karen Wixson. a fully-digital middle-grades math program. “Skip” Fennell. and hopefully attract innovators—including open-access education providers—who want to make these courses even better through resources they can add to them. all of the Pearson programs share many of the same authors.or the other 20 non-free programs? A: We believe that providing proper training for teachers is essential no matter which materials they’re using. and provide many services that go well beyond courses—including school information systems. a second factor to consider is a program’s “personality. communities.
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