School & District Management Report Roundup

Common Core Spurs Changes

By Jaclyn Zubrzycki — January 29, 2013 1 min read

Most urban districts plan to have fully implemented the Common Core State Standards in English/language arts and mathematics by the 2014-15 school year, according to a new report from the Council of the Great City Schools. More than half of districts already have begun.

Based on a survey of 36 of the council’s 67 members, which include the nation’s largest urban districts, the council found that a majority of administrators were adjusting professional development, assessments, curriculum, evaluation, and communications plans to account for the common core as of the 2011-12 school year.

Nearly 90 percent of the district leaders expect to implement the standards fully by the 2014-15 school year. More than half already have studied how well their current mathematics and reading curricula align with the common core, and an equal proportion are revising their curricula this year. And 69 percent of districts say a majority of their central-office staff can discuss the implications of the standards for classroom instruction.

Michael Casserly, the executive director of the council, said he is optimistic about the common core’s potential: “The new benchmarks hold immense promise for elevating the quality of public education in urban school districts that serve large numbers of disadvantaged students.”

The districts have been slowest to create new evaluation and monitoring systems to pair with the common core. While 60 percent of districts say they are developing new teacher evaluations aligned to the common core, only 23 percent have developed the criteria.

Moreover, only 13 percent of large urban districts have a plan for monitoring implementation of the standards. While 68 percent are developing monitoring systems, close to a third of districts say that a timetable for monitoring implementation has not yet been set.

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A version of this article appeared in the January 30, 2013 edition of Education Week as Common Core Spurs Changes

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