Five states that have adopted the common-core state standards are working to build an open-source, online platform that would help teachers access, download, and create resources tied to the standards.
The Council of Chief State School Officers and the states of Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, and North Carolina will take the lead in helping design and pilot the platform, with financing promised by the Seattle-based Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York. (Both philanthropies are or have been grant donors to Editorial Projects in Education, which publishes Education Week.)
Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, and Louisiana plan to join the effort, with the goal of all nine states implementing it in 2013.
The idea of a resources clearinghouse came in response to conversations with teachers who have been providing feedback on the progress of the common-standards initiative, said Gene Wilhoit, the executive director of the CCSSO. “One of the early concerns that was raised [by teachers] is what kind of support are you going to give us as we try to implement,” he said. “Frankly, they told us, ‘You’d better not abandon us.’ ”
The participants’ plan is to create an online clearinghouse with a range of supports—including lesson plans, diagnostic tools, and curricular units—available for free to teachers, who could access the tools and materials, network with colleagues, and share their own resources. The system would not have a formal quality-control mechanism, but it would allow teachers to rate and comment on the usefulness of the materials.
“What we don’t want is a single curriculum or a curriculum developed by a single vendor, or organization, in fact,” Mr. Wilhoit said. “It’s a place where rich resources can be put. Ultimately, judgment about the utility of [those resources] would be in the hands of teachers and their students. We would like to get a bit of competition going on.”
A version of this article appeared in the June 08, 2011 edition of Education Week as States Building Teacher Resource for Standards