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ERIC Number: ED542704
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Mar
Pages: 18
Abstractor: ERIC
Teaching to the Core: Integrating Implementation of Common Core and Teacher Effectiveness Policies
Wiener, Ross
Aspen Institute
The purpose of the Common Core State Standards is to prepare students to succeed in college and career pursuits. To that end, the Common Core calls on teachers to focus on deepening students' understanding of what they're learning, enhancing their problem-solving skills, and improving their ability to communicate ideas. At the same time, states are putting in place policies aimed at increasing teachers' effectiveness, the most prominent of which are rigorous evaluations. Together, teacher effectiveness policies and the Common Core have transformative potential to significantly improve outcomes "and" equity. But putting them into place quickly, simultaneously and with integrity is a hugely demanding and complex endeavor. Successfully integrating these work streams into a coherent, unified improvement agenda requires intensive collaboration across teams and offices, sophisticated change management, and continuous cycles of feedback and response. If states do not do this aggressively and swiftly this opportunity to change teaching and improve learning could well be squandered. But this is not what state departments of education were designed to do. They were designed to ensure that school districts spend state and federal money for the purposes intended and to enforce myriad state and federal regulations, dealing with everything from school buses to special education. To carry out this new mission, state education agencies (SEAs) must reinvent themselves: establish a new culture, develop a different set of competencies, and adopt new approaches to their work with school districts. SEA leaders must demonstrate by their actions and words that the initiatives are inextricably linked and also that they call for fundamental changes in curriculum, instruction, and assessment. The purpose of this policy brief and its 10 recommendations is to help state departments succeed in carrying out these responsibilities. The first six recommendations deal with organizational design a functions of state departments. The next four recommend changes in practice. Appended are: (1) Next Steps and Resources for Teaching Frameworks Incorporating Common Core Expectations; and (2) Developments in the Field and Alternative Approaches to Assessments that Measure Common Core Expectations. (Contains 3 footnotes.)
Aspen Institute. 1 Dupont Circle NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 410-820-5433; Tel: 202-736-5800; Fax: 202-467-0790; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Joyce Foundation; Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Authoring Institution: Aspen Institute; Council of Chief State School Officers