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4 Emerging Trends in Common Core State Standards

on October 4, 2012

An issue brief from the National Governors Association (NGA) highlights four trends in Common Core State Standards implementation.

The educator effectiveness brief is the first of four briefs that will be released to address the NGA's key recommendations. These recommendations are for governors and state policymakers as they support the work of incorporating the standards into their education system. The brief's four recommendations:

  • Communicate a need for reform to parents and leaders in education, the community, business and philanthropy.
  • Change educator preparation, licensing, evaluation and development policies.
  • Call for state accountability policies, assessments and interventions that address low-performing schools.
  • Coordinate implementation activities and support them with policies and resources.

The NGA interviewed staff in governors' offices as well as in state education agencies about how their Common Core progress was going. As of June, 48 states and territories, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity had adopted common standards in English language arts/literacy and math.

Four trends are indentified in this brief, including educator preparation, licensing, evaluation and development policies. 

1. Educator preparation

States have been linking graduates from education schools to their students' test scores once they move into the classroom. Tennessee has been doing so for four years, and New Jersey started more recently. This is all part of a push to hold education schools accountable for how well their graduates perform during their career in the classroom.

2. Licensure requirements

Because the Common Core State Standards represent a shift in how educators teach, these standards should be included in the requirements that current and future teachers are required to meet, the brief says. Maine is considering a plan to have educators score student assessments as part of the teacher recertification process. And this fall, Indiana is using new teacher standards and licensure exams.

3. Evaluation systems

Thirty-three states now require educator evaluations to be linked to student growth or value-added data. The more their students improve during the year, in theory the better their evaluations will be. But principals also need to be evaluated. And the Common Core should be part of these evaluations, the NGA says.

Colorado now evaluates how teachers master Common Core State Standards content. And Louisiana designed a rubric that integrates the standards and helps teachers improve rigor in their classrooms.

4. Professional development delivery, support

Along with evaluation systems, states are providing tools intended to help educators learn how to better deal with these changes. Georgia is creating learning videos for educators on the Common Core in partnership with Georgia Public Broadcasting. New Mexico is hosting a Common Core Summit, and Kentucky has designed leadership networks.

For more on how states are handling Common Core data and assessments, check out these Center for Digital Education stories:

 


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