The Common Core

Bob Calfee advises us to take, as a starting point, the most expansive view of Common Core standards possible.

from the Introduction to the Standards:

The descriptions that follow are not standards themselves but instead offer a portrait of students who meet the standards…As students advance through the grades and master the standards in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language, they are able to exhibit with increasing fullness and regularity these capacities of the literate individual.
  • They demonstrate independence
  • They build strong content knowledge
  • They respond the varying demands of task, audience, purpose
  • They comprehend as well as critique
  • They value evidence
  • They use technology and digital media strategically and capably
  • They come to understand other perspectives and cultures

Here is a link to the ELA standards themselves. For crying out loud, look at them.  Next, here’s the CDE page that includes links to the rigorous English Language Development standards (scroll down that page to find them).  These standards are tightly integrated with the ELA standards in the California Framework — a bold and courageous move by California that education professionals across the nation are watching.

The California ELA/ELD Framework was adopted by the State Board of Education in July of 2014.  The print version will be out sometime in 2015, and at 1000+ pages, it will be heavy enough to knock a man off of a horse.  And this explains why I’m so fired up about all of this stuff — I served on the committee.  I saw how the sausage is made and I’m telling you — it’s good.

This is a PLACEHOLDER for my abbreviated guide to the Framework.  I’m working on this,  relying heavily on work done by my friend and colleague, Jeanne Jelnick from University High in Irvine, who also served on the committee.

Common Core Resources

The little hearts precede my favorites,  but all of these are useful and include resources worth checking out.

Council of Chief State School Officers • ASCD ♥ engage ♥ California Dept. of Education • Edutopia ♥ Khan Academy Common Core • Teach Thought ♥ Achieve the Core • Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers ♥ Jim Burke’s Common Core Companion ♥ Shanahan on Literacy • Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium • National Association of Secondary School Principals • National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities

Highly Recommended Reading

Professional Development begins here.

Greatness by Design ♥ California Quality Professional Learning Standards ♥ Toward Effective Teaching…


Here is some interesting (troubling) independent research about the corporate sources of the Common Core.  Watch the video, and study the gigantic diagram — the diagram does a good job of illustrating all of the connections.

This does bug me, I have to admit, so I continue to look at what the standards themselves say, and then think about how I will utilize them to assist young people in becoming independent, critical thinkers — thinkers who can see and understand — and perhaps challenge — the status quo and corporate hegemony, and then I’m fine.


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