5 Big Roadblocks to CCSS: Is Common Core Changing How We Teach?

Is the Common Core changing the way you teach, acknowledging your best teaching practices, or making teaching more work than it use to be? img_5296-2562502
Before you answer this question,  let’s first consider where we have been, before moving on to where we are now with the Common Core.

Over a decade ago No Child Left Behind (2001) required annual assessments in students basic skills and required each state to develop standards. This legislation moved classrooms and teachers to focus on skills and knowledge to be mastered by the end of each grade level. A shift occurred in what was happening across classrooms and school with an emphasis on standards-based practices to ensure fidelity and transparency across schools and districts and regular assessments to measure students progress and provide intervention.

The Common Core shifts from state level standards to national standards as a means to ensure students completing high school are more than just college and career ready, but  competing with greater equity.  The notion of  moving beyond the surface level is emphasized with the common core, by that I mean students should be able to do more than just regurgitate facts but think critically, problem solve and apply knowledge and skills in real-life situation.  The shift to higher order thinking skills was emphasized in part as a result of the international PISA assessment which found the US ranking near the bottom of developed countries.   Want to see more fun facts on how the US Ranks Internationally?

In my interviews with inservice teachers  I was able to identify 5 Big Roadblocks that are prohibiting teachers from successful implementation of CCSS:

1. Disconnect between resources provided to teach the CCSS and perceptions of what CCSS expects teachers to teach.
2. Parent knowledge about how to engage students in thinking, questioning and supporting students with CCSS.
3. Lack of clarity in understanding the standards and how to plan instruction.   ngss-structure-7758850

4. Assessment strategies, for monitoring student progress and preparing students to take Smarter Balance.


5. Failure of inservice professional development to provide quality training and resources to teach CCSS.


The question is no longer what do you think about the CCSS but what are you doing that is working to teach Common Core Standards.  In the below video presentation I unpack teachers, perceptions, beliefs and highlight the important shifts in ELA and Math and discuss what parents and teachers need to know.

What’s working for you with teaching the CCSS? Share your best practices with us and create a community of teacher leaders supporting each other so all students can compete and thrive in our global economy.

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