By Polly Peterson
Towards Common Education Standards
To date, all but eight states have adopted the Common Core State Standards, which serve as a benchmark to which English language arts and math skills in grades K-12 may be measured. In developing the Common Core Standards, states have worked together to determine the training necessary for workforce and college preparation.
The question remains: as the Common Core Standards are put into practice, how will teachers get up to speed? Who will help them bridge the gaps in their own knowledge base and what teaching aids are available to help support them during the transition?
Creation of Open Resources for Teachers
Council of Chief State School Officers Initiative
Educators in nine states (Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York and North Carolina) have responded to the call to provide support in the form of lesson plans and sample curricula. Backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and led by the Council of Chief State School Officers, state educators will be actively involved in designing open source courses based on the Common Core Standards and implementing them in their classrooms.
Ultimately, teachers will be able to assess the materials and provide feedback to the content developers. Popularity will be tracked in terms of which resources get the most hits. Such measures may help to ramp up the competition to upload innovative content, and prevent what some critics believe could lead to a static national curriculum.
The Pearson Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the global education company, has set the goal to make online instructional materials for the Common Core Standards available by 2013. Pearson will create courses in math for grades K-10 and English language arts for K-12. Courses will be tailored specifically to teach the skill sets targeted by the Common Core Standards and will benefit from the input of leading educators. Furthermore, Pearson will draw on its extensive repertoire of educational technology solutions, including online diagnostic tools and digital textbooks, to lead teachers into the digital age.
With funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, four of the 24 courses will be available at no cost as open resources. Additionally, Pearson will offer on-site teacher training for the use of these digital educational materials geared towards effective communication of the Common Core Standards.
Learn about how some states are still engaged in the debate over adopting the Common Core Standards.