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Gates Foundation's Vicki Phillips on Common Core Momentum

EDUWONK.Com (01/30/14) Phillips, Vicki

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's College Ready Director of Education Vicki Phillips says that with 80 percent of students expecting to go to college and less than 40 percent of adults having an associate's degree or higher, America's priority should be ensuring that the K-12 education system is providing students with high quality education. The Common Core State Standards, which have been adopted by 45 states, are being gradually implemented to give teachers and students time to adjust to the new expectations before they face the consequences of not meeting the standards. While teachers should benefit from the insights of evaluation systems, she cautions that districts will need to ensure there is a baseline and several years of data before these systems are used to make personnel decisions. "Change requires focus and perseverance. We need to be willing to analyze what's working and what's not so we can make adjustments as we go. We need to give students and teachers extra support as they get used to the new standards. We need to listen to input from everyone with a stake in the future of our schools, including state and local school officials, teacher unions, and parent groups," she explains. "The right approach is the one the majority of states in the country are taking: thoughtful and steady."
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