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News Brief

Thursday, May 16, 2013

CCSSO and Aspen Institute Release Paper Examining Strategies for Integrating Common Core and Teacher Effectiveness

Contact:Melissa McGrathmelissa.mcgrath@ccsso.org202-336-7034

To strengthen state implementation of Common Core State Standards and meaningful teacher evaluations, the Aspen Institute and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) today released a set of recommendations for forging coherence across these efforts at CCSSO's Implementing the Common Core Standards (ICCS) meeting of 22 states in New Orleans. Teaching to the Core: Integrating Implementation of Common Core and Teacher Effectiveness Policies, authored by the Aspen Institute's Ross Wiener, suggests ten actions for state leaders.

"States are actively seeking ways to provide greater support to teachers and principals on both Common Core implementation and teacher evaluation so educators have the tools, resources, and time they need to effectively change their practice for the benefit of their students," said CCSSO Executive Director Chris Minnich. "This Aspen Institute and CCSSO paper will help states by describing the linkages between implementation of Common Core and teacher effectiveness policies."

Common Core and teacher effectiveness policies each are ambitious reforms on their own; together, they have transformational potential to significantly improve student outcomes and equity for all students. Creating a unified improvement agenda from these two initiatives to improve classroom practice demands intensive collaboration across teams and offices in the state education agency (SEA), sophisticated change management, and a focus on continuous improvement. Because these next several years are pivotal for re-orienting the culture of public education toward higher expectations for students and adults, Teaching to the Core offers practical suggestions to state leaders on how to ensure that teachers are using strategies that engage students in learning at high levels.

"Breaking down organizational silos is essential," said Ross Wiener. "Common Core and teacher evaluation must work together as two parts of a whole. This is system-level work that shouldn't fall on the shoulders of individual schools or teachers."

State leaders are advancing a substantively rich and complex reform agenda on an ambitious schedule, and the capacity of the entire field is challenged to meet the new demands. As separate initiatives, capacity will be overwhelmed and impact undermined, but by building coherence across Common Core and teacher effectiveness policies, SEAs can assist local educators in making fundamental improvement to curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

"Teaching to the Core" and its ten recommendations will be a critical resource to state leaders to further their individual and collective efforts to integrate Common Core and teacher evaluation initiatives," stated Minnich.

States have already begun working collectively on Common Core implementation and teacher evaluation through two CCSSO state networks - the Implementing the Common Core Standards (ICCS) state collaborative and the State Consortium on Educator Effectiveness (SCEE). To demonstrate the collaboration necessary to build a coherent system, these two state networks held a meeting on supports for principals to implement the Common Core and teacher evaluation in February 2013 in Baltimore, MD.