How secondary school principals can master the Common Core

By Laura Devaney, Managing Editor
April 15th, 2012

School leaders will have to ensure teachers have the necessary knowledge to put Common Core standards into practice.

As states move toward implementing the Common Core State Standards, school principals must ensure they are fully equipped to help classroom teachers incorporate the standards as effectively as possible.

Forty-six states and Washington, D.C., have adopted the Common Core standards, and 90 percent of U.S. students are covered by the standards, said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education (AEE), during an AEE webinar that examined how principals can ensure that students will be ready to master the new college- and career-ready standards and can demonstrate this mastery on the new 2014 state assessments.

While states are in various stages of implementing the standards, “principals play a critical role in this work,” Wise said.

“Leading secondary school principals and experts see the Common Core implementation as an opportunity” for schools to put into motion changes that have proven effective in transforming teaching and learning, Wise said.

Kentucky Commissioner of Education Terry Holiday recently observed that the state’s educators face a challenge in identifying high-quality, engaging instructional resources that support and reinforce the new Common Core State Standards—something that is true for all states, said Tracey Lamb, principal of Fulton County High School in Hickman, Ky. Kentucky was the first state to adopt the common standards.

The state has been working on aligning its instruction to the Common Core State Standards since June 2010, and all schools in the state participate in high school and college readiness tests in grades 8, 10, and 11. Some efforts include revising curriculum maps and pacing guides, and making samples of instructional units available to help teachers.

Lamb said there are a handful of key ways a principal can lead his or her school’s change efforts when it comes to implementing the Common Core standards:

1 2 3 Read More »

5 Responses to “How secondary school principals can master the Common Core”

April 16, 2012

Next week I will be assuming the job of a principal at a Bureau of Indian Education school site run by the tribe.

Common Core State standards are to be adopted for the upcoming school year.

Most of my teachers are not highly qualified and are not teaching in their fields of expertise.

Is there a way that I could communicate by e-mail with the Fulton County HS principal out of Hickman, KY to become acquainted with the things I should do versus what I need to be careful of not doing? I could certainly use that principal’s expertise.

Thank you.


April 17, 2012

Laura Devaney

Standards, Core Curriculum etc. while important, have been on the front burner since “No Child Left Behind.” The other theme, and negative, has been the on going discussing and demeaning statements…yes political, about poor teachers and poor teaching. Having been in education for several decades as a teacher, administrator and superintendent, I know that it is not true that tenure makes a secure teacher if proven unsatisfactory. However, the purpose of supervision is not just curriculum management or testing, testing testing, but improvementof teaching.

Principals, in the majority of cases, I have found are not educated enough or practiced about the “cycle of supervision,” and how… not to get rid of teachers but to improve them every year.

Schools of education need to up grade their operation, in this regard, starting with their own supervisory teachers during student teaching. Then, Principals, saddled with the responsibility of improving education in their buildings, need to know how to observe and improve the teaching in their schools.

Laura, please research the practices of supervision, the training thereof, and give it equal literary status to the “politically motivated” edicts by “legislative educators” who have us in this testing-standards rut in this country. Educators…be advocates for “your” profession. Children learn step by step.

Thomas R Hawkins Ph D
Briarwood Group Associates

April 20, 2012

I would suggest Principals and teachers start consulting with their school librarians/media specialists – at least in the school where they still are employed.

School librarians have developed the skills for identifying quality resources in print and nonprint as well as search the Internet for quality materials.

The school librarians are also skilled in collaborating with teachers in the utilization of these materials for quality student learning.

April 23, 2012

See the materials available from both Educator’s Virtual Mentor and Learning Bridges. Either or both can assist principals in getting ready for assessments.

Is your state piloting or planning to pilot assessment instruments? Is it developing rubrics for observers to use? Is there a specific step-by-step plan to carry out assessments and follow-up? All of these questions need local answers.