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Common Core’s challenges and opportunities

You can’t improve learning outcomes for students without improving instruction

common-coreIt is an exciting time in education. We have an opportunity to ensure that all students develop the skills and understanding necessary to succeed in a highly literate world.

While this has been a goal of educators for many years, there is now a unifying approach to making sure that the expectations for students are not dependent upon their zip code.

By addressing the need for change and reflecting the best of international standards, Common Core finally offers us a chance to get it right.

Yet, implementing Common Core is not without challenges. Higher standards demand more from students and far more from their teachers. While there has been increasing rhetoric in the political arenas, we are also seeing wide spread acceptance from teachers.

In an effort to raise achievement, various approaches have come in and out of favor over the years. We have tried tighter curricula specifications, prescribed structures for math and literacy blocks, scripts for teaching and increased accountability. All have had minimal impact on learning outcomes for students.

(Next page: Dispelling Common Core myths)

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