Common Curriculum for the Common Core

Fordham produced a series of reports after examining the districts considered to be  “early implementers” of the Common Core.  Their findings published in “Common Core in the Districts:  An Early Look at Early Implementer”  are predictable and set the stage for a call for common curricula to go with the Common Core,  the desired goal all along.  Take particular note of #3 and #4:

This up-close look at district-level, school-level, and classroom-level implementation yields several key findings:

  1. Teachers and principals are the primary faces and voices of the Common Core standards in their communities
  2. Implementation works best when district and school leaders lock onto the Common Core standards as the linchpin of instruction, professional learning, and accountability in their buildings
  3. In the absence of externally vetted, high-quality Common Core materials, districts are striving—with mixed success—to devise their own
  4. The scramble to deliver quality CCSS-aligned professional development to all who need it is as crucial and (so far) as patchy as the quest for suitable curriculum materials
  5. The lack of aligned assessments will make effective implementation of the Common Core challenging for another year

In short, districts are in the near-impossible situation of operationalizing new standards before high-quality curriculum and tests aligned to them are finished. Yet the clock is ticking, and the new tests and truly aligned textbooks are forthcoming.

Translation:  Time is short.  School districts are scrambling.  Tests are coming.   The situation is “near-impossible.”   Common Curriculum “truly aligned”  is coming.

According to an article in Education Week, the report claims teachers support a more centralized approach to curriculum.

Even as they steer clear of the marketplace’s dubiously “aligned” materials in favor of writing their own, there is a shift to a more centralized approach, Cristol and Ramsay found.

“Letting a thousand flowers bloom isn’t consistent with ensuring that all teachers are using high-quality and well-aligned materials,” they write.

Lawmakers and state school officials who still push the myth that Common Core was just about a higher standards hat won’t tell teachers how to teach are wrong.  Centralized common curriculum “truly-aligned” to the Common Core was the goal all along.


Karen Braun is a blogger and homeschool mom of 6 from Michigan.  This post was cross-posted at www.stopcommoncoreinmichigan.com .