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    A Strong State Role in Common Core State Standards Implementation: Rubric and Self-Assessment Tool
    Ohanian Comment: This Education First/Achieve document was published in March 2012. Note the confluence of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Education Week, AKA Editorial Projects in Education, Achieve, AFT, and various corporate entities.

    I put in lots of hot links so you can see how corporate these outfits are.

    This document gives states their marching orders regarding the Common Core, with particular emphasis on making sure all teachers--and the material they use-- align with the CCSS. The inspectorate role of principals is also spelled out.

    Education First, one of the co-authors, describes their role servicing various clients:

  • Achieve:
  • Most recently we developed a new strategic plan clarifying Achieve's role in Common Core State Standards and assessment implementation and national leadership of the college and career readiness agenda.

  • AFT Innovation Fund: Developed a business plan detailing the new fund's management plan, theory of change, grantmaking areas of interest, and measurable outcomes it will accomplish.

  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: Conducted policy and political due diligence research for 35 states; developed State of the States online tool to compare and enable searches through the findings; developed strategy to network together eight southern states around the Foundation's investment areas; piloted policymaker roundtables to consider strategic finance reallocation; and supported program oficers and advocacy consultants in 10 states with regular research, coordination and communication.

  • National Governors Association Common Core Implementation Toolkit: Developed a toolkit to help governor's advisors assess the policy needs in their states to ensure the effective implementation of the Common Core State Standards.

  • State of Tennessee: Race to the Top: Supported all aspects of planning with a senior team led by the governor, wrote the state's Phase 1 award-winning Race to the Top application, and led interview preparation. Facilitated the statewide Teacher Evaluation Advisory Committee to design and implement performance evaluation policy, including Growth Measures Development Teams that convened groups of educators in 13 non-tsted subjects and grades. Helped to jump-start comprehensive First to the Top implementation with on-the-ground execution, strategy, project management and communications support.

  • Tennessee Teacher Evaluation Advisory Committee: Facilitated the development of the state's new teacher and principal evaluation framework, which incorporates student growth and achievement measures and observations of teacher practice, as part of the state's First to the Top reform initiatives; also supported the state's identification of student learning growth measures for educators without value-added scores.

  • Thomas B. Fordham Insitute: Policy Innovation in Education (PIE) Network: Piloted PIE Network in five states, bringing together legislators, governors' offices, educators and advocates to learn about promising practices. Developed the strategic plan that launched the PIE Network as a national learning network for third-party education advocacy organizations.

  • William and Flora Hewlett Foundation: Helped Education Program staff track progress, make course corrections and respond to unanticipated challenges as the foundation implemented a new grantmaking strategy to help schools provide "deeper learning" to more students. Also over a two-year period, tracked ten grantees who were awarded $3 million by the Foundation to study the impact and the reach of federal education "stimulus" funds authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. We conducted interviews with grantees to gather input for a dashboard to measure progress and identify indicators of success. Produced reports at key milestones to update the Foundation on grantee successes and challenges.

  • In case the reader doesn't click on hot links, I've listed the individual members of the PIE network.. For those of you who do click on hot links, I've linked to pages that show what they're up to.

    Advance Illinois
    California Business for Education Excellence
    Chalkboard Project
    Colorado Succeeds
    DC School Reform Now Educate Texas
    Education Trust -- Midwest
    Education Trust -- West
    Foundation for Florida's Future
    Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education
    League of Education Voters
    Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education
    Mississippi First
    Oklahoma Business and Education Coalition
    Partnership for Learning
    Prichard Committee
    Public School Forum of North Carolina
    Rodel Foundation of Delaware
    Stand for Children Arizona
    Stand for Children Colorado
    Stand for Children Illinois
    Stand for Children Indiana
    Stand for Children Louisiana
    Stand for Children Massachusetts
    Stand for Children Oregon
    Stand for Children Tennessee
    Stand for Children Texas
    Stand for Children Washington
    State Collaborative on Reforming Education
    Texas Institute for Education Reform
    Thomas B. Fordham Institute and partners

    Do take a look at the PIE network board of directors, to see how so-called progressives (Center for American Progress) hold hands with conservatives and those representing corporate interests. . . and, of course, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.


    Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers Transition & Implementation Institute (PARCC)
    March 6-7, 2012

    Acknowledgements: Support from several organizations enabled the development of this tool. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation provided funding to Education First for early research and development. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation also provided support to Achieve for related research on Common Core State Standards implementation in fall 2011 and for development of the tool. Finally, Editorial Projects in Education served as a partner to Education First in collecting documentation of state plans in fall 2011 to align teacher professional development, curricular resources and instructional materials, and teacher evaluation systems to the Common Core State Standards. We deeply appreciate the generous support and counsel of all these organizations.
    Achieve and Education First asked several experts to provide feedback on an early draft of this tool. This version is significantly better for it. We extend our sincere thanks to the following individuals for their contributions:

  • Lucille Davy, Hunt Institute (former Commissioner of Education, New Jersey)

  • Ben Fenton, New Leaders for New Schools

  • Alice Gill, Darion Griffin, Melanie Hobbs and Dalia Zabala, American Federation of Teachers

  • Crystal Harmon, TNTP

  • Amy Hightower and Sterling Lloyd, Editorial Projects in Education

  • Stephanie Hirsh, Learning Forward

  • Susan Pimentel and Jason Zimba, Student Achievement Partners

  • Kathleen Porter-Magee, Thomas B. Fordham Institute

  • Nick Rodriguez, U.S. Education Delivery Institute

  • Jessica Vavrus, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Washington State

  • Kate Walsh, National Council on Teacher Quality

  • Ross Wiener, Aspen Institute

  • Although each of these individuals helped sharpen our thinking, responsibility for the content of this tool ultimately rests with Achieve and Education First. The tool's lead authors include Alissa Peltzman, William Porter, Lisa Towne and Jennifer Vranek, with significant research assistance provided by Adam Petkun, Brinton Ramsey and Regina Riley. We are grateful for the substantive feedback and guidance from several members of Achieve's senior staff, including Kate Blosveren, Sandy Boyd, Michael Cohen, Bonnie Hain, Margaret Horn, Allison Jones, Lesley Muldoon, Marie O'Hara, Callie Riley, Laura Slover and Doug Sovde.


    The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) represent an extraordinary opportunity for education in the U.S.: Not only do they provide for the first time a common platform for states to collaborate and to compare performance, but they also align expectations for student achievement with the demands of college and careers in the 21st century and the expectations of top-performing nations. . . .

    This Rubric and Self-Assessment Tool is designed to support state leaders in assessing and continuously improving their efforts to implement the new standards and forthcoming aligned assessments. Because the goal is to ensure educators throughout a state have the resources and skills to succeed, the rubric and tool suggest the essential steps and strong actions states will need to consider to succeed. The rubric is purposefully not a checklist, but rather it is designed to guide ongoing efforts to plan and execute on those plans. It is intended to push states towards coherent approaches: carefully chosen activities attuned to real needs in the state, districts and schools, properly sequenced to provide maximum support at the building level and crafted with a clear logic. We also see the tool as a living document, one that will be updated and improved based on state experience and implementation lessons. . . .

    State leadership is essential to close the gap between today's capacity and what the standards demand. It isn't only the state's responsibility to build capacity in classrooms and schools, but leaving capacity-building only to schools, districts or regional offices is a strategy that has not worked to date. . . .

    On the Rubric, here's what 'exemplary state' does:

  • State requires, provides or certifies aligned teacher professional development

  • State provides resources--funding (reallocating existing funding, providing new, targeted funding or a combination of the two) and time--to support only aligned state/regional/local provision of only aligned professional development

  • State has system in place to target support, track progress of professional development efforts and hold itself and others accountable for continuous improvement based on feedback

  • State defines and either provides or certifies models and exemplars of high-quality, aligned teacher professional development

  • State requires, provides or certifies on-demand, high-quality and aligned tools (e.g., self-paced modules, written and video exemplars)

  • State intentionally coordinates professional development activities across divisions/
    departments within the state education agency

  • The emphasis is on aligned classroom materials to support CCSS-focused instruction. If THE STATE does it job, teachers and students won't be allowed to creep out of alignment.

    This document gives examples of what "leading PARCC states are doing" to ensure this alignment.

    Colorado state law (SB 08-212) requires districts to design and adopt curricula aligned to state standards. To help districts implement the CCSS in all content areas while not infringing on local control of curriculum, the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) is actively building an online toolkit of resources, including aligned curriculum development tools and model instructional units. The CDE plans expand the toolkit to include: curriculum exemplars; video resources for teaching, examples of student mastery of the new standards and resources to develop student growth measures for all tested and non-tested content areas.

    The CDE also has been working with curriculum leaders from across the state to develop optional curriculum development tools that districts may employ when designing their local curriculum. To assist districts in purchasing or designing rigorous and standards-focused interim assessments for all grades and content areas, the CDE plans to develop a vetting process and rubrics.

    Additionally, the CDE will facilitate Content Collaboratives that engage educators in the creation and dissemination of standards-based assessment and instructional materials for use in the classroom. The Content Collaboratives also are intended to serve as a sustainable professional learning community for Colorado educators.

    Sources: Colorado's RTTT Phase 3 Application; Achieve interviews and analysis, fall 2011

    Florida plans to make available a variety of CCSS-aligned instructional resources to educators, including a standards-based digital curriculum available to educators on Florida's Virtual Curriculum Marketplace. The state also has a web portal, FloridaStandards.org, where teachers can access the standards and teaching resources aligned to each standard.

    To engage teachers in identifying high-quality tools, Florida is developing a Standards Instructional Teacher Tool, to which teachers will be able to submit lessons that will be vetted by a panel of experts and rated by users.

    Florida employs a formal process used to approve instructional materials submitted by vendors and develop a statewide list of materials approved for district purchase. The state has a detailed list of specifications required of materials to ensure they are aligned with the CCSS. Florida also requires that districts utilize a minimum of 50 percent of their state-appropriated instructional materials funding to purchase materials on the state-adopted list. What's more: Florida's review process is completely digital and guarantees public access to reviewers' comments for all adopted materials.

    Sources: Florida's Approved ESEA Flexibility Request, Florida's EPE Survey Response, fall 2011; Achieve interviews and analysis, fall 2011

    The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) has started to provide a variety of curricular and instructional resources to districts, beginning with curricular map resources--created with help from teams of Indiana teachers, content specialists and university professors--and Instructional Frameworks for Reading and Disciplinary Literacy.

    IDOE has developed individual videos for mathematics and ELA, as well as for several other content areas, that explain the CCSS instructional shifts and identify resources schools can use to better understand and implement these changes. Grade-by-grade Instructional Transition Guidance Documents have been developed in ELA and mathematics to assist districts in reviewing and aligning existing curriculum to the CCSS.

    Indiana's engagement of educators in the process of developing materials extends beyond the curriculum mapping effort. An IDOE-convened "curriculum council" vetted many of the materials the department distributed on the transition to the CCSS, and that helped determine priorities for IDOE-developed materials aligned to CCSS.

    IDOE also worked with Indiana teachers and the Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas at Austin to evaluate the quality and alignment of mathematics textbooks and curricular materials to the CCSS. IDOE made these reviews publicly available, and they have been widely used by districts. The state is engaged in a parallel process for the analysis of reading materials (to be completed by March 2012), and plans to conduct a similar review for ELA during the summer of 2012.

    Sources: Indiana's Approved ESEA Flexibility Request; Achieve interviews and analysis, fall 2011

    And to make sure there is no misinterpretation, they provide definitions: Aligned classroom materials are those materials and tools that meet clear, statewide alignment criteria, such as the Common Core Publisher's Criteria PARCC Content Frameworks, the forthcoming PARCC Tri-State rubric or other criteria determined by the state and closely tied to the instructional shifts in the CCSS (e.g., texts are at the appropriate level of complexity). Note: To get to the Publishers Criteria, this document links reader to Achieve the Core, the group founded by David Coleman and Susan Pimentel, the entrepreneurs who, coincidentally, wrote the Publisher's Criteria.)

    The document further stipulates:

    State has system in place to track administrator and teacher access to and use of high-quality, aligned materials and to address problems based on feedback

    To ensure educators have access to high-quality and aligned classroom materials, the state does one of the following:

  • Requires LEAs to adopt only aligned textbooks/
    instructional software/purchased materials OR

  • Adopts only aligned textbooks/
    instructional software/purchased materials OR

  • Provides training/examples of how to apply evaluation tools (e.g., criteria or rubrics) to a range of classroom materials OR

  • Regularly reviews or audits a sampling of district materials for evidence of alignment to CCSS

  • Then they move on to teacher evaluation.

  • State connects CCSS implementation to teacher evaluation by describing plans to use PARCC or SBAC assessments in ELA/Literacy and mathematics as one factor in determining teachers' contributions to student learning growth

  • State plans to connect the measures for teachers in NTSGs--such as student learning objectives, adapted classroom assessments or portfolios of student work--to the CCSS

  • State requires or provides guidance such that individual teacher evaluation results (both formative information provided throughout the year and summative annual ratings) are used to identify and target CCSS-based professional development for individual teachers

  • State provides aligned tools or requires that observation rubrics and other formative materials/tools designed to assess and improve instructional practice be clearly connected to CCSS

  • State has mechanism to track and address gaps in the extent to which teachers are getting CCSS-aligned professional development linked to their individual teacher evaluation results

  • State requires, provides guidance or uses summative assessment data and evaluation results aggregated at the school/district/ regional/state level to inform state/regional/ local plans for large-scale teacher professional development aligned to CCSS

  • Next, the documentation moves on to how principal evaluation must be linked to CCSS.

    Then states must assure connection of CCSS with colleges.

    Finally, we get orders to the State to make sure districts can do all this online.

    State plan includes efforts to upgrade/enhance infrastructure to support CCSS, including PARCC/SBAC online assessments, and provisions for training regional/district and school staff to administer the online assessments. . .

    State plan is coordinated with or includes other plans for migration of critical activities and systems (e.g., classroom instruction, IT, data) to online platform to prepare for new interface.

    — Education First and Achieve with Ohanian notes
    A Strong State Role in Common Core State Standards Implementation: Rubric and Self-Assessment Tool
    November 22, 2012

    Index of Common Core [sic] Standards

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