January 30, 2014
Vicki Phillips, director of education, college ready at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, offers a compelling and supportive piece about the implementation of the Common Core State Standards on Eduwonk.com. Phillips provides a clear picture on the Gates Foundation’s position on the importance of accountability, thoughtful implementation, and high-stakes consequences – all in support of teachers, and ensuring all students in America have access to a high-quality education.
“More than 80 percent of students say they expect to go to college, but less than 40 percent of adults have an associate’s degree or higher. It’s clear that we need to do something—something big—to prepare America’s students to achieve the American dream. Fortunately, we already have. Right now, K-12 education is going through two changes that will help all students get the high-quality education they deserve.
The first has to do with academic standards. For decades, we held most students to standards that didn’t match the knowledge and skills they needed to succeed after graduation. The Common Core State Standards were designed to fix that problem, and 45 states have adopted and are in the process of implementing them.
The second big change relates to how we support and evaluate teachers. Before I set foot in the classroom as a young teacher, I received only the most generic training. Once I actually had students, I managed more or less on my own. The same is true for the overwhelming majority of teachers today, who routinely have to rely on intuition or trial and error instead of evidence-based insights about how to get better at their craft. Fortunately, states and districts are building systems to provide teachers with ongoing, personalized feedback based on multiple measures, making it possible to customize professional development.”
Read the full commentary here.
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