Common Core Communication Network: New Content

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New as of April 18, 2016

How Well are American Students Learning

Description: Tom Loveless of the Brookings Insitute’s Brown Center on Education Policy reviews the results of the Brown Center Report, which examines trends in instruction and achievement across the country. The first section, dealing with the effects or correlation of Common Core adoption, looks at changing trends in emphasis in reading and math instruction, and changes (or lack thereof) in National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results.

Common Core's major political challenges for the remainder of 2016

Description: Tom Loveless of the Brookings Insitute's Brown Center on Education Policy addresses the results of a recent report on the status of Common Core reforms and recent test scores.  Of particular concern is a finding that NAEP scores so far do not seem to be higher in states that have adoped CCSS. Loveless discusses the political implications of this finding, cautions against changes to the NAEP that could be interpreted as rigging the results, and looks ahead to the rest of 2016 as pivotal to the ultimate success of CCSS.

New as of March 7, 2016

Louisiana Teachers Show How Common Core Advances Classroom Learning

Description: Podcast and full transcript of an interview with two 4th grade teachers — one language arts, one mathematics — from Lafayette Parish, Louisiana. Conducted as part of Learning First Alliance’s podcast series Get it Right: Common Sense on the Common Core, the interview explores how the adoption of Common Core has changed their specific teaching styles for the better, and how the “deep learning” associated with the changes have helped students achieve what they could not before. Topics include the importance of institutional support, communicating about the changes with parents, and the feeling that good teachers will want to keep some aspects of Common Core even if the state should back away from it for political reasons. Published March 2016.

New as of September 30, 2015

How the GOP Turned on Common Core

Description: This online article from Newsweek describes the Common Core's fall from grace among Republicans, particularly those considering running for President. The program many Republican leaders once supported has suffered from Tea Partiers describing it as a way to "eliminate local control, limit parental involvement, open the door to invasive data collection, provide little options for reform, and cater to special interest influence in individual classrooms.” Learn what went wrong with Common Core support among Republicans and how the media contributed to its negative perception.

New as of September 8, 2015

The Surprising Conservative Roots of the Common Core: How Conservatives Gave Rise to ‘Obamacore’

Description: Did you know that the Common Core actually has conservative roots? As far back as the late 1980s, education leaders have been attempting to launch nationwide standards for K-12 public schools. Learn about these little-known truths and find out facts about the Common Core effort and its origins.

New as of July 7, 2015

How Do You Build Public Support for the Common Core? Strategic Communications

Description: The Learning First Alliance has released a blog post highlighting the key factor in building public support for Common Core — strategic communication. Although the Common Core has become a contentious, polarizing movement in many places, a report from The Hunt Institute shares why Kentucky and Tennessee in particular have not seen the same effects. The report highlights eight important factors for why this may be, all relating back to effective communication.

New as of June 26, 2015

PARCC Power Player of the Week

Description: Fox News anchor Chris Wallace sat down with Parcc Inc. CEO Laura Slover last week to talk about the PARCC assessments and the Common Core State Standards.

New as of May 8, 2015

Pearson Responds to Criticism About Its Standardized Tests

Description: After Pearson came under fire on John Oliver's "Last Week Tonight" show, Valerie Strauss featured a response in her Answer Sheet column in the Washington Post, by Alfred G. Binford, managing director of assessment and direct delivery at Pearson. The headline that Pearson put on the post was: “New State Tests Are One Piece of An Improving Education System.”

New as of April 27, 2015

Missouri Superintendent Helps Skeptical Community Understand and Embrace Common Core

Description: NSPRA's Vice President at Large for Superintendents, Dr. CJ Huff, describes the efforts his district, Joplin (Mo.) Public Schools, has undertaken to combat misinformation about the Common Core and how it has helped the community to see the benefits the reform carries for students. This podcast is part of LFA's Get It Right campaign.

New as of April 20, 2015

KY Chamber Leader Explains Why Business, Conservatives Support Common Core

Description: David Adkisson, President and CEO of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, discussed his organization’s support of the Common Core State Standards and politics in the state with the Learning First Alliance. The conversation, part of LFA’s “Get It Right: Common Sense on the Common Core” campaign, shows how schools progress toward the new standards and improve students’ learning.

New as of March 26, 2015

A Struggle Worth Having for Students

Description: In a Washington Post op/ed, third-grade teacher Kyle Schwartz makes his case for supporting the Common Core. Colorado unveiled Common Core five years ago, and while the process has been difficult, Kyle explains that the challenges helped educators do their jobs with more intention and understanding.

New as of January 13, 2015

Getting Common Core Right: What We’ve Learned

Description: The Learning First Alliance (LFA), has launched a campaign called Get It Right, an initiative focused on what states and districts are doing to “get it right” when it comes to the Common Core. This report helps highlight three key findings LFA has discovered since the campaign began.

New as of November 17, 2014

How Kentucky became a rare Common Core success story

Description: The Common Core State Standards have lost support, but Kentucky shows that it can work if implemented as intended. Here are three ways Kentucky become the Common Core "poster child" and what others can learn from the state's success.

New as of November 3, 2014

Five Key Insights Into Parents' and Teachers' Views on Common Core

Description: Gallup recently produced a four-day report of Common Core opinion polls of parents and teachers. To wrap up the coverage, Gallup packaged need-to-know information based on the polls and released it on October 31.

New as of October 8, 2014

State 'Report Card' Shows Steady Improvement for JCPS

Description: Kentucky, a Common Core early-adopter, shows improvement in college and career readiness as evidenced on state tests, according to the state Department of Education.

New as of September 9, 2014

50-state Look At How Common Core Playing Out In US

Description: The Huffington Post summarizes what is happening and has happened in each state with the Common Core. The brief paragraph descriptions provide a quick snapshot for how Common Core implementation is going (or isn't) across the country.

New as of August 13, 2014

Linda Rosen on Playing Politics with the Common Core

Description: Linda Rosen, chief executive officer of Change the Equation, has written a blog post for her organization in which she asserts that politicians are using misguided and uninformed positions to attack the Common Core. She says, “Corporate America has no interest in theatrics. … The bottom line on Common Core is that, had state standards been robust enough to begin with, the National Governor’s Association and Council of Chief State School Officers wouldn’t have felt the need to develop a common, higher bar. Common Core sets the bar – now let’s hold our politicians to it and double down on ensuring that they’re implemented.”

A Compendium of Research on the Common Core State Standards

Description: The Center on Education Policy released a new compendium of research on the Common Core. This PDF contains more than 60 research studies focused on the reform, including communications and public opinion, governance and leadership, testing and assessment, and implementation.

New as of July 22, 2014

National PTA Common Core Video Series

Description: This video series, developed through a partnership with the Hunt Institute, was designed to educate parents on the Common Core State Standards and empower them to support the transition at school and at home.

New as of July 7, 2014

New Twist in Common Core Wars

Description: Politico outlines the latest concern for Common Core critics -- testing contracts. Several states have pulled out from using Common Core-approved tests, citing concerns over lack of options for test materials, using federal funds for state testing, and a perceived focus on testing rather than learning.

New as of June 2, 2014

How to Talk Publicly About the Common Core

Description: NSPRA's Senior Common Core consultant, Jim Dunn, APR, was recently featured in AASA's School Administrator magazine explaining how to talk publicly about the Common Core. Check out this archived article from the organization's Common Core-focused May issue.

The Common Core FAQ

Description: The NPR Education team (nprED) has answered 25 of the most-asked questions about the Common Core. When even comedians like Stephen Colbert and Louis C.K. are taking affront to it, it's important to let people know the facts about the reform and NPR stands ready to do just that.

New as of May 12, 2014

Michael Petrilli on the Common Core Standards Initiative

Description: Thomas B. Fordham Institute's Executive Vice President Michael Petrilli went on C-Span to share information on the Common Core. He explained their role in overall U.S. education policy and the ongoing debate over the adoption of the standards in states.

Four Reasons that Critics of the Common Core Should Reconsider Their Opposition

Description: In an opinion piece featured in The Heichinger Report, Brookings’ Institution’s Joshua Bleiberg and Darrell West reviewed information from sources outside of the education realm and how they relate to the Common Core. They found that, if Common Core is implemented as planned, critics would likely have little to criticize.

Put Our Children 1st: Common Core for Common Goals

Description: The National Urban League Wire has published resources to help parents learn more and advocate for the Common Core. With a map, backgrounder, Q&A, and key messages, this succinct brief allows parents to quickly become familiar with what the Common Core is and how it will benefit their students.

New as of April 28, 2014

Common Questions on Common Core Part 3: How it’s working in Md., what it costs

Description: The final piece in a three-part Common Core-focused feature from focuses on how implementation is going in Maryland, and what it costs to change to this system.

PARCC: Lessons Learned

Description: Laura Slover, CEO of PARCC, Inc., wrote about how the first round of field testing went for the Common Core test provider. She outlined some of the things that they learned after this trial run and what the plan was for future field testing.

Common Questions on Common Core Part 2: New requirements and tests in Md.

Description: The second installment of a three-part Common Core explanatory series from focuses on how the Common Core affects Maryland students and schools. It also looks at the struggle to implement the changes due to limited options.

Vision Meets Reality: Common Core in Action

Description: For several years, the idea of how the Common Core would change education has only been just that – an idea. Education Week has compiled some articles to show how these ideas are becoming a reality across the nation.

School Superintendent Posts Letter on Common Core

Description: In his letter to parents in Livonia, New York, Superintendent Matthew Cole said critics of the Common Core are not focused on helping improve teaching and learning. Instead, criticism is fueled by creating buzz around the issue and making a political statement.

New as of April 21, 2014

Studies Offer Insights on Implementing Common Core

Description: Ed Week has shed some light on perceptions and expectations educators have regarding the Common Core and its implementation. The studies show that it is important for leaders to consider and make use of teacher input. The article also discusses how to navigate score drops.

Understanding the Common Core Curriculum: A Guide for Parents

Description: As Common Core implementation rolls out, it is important to educate parents on the curriculum. Scholastic has developed a guide to help parents understand what the Common Core means for their children.

New as of April 14, 2014

A Lesson on the Common Core

Description: In a slideshow accompanied by a blog post, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation addresses some key facts and messages to clear up misconceptions about the purpose and "reach" of the Common Core. The blog post is from Ann M. Fudge, a member of the Advisory Board for the United States Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

New as of April 2, 2014

Chamber of Commerce Foundation Common Core Video

Description: The short video shares key messages about the Common Core delivered by classroom teachers, education leaders, business leaders, and politicians alike. It explains why the Common Core is a necessary and good attempt to better align education to the expectations of the business and collegiate communities.

New as of March 24, 2014

The Misguided War on the Common Core

Description: In Indiana, Governor Mike Pence faces major potential political consequences if he vetoes a two-page bill requesting Indiana completely withdraw from the Common Core. The state has drafted very similar higher standards to the ones outlined by the Common Core, so the potential veto is meant to send a political statement rather than stagnate education's progress in Indiana. Most states that have attempted to pass legislation to withdraw from the Common Core have failed.

New as of March 10, 2014

Field Test Communication Toolkit from Smarter Balanced

Description: Smarter Balanced developed resources to prepare for the field tests coming up in many states. The field test communications toolkit contains 15 essential resources, including sample notification letters to parents, sample materials to disperse to the media, and a sample PowerPoint presentation.

Common Core in the Districts: An Early Look at Early Implementers

Description: This article, which first appeared in the Fordham Institute’s Education Gadfly Weekly, outlines key findings from research on early Common Core implementers. One key finding: Implementation gains traction when district and school leaders lock onto the Common Core standards as the linchpin of instruction, professional learning, and accountability in their buildings.

Common Core's Greatest Challenge: Testing Students' Ability to Think

Description: An educator in Kansas City, MO shares insight on the Common Core with a reporter. He says, "This is how I used to teach." The article says that the issue isn't so much the content of the Common Core, but how to successfully link that content to improving students' ability to think through testing. Students, educators, and administrators all share their thoughts and evidence that the Common Core is beneficial.

Teachers Lead the Way in Nevada Leader's Common-Core Project

Description: Education Week highlights the work of Washoe County, Nevada's Aaron Grossman, curriculum specialist, and his team of teachers devoted to figuring out how to make the Common Core most effective in their district. These teacher leaders are able to offer a different perspective than typical top-down mandates that might not take the whole picture into account. With this different approach, educators in the district feel that they are better preparing students for college and careers.

The Common Core's Unsung Benefit: It Teaches Kids to Be Good Citizens

Description: While the Common Core has become a partisan issue in some areas (with both sides expressing concerns), it is important to recognize that the reform can help students become better American citizens by "reinvigorating the democratic purpose of public education." High school students are to read the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the American Constitution, and President Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address under the standards. Then they will think critically, analyze and engage in debate regarding the content of these documents.

New as of February 24, 2014

Name Game: Amid Opposition, States Change Title of Common Core

Description: Some state legislatures are choosing to rename their states' Common Core standards to reflect the fact that they are simply updated education standards that each state has the right to modify to a degree. instead of a federal takeover of public education.

A Viable Common Core?

Description: Educators and others take part in a national debate over the new learning standards, a feature of the Sunday Review in the New York Times.

A Common Battle for Common Core

Description: Recently Kansas met to consider legislation that would stop Kansas from adopting the Common Core. More than 70 people testified about the benefits and weaknesses of the reform movement. This article reflects a common issue that many states face as implementation is quickly approaching.

Teacher Support for Common Core at ‘Critical Juncture’

Description: When Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association (NEA), wrote an open letter expressing concerns over the Common Core's implementation, he intended to sound a very loud alarm bell. He succeeded. Read more about what happened from

Common Core Fight Makes Odd Politics

Description: An opinion piece out of Decatur, Ala. shares the problem with Common Core critics, claiming that their arguments are either ironic or disingenuous.

Review: Common Core Not Federal Power Play

Description: This article includes a video of learning using standards set forth by the Common Core at Avon's Riverside Elementary School that serves to further its point. Mississippi's watchdog group put out a 94-page report saying that there is no credible evidence that the Common Core is an attempt to take away state or local rights to educate children.

New as of January 27, 2014

Teaching and Learning Over Testing

Description: In a new blog from AFT President Randi Weingarten, she explains why she supports the Common Core but is overall opposed to standardized testing and "other failed market-based education strategies." The answer, she says, is because Common Core is designed to be about learning, not testing. The Common Core has remarkable potential of legislators let the reform be what it is and stop trying to reduce it to test scores.

CC Better Lesson

Description: The National Education Association (NEA) and BetterLesson launched a website to help educators share Common Core-friendly ELA and math lesson plans with others. These lessons are from more than 100 teachers who have used these lessons and can tell you what works about them, pitfalls to avoid, and Common Core tips and tricks. Educators in your district will likely find this to be a helpful resource. =

Florida Education Leaders Recommend Changes to Controversial Common Core Benchmarks

Description: Despite making nearly 100 changes to Florida's version of the Common Core State Standards, now known simply as the Florida Standards, some parents and other critics refuse to support the reform. Others see the changes as a sign that the legislature is listening.

New as of January 13, 2014

Leadership for Common Core

Description: NAESP recently conducted two surveys to better understand how more than 1,000 K-12 principals in states implementing the Common Core truly feel about the reform. Discover what they had to say in the two briefs available in this resource.

New as of November 25, 2013

Common Core Opponents to Keep Children out of School Monday

Description: To protest the Common Core, some parents kept their children out of school on November 18. One parent in Rochester, NY who was interviewed said that her children do not feel comfortable taking standardized tests and that it was too much pressure for a young child, so she was keeping her children out of school for the day to send a message. The Superintendent of that district wondered if that was the right message.

Reject Common Core Tests in Grades K-2

Description: In a joint op-ed from Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers union, and early childhood education expert Nancy Carlsson-Paige, they assert that Common Core's focus on assessments, particularly in early grades, does a disservice to students and the teachers who serve them.

Understanding the Common Core

Description: The Center for Public Education has developed a list of resources to help understand the Common Core. There's a report to separate fact from myth, presentations about implementation, articles, and other resources that will help you and your community understand the reform.

Parents Get Schooled in Common Core for ELA, Math

Description: Parents of Long Beach (N.Y.) School District learned how to help their students with math and English/language arts after the district conducted a workshop for them. Then they learned how to interpret test scores based for the first time on Common Core State Standards. Here is a link to the presentation that they used.

A Parent’s Concern about the Common Core

Description: In a letter-to-the-editor-style article, a retired school principal answers questions submitted by her readers. One parent wrote asking how her student, who is learning English, as a second language, would be able to succeed with the new standards. The response could be adapted to respond to similar concerns in your school community.

New as of November 4, 2013

Dispelling Common Core Myths

Description: Myths are running rampant about the Common Core, despite people's best efforts to share the truth. In this article and SlideShare presentation, learn the facts behind the Common Core.

New as of October 28, 2013

Fact-checking Attacks on Common Core School Standards

Description: This is an article focused on dispelling rumors in Florida about the Common Core. Learn the truth about data collection, curriculum changes, and level of teacher involvement in the standards’ development. There are a lot of unsubstantiated rumors out there about the Common Core, and it’s important to know the truth about them.

Common Core Is Brainchild of State Educators, Not a Federal Power Grab for Kids’ Minds

Description: Kansas is strategically developing a communication plan to educate its communities about the Common Core to clear up rumors that are not true. Diane DeBacker, the Education Commissioner in KS, is sending a letter to politicians responsible for spreading misinformation. Learn more about the information campaign in the article.

Work on Common Core Resuming Immediately, Michigan Education Superintendent Says

Description: Michigan halted its implementation of the Common Core when enough of the state’s politicians voiced concern. However, after a state Senate vote, spending and work related to the Common Core has resumed. State Superintendent Mike Flanagan said, “To help all our students succeed, our collective work needs to be focused on having rigorous standards; effective and valuable assessments aligned to those standards; and high quality and effective educators.”

Leadership Planning Guide: Common Core State Standards and Assessments Implementation

Description: The purpose of this guide is to offer essential considerations and recommended first steps for each of the ten key components. These steps represent where the main challenges are most likely to be found, and the steps that need to be thought through in implementing the CCSS and new assessments.

3 Ways Parents Can Help Teachers

Description: In an article written by a teacher who is also a parent, learn three ways parents can help their students, not only with the Common Core, but with their academic journey in general.

Demand for Testing Products, Services on the Rise

Description: With the Common Core education reform, schools must update their testing products and services to remain up-to-date. Learn what is happening in the world of academic testing, how to assess the quality of different test support providers, and everything else you need to know to share the best information with your stakeholders.

New as of October 21, 2013

World’s Largest Educational Resource Catalog

Description: For educators looking for videos and games related to the Common Core, this website has compiled more than a quarter of a million resources. You can browse the whole directory or search by standards. It’s a must-see resource for all educators looking for ways to make the Common Core more accessible.

Common Core Math {Outside of the Box}

Description: In this blog post, a teacher using Common Core for the first time in her classroom shares worksheets she developed to help her students think “outside of the box” when it comes to math. They are great tools to help students achieve the skills Common Core expects them to gain, such as being able to explain how they arrived at a conclusion.

Support for Common Core Strong in U.S. Military

Description: Although the Common Core has met with some pretty serious opposition, the U.S. military supports it for several key reasons. First, military families are very transient, so nearly-nationwide education standards would finally allow students to pick up where they left off from school to school. Also, with schools all teaching the same thing, it could help improve living conditions for military personnel. Finally, better-educated soldiers could help improve national security.

Two New Math Programs Help Georgia Students and Teachers Meet More Rigorous Common Core State Standards

Description: The Georgia State Board of Education has reviewed and recommended two newly developed high school programs aligned to the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS): Carnegie Learning CCGPS Analytic Geometry and CCGPS Advanced Algebra. The courses deliver highly personalized mathematics learning for students of varying skill levels. The curricula are written specifically to meet the requirements of the CCGPS and to support mathematics instructors in the transition to the new common core standards.

Highland Park and Deerfield Teachers Say Common Core Approach Shifts Focus to Students

Description: An article describes what is happening at an Illinois school as it transitions into using the Common Core to teach students. Although quantitative data might be hard to come by for a few years since the program is so new, teachers say that they are seeing positive impact on student achievement already. According to the article, the Common Core standards are more guideposts than maps at the moment. As a result, a lot of teachers are making it up as they go along, because few effective teaching models have been shared to date.

New as of October 7, 2013

Teachers in Common Core States "Enthusiastic" about Implementation

Description: A report from Scholastic and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation found that most teachers are aware of the Common Core State Standards and the majority is enthusiastic about their implementation in states where they will be implemented. This is just a selected preview of what the full report reveals. The full report will be made available in the coming months.

Common Core Q&A: Explaining New Standards for Florida Students

Description: A Florida newspaper, the Orlando Sentinel, answers some frequently asked questions regarding the Common Core. Questions include why the new standards are better than Florida’s old ones, why people oppose the Common Core, and concerns over student security, in addition to teacher feelings about the reform and new tests.


New as of September 30, 2013

Common Core Renamed to "Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards"

Description: A micro-article explains Arizona legislature’s decision to rename the Common Core State Standards.

Introductory Videos on the Common Core State Standards

Description: Watch videos explaining the changes to math and ELA/Literacy expectations from Achieve the Core, a part of Student Achievement Partners. You can also sign up to receive updates through e-mail about the Common Core, and learn more about the Common Core depending on your position and grade level of interest.

Business Groups Crank Up Defense of Common Core

Description: A Sept. 24 article from Ed Week describes the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s attempts to dispel myths about the Common Core, and encourage support from businesses for the reform. However, it seems that large-scale, national support isn’t what will win people over, and that extremists on each side of the political spectrum are fervently opposing the new standards.

Review of System Capacity to Implement the Common Core State Standards: Diagnostic Tool for Schools, Districts, and Organizations

Description: A New Mexico group in support of the Common Core developed a tool to download to determine how prepared your school system is to transition to the Common Core.

Year 3 of Implementing the Common Core State Standards: Professional Development for Teachers and Principals

Description: This report, based on spring 2013 survey of state education agency officials in Common Core-adopting states, provides information on state efforts to prepare teachers and principals. The report examines which entities are providing Common Core related-professional development services within the states, the estimated proportion of teachers and principals that have participated in such services, and the challenges that states face in preparing educators to teach a Common Core-aligned curricula.

New as of September 23, 2013

Common Core’s Testing Woes

Description: A short article from the National Journal about what the Common Core was supposed to be – a positive education reform – vs. what it has become – a hotly-contested political agenda item – says that the sticking point for many Common Core critics is standardized testing.

Technology Guidelines for PARCC Assessments

Description: Find answers to the more pressing questions concerning PARCC technology requirements and guidelines. In this quick-read FAQ, find out whether tablets can be used, what operating systems are necessary, and hardware and bandwidth specifications.

Smarter Balanced Technology Readiness Calculator

Description: A helpful tool to help you plan your technology needs for Smarter Balanced tests, the Smarter Balanced Technology Readiness Calculator estimates the number of days and associated network bandwidth required to administer English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics assessments given the number of students, number of computers, and number of hours per day computers are available for testing at a specific school.

The Smarter Balanced Technology Strategy Framework and System Requirements Specifications – Executive Summary

Description: Learn what you need to know about Smarter Balanced technology requirements, including hardware and software requirements, additional requirements, and anticipated end-of-support dates so you can plan your technology budget for the future.

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Adopts Misleading Arguments to Attack Common Core

Description: From Media Matters for America, a nonprofit media watchdog group, an article corrects the mischaracterizations of the Common Core in a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review editorial.

New as of Sept. 16, 2013

13 Extreme Statements Made About the Common Core Standards

Description: A quick-read article from the Huffington Post shares 13 of the most outrageous criticisms of the Common Core. Many allude to America becoming like Nazi Germany or the reform bringing an apocalyptic shift to education as we know it.

A Showdown on Common Core Testing

Description: An LA Times editorial describes the disagreement between the state of California and the Obama administration in regards to standardized testing during the state's transition to the Common Core curriculum standards. The contentious disagreement is not serving the best interests of the students, according to the editorial.

Poll: Majority of Teachers Support Common Core

Description: In poll from the National Education Association (NEA) and shared by US News, we have learned that although 75% of teachers support the Common Core, they are unsure that the standards will be able to be adopted exactly as planned. "Our members support the Common Core Standards because they are the right thing to do for our children," NEA President Dennis Van Roekel said in a statement. "We all need to work together – parents, education support professionals, teachers, administrators, communities and elected officials – to make sure we get this right."

New as of Sept. 9, 2013

Common Sense on Common Core

Description: A fact sheet created by Change the Equation to help answer the basics about the Common Core. Learn what you need to know in this quick, easy-to-read common sense resource.

An Idiot’s Guide to the Common Core

Description: In an Independent article, the author uses California schools as the example to explain Common Core school reform. They spoke with several California teachers to learn what the changes mean: how does it work, why does it work, and how does it help? This puts Common Core in concrete terms to help people understand what it really does and will look like.

Will New Common Standards Mean Less Teaching to the Test?

Description: Some standardized exams under the Common Core State Standards will continue to rely on multiple-choice questions, leading to concerns that rote memorization and "teaching to the test" will remain in classrooms. Lia Crawford, the elementary-math supervisor in a Florida district, challenged that idea during a summer training session. "If you guys continue to have your students (be) really deep thinkers and problem-solvers, the test won't be an issue," Crawford said.

What to Make of the Debate Over Common Core

Description: Among people who are aware that the Common Core exists, a war rages. Supporters assert the possibilities of Common Core, encouraging students to think and analyze instead of memorize test answers. Critics cling to the notion that this is a federal mandate in sheep’s clothing, and that students privacy may be intruded on. Here’s what you need to understand about what others are saying and what the truth is about the Common Core.

New as of Sept. 3, 2013

The Common Core and the Common Good

Description: Charles Blow illuminates a problem in American education in an opinion piece for the New York Times. He cites several studies showing that the American public wants students to learn the types of things the Common Core is poised to teach them, and that learning objectives need to change for our students to become and remain competitive academically against their international peers.

Common Core 101

Description: Common Core 101, a backgrounder prepared by the Alliance for Excellent Education, addresses six questions many critics and skeptics of the Common Core are asking.

Common Core: A Puzzle to Public

Description: According to research cited in this EdWeek article, (note: to access the full article, you’ll need an EdWeek subscription) most Americans barely even know the Common Core exists. Even the majority of K-12 public school parents are unaware of the new movement. This article contains some key information about how informed, uninformed, or misinformed your school community may be about the Common Core. Use it to help frame your messaging.

New as of August 19, 2013

Transition to New Core Takes Time

Description: A commentary piece from Questar III BOCES, a communication services organization in Castleton, N.Y., in response to the low test scores released in New York State last week. It appeared in the August 13, 2013 Times Union, which covers the Albany and Capital Region area. It calls for a thoughtful response.

Interpreting 3-8 ELA/Mathematics Tests, Results and Score Reports

Description: A web resource from engageNY, a website developed and maintained by the New York State Education Department, to help families understand what the new tests mean, and tools for educators tasked with communicating about the new assessments.

Arizona Students Face New Common Core Standards

Description: An article explaining the Common Core as it is introduced to Arizona educators. It touches on changes to testing, uncertainty with what to expect, and the hopes they have for improving education in the state, whether Common Core is the answer or not.

Minnesota Braces for Scores to Drop with New Common Core Tests

Description: In Minnesota, schools are proactive in preparing families for a perceived testing dip, saying that although scores may be lower, it has more to do with different criteria being observed than a lack of quality education. With any new program, it takes a while to get used to it and get the kinks out, so parents and students should not be upset by a lower score, but happy for more rigorous education.

Common Core Standards Early Results from Kentucky Are In

Description: Kentucky was one of the first states to begin implementing the Common Core State Standards. Michael Morella of US News interviewed the state’s Commissioner of Education, Terry Holliday, to find out how the state was reacting to the first round of testing and what others can expect as they begin implementation and testing.

All Students Can Meet the Deeper Learning Bar Set by Common Core

Description: An article co-written by Robert Lenz, cofounder and CEO of Envision Schools and Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former West Virginia governor, for the Huffington Post about how all students can meet the deeper learning bar set by Common Core.

Common Core Standards Professional Development

Description: An online professional development resource developed to help educators understand the changes Common Core brings. This page includes sample videos, brochures for parents (in English and Spanish), and an opportunity for more in-depth information.

War on the Core

Description: An op/ed by Bill Keller in the New York Times that explains how  Republican Party extremists seem to have a vendetta against the Common Core, believing it to be a dangerous federal scheme to control children's minds.

New as of July 29, 2013

Common Core Foes Spreading Misinformation, Duncan Says

Description: Education Secretary Arnie Duncan responded to criticism about the Common Core, saying that issues are “imaginary” and an attempt to misinform the American public. He urged journalists to learn and report the truth about the promise of the Common Core. He said, “The New York Times has called the Common Core “a once-in-a-generation opportunity” to bring our public schools up to levels of our high-performing international competitors.” Read the full content of his speech delivered Tues., June 25 to the American Society of Newspaper Editors.

Common Core a Steep Climb

Description: One of the nation’s most prominent education publications, Education Week, created a four-part series on the Common Core. Common Core: A Steep Climb highlights Washington D.C.’s commitment to the Common Core, a veteran teacher struggling to prepare her students for the new standards, preparing for year-end tests, and finally a free Common Core chat that was hosted on June 17.

Common Core Practice Tests Now Available from Smarter Balanced

Description: Smarter Balanced released online practice tests to help educators prepare their students for the changes in Common Core assessments. They will work with educators to help develop a digital library of formative assessments and professional development resources. This way, educators will be properly prepared to provide great education in accordance with the Common Core State Standards.

Learning about Common Core Resources Available for Teachers

Description: Although this isn’t exactly a resource to communicate about the Common Core, it will help you discuss what the Common Core is, why it is necessary, and how it will help students. With more than 80 resources to help educators teach math, language arts, and science, it’s a great resource to have in your back pocket.

Common Core Success

Description: At Road Maps to Common Core Success, district leaders, curriculum developers, and other experts provide actionable plans to help education leaders like you find your way around obstacles that can hinder your route to success. You can still view this event to discover strategies and new approaches to the Common Core roadblocks.

What Is Common Core: A Critical Website

Description: The website is focused on blog posts against the Common Core. Topics of posts include parents’ rights, student privacy, and Arne Duncan. This website is mainly written by a former English teacher from Utah whose own students have been both home schooled and enrolled in public school. She has taught in a variety of schools.

Georgia Withdrawing from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers (PARCC) Consortium

Description: Gov. Nathan Deal and Superintendent John Barge announced that Georgia will not offer a new test tied to the Common Core standards being designed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC. They cited its cost as the main reason, which could be more than the entire K-12 testing budget. Georgia will develop its own assessments, possibly in collaboration with other states.

PARCC Test Cost: Higher for Nearly Half the States

Description: The Common Core tests by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, will cost member states $29.50 per student, more than what half the states currently pay for their tests, according to new estimates. The cost of tests by PARCC and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium are a topic of intense interest as states try to decide their testing plans for 2014-15. (Education Week, premium article access compliments of , 07/22/13)

Common Core Video from Council of Great City Schools

Description: This great, three-minute video explaining Common Core was done by the Council of Great City Schools. It explains how the Common Core State Standards will help students achieve at high levels and help them learn what they need to know to get to graduation and beyond.

When Bad Things Happen to Good Data

Description: If people in your community are concerned about upcoming test scores associated with the Common Core and what they mean (or what people will decide they mean to serve their own purposes), they should read this article from Education Weekly about the tests frequently called the “Nation’s Report Card,” the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP).

New as of June 11, 2013

Separating fact from fiction about Common Core education standards

Description: A Q-and-A style article designed to clear up some misconceptions about the Common Core from The Miami Herald. The article begins by sharing some criticism the Common Core has faced from Tea Party critics, specifically in Alaska, which is one state that has not adopted the new standards.

The tea party is wrong on the Common Core curriculum

Description: Delaware Governor Jack Markell op-ed that appeared in The Washington Post, highlights the key ways that the Tea Party is incorrect in its assault on the Common Core. He says that while the group claims the reform is from the federal government and will eliminate local control of schools, neither is true. He goes on to state the benefits the Common Core will lead to, such as similar expectations for students moving from state to state and increased ability to compete in the global job market.

Movement against Common Core education standards hits NC

Description: A reporter for a North Carolina newspaper reports on the arguments critics have taken against the Common Core, what the reform could mean for NC students, and concerns about the validity of the criticism the Common Core is facing (and the validity of some of its critics).

The Common Core is Good Conservativism

Description: In an opinion piece in The Washington Post that criticizes conservative opponents of the Common Core, Michael Gerson argues that these opponents are applying a single, abstract principle -- an ideological commitment to localism in education -- and elevating that principle above all others, regardless of conditions and circumstances. Localism is not the answer to our educational problems, and in any event, the Common Core is not a federal approach but a national approach from institutions outside the federal government. There is no ideal ideological world in which state and local control has resulted in education excellence, Gerson writes.

EGR Superintendent Says Lawmakers Operating on Misconceptions: Common Core Doesn’t Dictate Instruction

Description: In an op-ed that appearad in School News Network, Charles Honey reports on a major school system's superindent's concern that lawmakers in her state, Michigan, are halting the Common Core without really understanding what it's about. She says, "They don't want the facts to get in the way of their decisions."

New as of May 29, 2013

What Everyone Needs to Know about Common Core State Standards

Description: Words alone cannot explain the depth and breadth of the Common Core State Standards. That’s why CTB/McGraw-Hill has developed this illustrated infographic summarizing what everyone needs to know about Common Core State Standards and what teachers and students can do to get ready for implementation. To obtain this useful and informative infographic, McGraw-Hill requires you to register for it. In our opinion, this hurdle is worth it for the information.

Michigan Legislative Decision Stops Common Core

Description: Michigan has halted Common Core adoption as part of its appropriations bill, not wanting to fund the federally-supported initiative. The state's officials are concerned that the reform is moving to quickly, before people really have a chance to understand what it is and what it means for education in their own state.

Fulfilling the Promise of the Common Core State Standards: Moving from Adoption to Implementation to Sustainability

Description: A report from ASCD outlines findings from four state summits and offers key recommendations for action regarding the Common Core. The statewide summits provided information about what educators knew about the Standards and what else they needed to know. ASCD, a supporter of the Common Core, sees the program's potential to prepare every student for college, career, and citizenship.

Common Core Standards: Why They Are A Good Idea

Description: In an op-ed from Eagle County School District in Colorado, an instructional coach and former eighth-grade teacher says that the Standards are a good thing. A district known for being "ahead of the curve," it has accepted the CCSS and says that they are a step toward equity in education.

Common Core Standards Are Important for Louisiana Students: Letter to the Editor

Description: Janet Bean, Chair of the Education Committee for Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans, wrote a letter to the editor dispelling myths about the Common Core that she's hearing in her area. She says the Common Core will allow students in Louisiana to get the academic rigor they need.

In Defense of the Common Core Standards: Letter to the Editor

Description: If you are looking for ways to respond to critics, you could take a look at this letter to the editor for a start. Neil Jaffe says that the most ridiculous and outlandish statements are the ones that make the news, and that's what's happening when people criticize the Common Core. He says the standards raise the bar for students while still allowing educators the freedom to teach in a way that works for them.

About the Common Core in Park Hill School District

Description: Park Hill School District shared this video with us, designed for use within their school community to clarify what the Common Core is and what it means for students and their families in that district. You could use this video as an example when designing your own.

New as of May 13, 2013

Common Core Supporters Firing Back

Description: Supporters of the Common Core are moving to confront increasingly high-profile opposition to the standards at the state and national levels by rallying the private sector and initiating coordinated public relations campaigns as schools continue implementation. State education officials, the business community, and advocacy groups are ramping up efforts to buttress support for the standards and to counter what they say is misinformation. (Education Week, premium article access compliments of, 05/14/13)

Common Core State Standards: Get It Right

Description: President of the National Education Association (NEA), Dennis Van Roekel talks about what the Common Core needs to have it be a success – stakeholders working together with the “time and tools they need to succeed.” He clarifies some areas of concern and says that tests need to assess what students learn, not anything else.

Commit to the Core

Description: Commit to the Core is designed to support the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. It is dedicated to providing educators, parents and communities across Illinois with professional learning tools and resources to support students in reaching the state's vision for a college- and career-ready education.

Below are some print materials that Commit to the Core has developed.

Common Core for Educators

Common Core for Students

Common Core for Community

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