Education Week’s latest report provides readers with an overview of the concerns and challenges—and a few of the early successes—surrounding implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). This compilation of six articles offers anecdotal information on a number of “early adopter” districts—including specifics on how the Common Core may affect classroom instruction and content delivery. According to the report, most early adopters are phasing in the CCSS, initially for Kindergarteners and first graders only; a number of them are collaborating on curriculum development and training materials—all available via open-source online portals. Still more are incorporating the special-education teaching tactics of “universal design for learning” (UDL) and “response to intervention” (RTI)—which promote flexible classroom materials and help individualize instruction—into general-education learning. Some promising initiatives are afoot—but Ed Week’s anecdotes (as well as its inattention to how states are preparing for Common Core assessments and linked accountability systems) do little to assuage fears that CCSS implementation is moving too slowly.
Education Week, Math, Literacy, & Common Standards (Bethesda, MD: Editorial Projects in Education, April 2012).