Aligning Your Curriculum to the Common Core State Standards

Books

Joe Crawford

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  • Dedication

    Dedicated to my mom, Genevieve Crawford, who helped me become the person I am and made sure I did what I needed to do, by hook or by crook. I love you and miss you.

    Copyright

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    Foreword

    I have had the privilege of designing the speaker lineup for and hosting more than 200 national conferences. I select the books we feature at those conferences and read many of them. Committed educators in schools and districts look to us to help guide them to consultants and publications that can help them reach their goals, and some of my most delightful moments happen when we discover talented people who can positively impact teaching and learning. Over 10 years ago, I saw Joe Crawford in action for the first time, and it was a delightful moment.

    Like you, I have heard speakers who changed my perspective in meaningful ways, and I have endured sessions that felt like someone had dropped the clock into cold molasses as time and my skin simultaneously began crawling. I have interacted with Joe in many contexts: as a listener, a participant, a colleague, and a reader. The time has always passed quickly. His spoken and written words help me improve my work. In my own library, I have a treasured set of books I call the Skin Horse collection. In The Velveteen Rabbit, the Skin Horse had most of his hair loved off and he was loose in the joints and a bit shabby because a child had loved him for a long, long time. That's what a valuable resource book looks like over time; it becomes real. My Skin Horse books have wrinkled bindings, dogeared pages, notes in the margins, highlighted passages, and coffee stains. But as the Skin Horse said, “These things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly except to people who don't understand.” Long before I finished the last page of this book, I knew I was placing it in my Skin Horse collection. This book helps me see the process for effective implementation of the Common Core State Standards more clearly, and I will use it many times.

    Joe is excellent at designing road maps that make the complex and overwhelming understandable and accessible. In this process manual, he outlines a step-by-step guide that will truly empower local educators to engage in the work ahead with implementation of the Common Core State Standards. It takes a lot of experience to know what to do and what not to do when tackling a massive task. Joe's 36 years of doing this work well and guiding others to do this work well comes through on every page. This book is an essential read for all local teams who strive to turn the Common Core State Standards into a learnable curriculum.

    Joe is a generous man. He has given educators a remarkable gift: a useful set of tools they can use to create the curriculum and instruction support our learners need on their journey to career and college readiness. Use this as a guide. Joe's writing will give you many delightful moments.

    KarenYoung, Founder and president of A+ Educators, Founder, former president of Learning 24/7

    Preface

    What Is the Purpose of This Book? The purpose of this book is to give the reader a better understanding of the issues revolving around implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), to offer the possibility of using the CCSS as the basis for a new national curriculum model, and to provide a step-by-step process to develop, refine, and use that curriculum model at the local level to improve student performance.

    The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are here! Whether you receive that news with gratitude or trepidation, the reality is that public education must find a way to implement them. So the question becomes, now what do we do with them? While many have clamored for some kind of national document that outlines learning expectations for all students, whether those students live in New York City, Arkansas, Illinois, Alaska, or wherever, many have been equally vociferous in opposing any kind of national standards or curriculum that will deprive local educators and local education units of the academic freedom to decide what their students will learn in the local public school experience. All that being said, we now have those national standards to be applied in almost all of our states. The majority of states have adopted these CCSS and further adoptions are sure to be completed in the near future. Therefore now is the time to plan at the national level for implementing these CCSS. Educators need a chance to begin the conversation and the planning needed to do that implementation work.

    As I pondered this national-scale endeavor, I could not help but remember an incident in my life that has driven me ever since it happened. Please bear with me for a moment as I retell that story. I have always been fascinated with and in love with water. I finally bought a home on a small inland lake and soon found a small, used Butterfly sailboat. Having never sailed, but having looked through books on the subject and talked to several amateur sailors, I was really eager but afraid to try it. My best friend, Bill, told me he knew how to sail and would be glad to teach me. He came over, we rigged the boat, and off we went. After capsizing the boat several times and struggling to get it back on course, we figured it out and had a great day sailing around the lake, tacking, coming about, and so on.

    As we packed away the sail for the night, I asked Bill where and when he had learned to sail. He said that day was his first day sailing, but he knew we could figure it out together. The lesson has never left me; educators cannot study and get into “analysis paralysis” and study these new CCSS to death. Experience has taught public educators a great deal about standards-based learning, so let's just go do it. That is exactly what this book will help the reader know how to do—implement the CCSS.

    As a first step to implementing these CCSS, education should look to previously successful standards work. The research and practice of taking large, complex curriculum expectations and “refining” those expectations into teachable, learnable amounts by building Power Standards is crystal clear. Doug Reeves, Larry Ainsworth, and others have shown educators how to build these realistic, learnable documents, and research has shown this approach improves student performance. It is the purpose of this book to apply that successful model of identifying those most critical skills in the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS) to build more learnable curriculum expectations in the form of local CCSS.

    This book outlines the process and the issues involved in doing that work. We will use those proven strategies developed and used in the past to address state standards and apply those successful strategies to the CCSS, modify those strategies as needed, and learn to do the implementation work better. Educators must be like the students in a standards-based model—learn it, try it, get feedback, try it again. We will learn from this action research, and we can learn from each other, if we are willing to listen and learn. We can do this; come on, let's go sailing!

    While this book is not intended to be a discussion of the rightness or wrongness, good or evil, or quality of those national standards, I do believe the CCSS are a great natural next step to improving student performance. Education must define the standards that students are expected to master, and then do the design and implementation work to operationalize those standards. While not everybody agrees with the national standards or national curriculum model idea, it is important to explore these issues and seek common ground. What will we do with the CCSS? What issues do the CCSS create? What issues do they address? What's a local district to do in order to move forward with those CCSS?

    It is important to understand some of the realities of the CCSS as we work to implement them. The first and perhaps most important thing to realize is that the CCSS have been or will be adopted by all 50 states, sooner or later, in some form or format. The form and format of those CCSS may be somewhat changed or tweaked as they move through the process of adoption and implementation in all 50 states, but I believe we have to move forward on the assumption that these CCSS are here to stay and will be a major driver in public education for years to come.

    While the CCSS have been or will be adopted by all 50 states sooner or later, the assessment system to measure student mastery of those standards has not been developed but will, hopefully, be in effect in 2014. We still have to move forward on this huge task for designing curriculum and instruction to address these new national core standards. The assessments will be here in 2014, and those assessments will require some changes and adjustments to curriculum materials, and so on, but we will address those improvement issues when they present themselves. While states have the option to adopt or not adopt these CCSS, the reality is a national assessment system based on these CCSS will be in effect in 2014, and we simply must prepare for that assessment system. That is, perhaps, the most compelling reason to begin this work now.

    What is the logic of the chapters in this book? This book will take the instructional leader through a logical sequence of tasks that need to be completed in order to successfully build local curriculum documents that reflect the CCSS and serve as documents to define curriculum expectations. Instructional leaders need to understand the national standards before they can implement them. In order to implement the national standards, instructional leaders will need to define and create local CCSS aligned with the CCSS that make the material to be covered more organized and manageable. In order to successfully teach the skills outlined in the local CCSS, instructional leaders will need to develop and implement common formative assessments that will offer teachers feedback as to what students have mastered and how to modify their instruction to improve learning.

    What makes this book unique? First and foremost, these CCSS are such a new issue that very little research or past practice in implementing these CCSS exists. This book will take what education has learned from previous successful curriculum and assessment initiatives and apply that learning and experience to the CCSS. The book will take the reader through a discussion with specific steps for what local leaders can and should do to implement this latest innovation in education in order to best improve student learning and performance.

    This book will give the reader

    • a plan for using the CCSS as the basis for design of local curriculum documents that clearly define the skill to be learned, and when that skill will be learned;
    • a better understanding of the issues revolving around implementing the CCSS;
    • the possibility of using the CCSS as the basis for a new national curriculum model; and
    • a step-by-step process to develop, refine, and use that new curriculum model at the local level to improve student performance.

    In order to outline this work for the reader, I will rely on the work and research of the great masters, Larry Lezotte, Doug Reeves, Larry Ainsworth, Mike Schmoker, Rick Stiggins, and others. I will then combine my experience in actually doing the work of aligning curriculum to these CCSS at the local level with my own 36 years in public education and 10 years of national consulting experience to give the reader a step-by-step guide to doing this work. This book is designed as a process manual to help the reader go from Point A (CCSS) to Point B (Power Standards and instructional objectives) as the basis for a new national curriculum model. This is a “brave new world” for educators, but education has learned much on the journey to standards-based learning, and this book will help the reader apply those previous lessons to our new task, implementing the CCSS.

    We will also revisit the need for the creation of a curriculum and assessment system that defines what is to be learned and when it is to be learned and how it is to be assessed so that systems thinking can be applied to that system. Remember, you cannot apply systems thinking if you don't have a system in place.

    That is the purpose of this book—to help all educators think about and effectively implement the new CCSS. I believe that will require a new national curriculum model that helps provide learning for all while taking advantage of the culture, technology, and norms present in this new learning environment. Schools cannot continue to do what they have always done and expect a different result.

    Beginning the conversation. Also, in this new environment driven by national standards, it is imperative to realize that the teachers and administrators of this national education system, as a national learning community, have much to learn and share with each other. Public education must work together to apply this implementation model, learn from each other's experiences and issues, and then share with and learn from each other—not shout others down.

    That message of cooperation and sharing with each other is one of the most important messages of this book. Let's learn together and work together to create a new national model that responds to the needs of our students and to our own needs as professional educators. We all became educators because of our love of and commitment to the students, so let's work together to improve what we do. The new model presented in this book is intended to be a starting place to begin the conversation and to allow all of us to exchange ideas and learn from each other.

    How can you use this book? This book is designed as a step-by-step process manual with explanations of those specific steps as the book goes through them. Readers should first review the overall process advocated in this book and then make judgments on the political, financial, and leadership issues present in their own districts. Do all the steps advocated apply directly to the reader's situation? Is the reader's knowledge of and experience with a particular phase of the process such that the particular step can be omitted or amended? All of these questions and others can be answered by readers as they work through this process.

    This book is all about a process and addressing the issues that come up during that implementation process. Like most processes, it can be done with a variety of tools and methods, and this author will share with you both the approach (the process) and tools I use and have used. To help make sure the reader is able to fully participate in both the process and the tools that I have used, a demonstration website has been set up at https://www.partners4results.org/demo. The reader may go to that website and do all of the work that I describe in this book.

    A sample K–12 curriculum based on the CCSS in the format discussed in this book is also on the website and may be used by the reader as an example of this new curriculum model. This website is interactive and allows for visitors to post comments, share observations, and so on. It is my hope that this will be a place where educators can participate at no charge in a real-time, meaningful conversation about and around the CCSS and a new national curriculum model.

    Some terms should be clarified:

    • Power Standards refers to those curriculum expectations developed by Larry Ainsworth and Doug Reeves that identify the most critical, most important learnings that all students must know and be able to do—a kind of “safety net” curriculum explained in more detail later in this book.
    • Local CCSS represent the application of those principles contained in Power Standards directly to the CCSS, thus creating local curriculum expectations aligned to and derived from the CCSS.
    • The new curriculum model proposed in this book applies the focus of the Power Standards concept and applies it to the CCSS, defining both what standard is to be learned and when that standard is to be learned. This curriculum model is more appropriately called local CCSS rather than Power Standards because while the local CCSS are built on the work and research of Doug Reeves and Larry Ainsworth, these new local CCSS are a different entity with a different focus and slightly different developmental process.
    • Standards-based curriculum refers to the curriculum defining the standard to be mastered rather than the content to be used.

    Go through the book, examine the processes and suggested approaches, and implement those processes within your own situation. Share what you are learning and doing, both locally and through the website above. This book begins the conversation, and the reader should feel welcome to participate in this reform initiative and conversation.

    In order to ensure that I am a good consumer of my own product, please feel free to contact me with any issues, concerns, or problems you may have along the way. This book really is about creating a discussion among educators about ways to improve services to students and to implement the CCSS. Feel free to share your thoughts, ideas, need for clarification, and so on with me at joe@partners4results.org. I will respond as I am able. Feel free to leave your phone number, and I will call you. Come on, let's go sailing together!

    Acknowledgments

    First and foremost, it is essential to acknowledge the work and dedication of the school districts and their staffs who have actually done much of the curriculum work in this book. These districts used the processes outlined in this book to develop their own local CCSS and instructional objectives and are willing to share their work with the reader to help move us forward in this very important work. My special thanks go out to these Illinois school districts:

    • Bradford Community Unit School District 1
    • Bureau Valley School District 340
    • Community Consolidated School District 168
    • Country Club Hills School District 160
    • Mundelein High School District 120
    • Geneseo School District 228
    • Sandwich Community Unit School District 430
    • Wethersfield Community Unit School District 230

    I share their work here with their permission and really appreciate both their work and their willingness to share. Thank you.

    In looking at any work on curriculum alignment and systemic reform, the work and inspiration of Larry Lezotte, Doug Reeves, Mike Schmoker, and Rick Stiggins has to be acknowledged. They are the pioneers, the keepers of the vision, and the giants on whose shoulders I try to stand.

    Special thanks to the editor, Arnis Burvikovs, for his support and hard work in getting my best work out of me. And thanks to the entire Corwin team—they are awesome.

    Thanks to the team of people at partners4results who work tirelessly and creatively to bring my curriculum and assessment ideas to life on the Internet and in the districts we are partnering with in this exciting journey.

    Thanks again to Dr. Jody Ware, who continues to expand my horizons and keep me on my toes to keep this entire process usable, accurate, and doable. Her leadership is exceptional, and her friendship is invaluable.

    Thanks to Karen Young, who continues to inspire and encourage me in this journey. She is much more than a CEO of a staff development company; she is a true leader trying to improve teaching and learning in America. She is awesome.

    About the Author

    Joe Crawford spent 36 years in public education at the high school, junior high, middle school, and district level as an English teacher, assistant principal, principal, and assistant superintendent focusing on improving student performance. He has been recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education in the Those Who Excel program and by the Carnegie Foundation with a National Systemic Change Award. Additionally, he was principal of a twice-recognized National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence and met two presidents as part of that recognition. He was also chosen by the Illinois State Board of Education and the Milken Family Foundation as a National Distinguished Educator. He has also been active in Total Quality Management and continuous improvement, and his work reflects the tenets of these industry-standard approaches to improvement. While he was doing this work, his district received a Silver Award from the Baldrige Foundation.

    Following the work of Larry Lezotte, Doug Reeves, Mike Schmoker, and others, Crawford works with local districts to apply this invaluable work and research in the real world of public schools and kids—making the transition from research to reality possible and even pleasant. He works with teachers and districts to build capacity and to create a common sense of mission through shared ownership of solutions. By involving those who will implement decisions in the actual decision-making process, he helps create a sense of buy-in and a much deeper understanding of state standards and the improvement process, leading to sustainable, long-term improvement in student performance. He is the author of Using Power Standards to Build an Aligned Curriculum: A Process Manual, and numerous articles.

  • Resource A: Collated Feedback on CCSS Work

    Concerns/Issues: Transitioning to Common Core State Standards (CCSS)

    Teacher/Administrator _________________________________________

    1 is bad—5 is good!

    • I understand and support curriculum alignment as an important improvement strategy.

      Comments

      • If we can do this and not get torn between ISAT testing and new standards, I think it will work well.
      • Most of the schools that are in a failing status are there because of the lack of professional development in the area of curriculum alignment. How do you align the wheels on a car if you know nothing about tires or cars? How do you teach for success if you do not know anything about the content that is supposed to be taught?
      • I think it will improve student learning and school collaboration.
      • Curriculum alignment helps us to be more efficient in the classroom. Teachers know specifically what content they are responsible for and what students should know and be able to do at the end of the course.
    • I understand the academic expectations established in the CCSS.

      Comments:

      • I know the standards but need to know when we start/finish the crossover.
      • It's a little overly technical for the middle-school grade level.
    • In implementing these CCSS, I am most concerned about the following issues—please attach if more space is needed.
      • Implementation to fidelity—II.
      • Transition gaps of students.
      • Teachers having time to work on the project, to meet with their own grade levels and other grade levels.
      • Using a common language that everyone involved understands.
      • Consensus of the administrative team.
      • Research based.
      • Time to work on vetting the work back out to larger groups of faculty and administrators.
      • Careful monitoring of alignment between local curriculum and assessment and what the state will be expecting for exit outcomes.
      • Sustainability of a system to utilize human resources during a time of uncertain state budget funding.
      • Knowing what the assessment is focused on. Also, how will my school effectively administer an electronic assessment (lack of facilities—impact on academic work in order to test).
      • Worried about state assessment not being taken seriously [because] ACT will probably continue to be the ticket into college.
      • CCSS are not “less” as advertised. This will slow down teachers when beginning the alignment process.
      • Having the materials that are needed. Current textbooks will not be appropriate.
      • Having appropriate staff development so that teachers understand the standards, know how and where to access the materials, and understand best practices for instruction.
      • Understand the best ways to use formative assessments on a regular basis to keep on track with all students.
      • Having appropriate technology to support access to a wider range of materials, applications, and educational options.
      • The lack of uniformity of the core curriculum standards … states have the flexibility to change a certain percentage of the standards.
      • The timeliness of the assessments to ensure that assessments indicate progress of students over a long period of time.
      • The possibility that assessments will differ from state to state, which continues the difficulty to really compare how well students are learning among the states.
      • There will also be the need for effective professional development to raise the level of expectations by teachers for students and for content knowledge and skill development required within the standards.
      • Time—in first grade we have to do each assessment 1/1, and oh! it takes so much time away from teaching.
      • Time—what do we do with 23 other 6-year-olds while we are assessing each student individually?
      • Time—each student can take up to 30 minutes for one assessment.
      • How much of this set of standards will be assessed?
      • Clearly, it is too much for students to accomplish in our time frame—how to prioritize.
      • By the time we align our local standards to the CCSS, will there be so much overlap in the former standards and new ones in high school English that we really won't have much to change, given our limited time to teach these standards? Will this be a waste of time?
      • ISAT (Illinois Standards Assessment Testing).
      • Higher standards being implemented all at once and not year by year, thereby making it hard for me to up the expectations if the students haven't learned some of the needed background info in lower grades.
      • Lack of awareness about the standards in some districts.
      • Education departments in each state need to provide and require attendance for administrators and those in charge of instruction when implementing the core standards. Parents need to be part of the equation.
      • We are behind academically now because some administrators do not provide prior planning for teachers, do not evaluate teachers as required, and teachers do not plan lessons as lesson plans are not required in many schools.
      • Meaningful, authentic assessment of CCSS.
      • Teaching to the CCSS.
      • Who approved the CCSS and who will revise it?
      • Catch up time over the couple of years it will take to get all onboard and so we are not reteaching all concepts—only those in standards (scores on state tests may go down).
      • Time needed to develop and modify comparisons of scores can be tricky when comparing classrooms.
      • Our state has not adopted the standards.
      • Loss of local control in determining curricular issues.
      • How progress in meeting the standards will be measured.
      • Alignment/planning.
      • Implementation.
      • Evaluation.
      • Measurement.
      • Incremental monitoring of progress.
      • All staff members understand the need for implementing the CCSS and then everyone making an effort to make the change.
      • The time needed for teachers to learn and plan for the change. Can I be a good time steward and help them to use their time wisely?
      • Myself being the most knowledgeable on the CCSS and helping to share that knowledge with my staff.
      • Time available for professional development.
      • The need for specificity in the standards.
      • The need for concrete examples of units, assessments, and resources for teachers.
      • Connecting math to CCSS.
      • Difficulty implementing due to teacher resistance.
      • Determining which of the CCSS to focus on because there are so many.
      • Explaining to parents why curriculum that they view to be the “correct” curriculum (because that's what they did in school) needs to be changed.
    • If I could say one thing that I wish people would hear about the CCSS, this would be it.
      • A good next step in standards alignment.
      • This is a process that will continue, as most good plans do. We will revise and tweak as we grow in our understanding. We don't need to rush to complete; it is a continuing process that must be built into our professional development.
      • Common core standards serve as a reference or a tool like a North Star to guide curriculum. Consider religion without the Bible or government without the Constitution. Without a common standard we can agree on, we run amuck.
      • That this new system of core-curriculum transitioning needs to be viewed as an opportunity to develop clear and consistent learning objectives—in both a horizontal and vertical manner—and to allow a system of accountability that meshes local interests with those of the state and federal levels. We can either complain about what is being done “to us,” or we can use our own strong, local voices to continue to grow our own teaching and learning systems to be even stronger and more meaningful than they've ever been before. A spastic and episodic attempt at putting the common core standards into implementation will result in a chaotic and confusing mishmash of curriculum that is less rigorous, less reliable, and less relevant for students, staff, and parents.
      • The unilateral focus on reading and writing is refreshing. This will be incredible leverage for the use of writing and reading strategies across all curricular areas.
      • The common core standards provide an opportunity to help move education forward. The challenge is to provide support so that staff is successful in the implementation. Teachers work hard and want to succeed. I do not know of one teacher who goes to work and wants to fail or wants his or her students to fail. It is critical to provide the scaffolding necessary to make the transition so that teachers have the materials, equipment, assessments, and training necessary for success.
      • This is an excellent opportunity for school districts to raise the academic expectations for both staff and students. Not only are the standards more clearly defined, students will be required to think at a higher critical level of thinking. Students will become better problem solvers and thinkers while, at the same time, more skilled communicators in both their writing and speaking. The assessments, if developed as is being suggested, will communicate to teachers, students, and parents more effectively the progress which students are making toward each of the standards.
      • These assessments might be the newest best idea, and this one might actually be that magic bullet we've been looking for since parents put all the responsibility on us and the state let them—but I'd like someone to come in and show me how to make all this assessment doable in kindergarten and first grade.
      • That they are not a magic bullet any more than any other initiative of the past 100 years. If the CCSS are implemented with fidelity and some narrowing focus they will help students; however, if they are only implemented inconsistently over their entire breadth, not much will change.
      • I love the idea of CCSS, but the transition is a bit confusing. I know we are trying for a transition time, which makes sense, but it is going to be a tough sell to have teachers start teaching the new standards while ISATS test the current standards … especially when you take into consideration all the talk about having our reviews and salaries tied to test results!
      • My concern is the mediocrity that we have in education now. How will we wake some educators up and allow them to realize the importance of their chosen profession and the importance of being well prepared to teach students what they need to know?
      • Be open to change; teachers aren't the only people who influence student achievement, and we should build assessment and accountability that respect voices and expertise of all members of the educational community.
      • We finally have direction and a focus instead of a “cram it all in and I hope they remember” curriculum.
      • The CCSS will require schools and teachers to focus on problem solving, communication, and thinking skills. I believe that there will be less emphasis on knowing content and increased emphasis on the application of content to solve problems.
      • The CCSS are a clear set of shared goals and expectations for the knowledge and skills that will help our students succeed.
      • These standards are to help our students become more ready and able to compete in the world post-high school, whether it be in college, trade school, or workforce. It is time we change to reflect the changes in our world, today and in the future.
      • CCSS will focus our attention and resources on mastery of standards rather than mere coverage of them.
      • They really are better. We are all speaking the same language now!
      • This a necessary change that has the potential to directly impact education in Illinois.
    • I really feel my district needs more help/information on the following things.
      • Assessment example problems from each grade/course.
      • Just time and a little direction on next steps to keep everyone focused and moving forward.
      • Following scheduled checkpoints on how things are going in regards [to] Power Standards, instructional objectives, and assessments by surveying our staff quarterly to find areas of concern and deal with them before we drift back to everyone doing their own thing.
      • We're already signed up with you, Joe. We need nothing else … today.
      • What the actual focus of the assessments will be. Plain and simple, we will not spend time on standards that are not assessed.
      • I feel our district has done a good job training education staff for these Power Standards.
      • I think everyone needs to have a department-specific training on the partners4results bubble sheets and how to incorporate the Response to Intervention (RTI) needs that the results of the instructional objectives will fulfill.
      • Professionalism, accountability, awareness of standards, training for staff.
      • Administrative leadership helping and enforcing time frames and what is to be done.
      • We are moving toward the use of project-based learning along with formative assessments and technology to accelerate student learning.
      • Implementation.
      • Coaching administrators to implement faithfully the CCSS.
      • Transitioning to the common core and how to focus on what skills are most important for students to learn.
      • Implementation and connection to state assessment … effects to IAA?
      • How to implement? How to assess?

    Resource B: Suggested Forms for Developing Local CCSS (Power Standards) and Instructional Objectives and Feedback Forms

    References and Suggested Readings

    Ainsworth, L. (2003a). Power standards: Identifying the standards that matter the most. Englewood, CO: Lead + Learn Press.
    Ainsworth, L. (2003b). “Unwrapping” the standards. Englewood, CO: Lead + Learn Press.
    Ainsworth, L., & Viegut, D. (2006). Common formative assessments: How to connect standards-based instruction and assessment. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
    Carter, L. (2007). Total instructional alignment: From standards to student success. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree.
    Common Core State Standards Initiative. (2010). Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. Retrieved from http://www.corestandards.org/assets/CCSSI_Math%20Standards.pdf
    Covey, S. (1989). The 7 habits of highly effective people. Touchstone, NY: Simon & Schuster.
    Covey, S. (1990). Principle-centered leadership. New York, NY: Summit Books.
    Crawford, J. (2011). Using power standards to build an aligned curriculum: A process manual. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
    Darling-Hammond, L. (1997). The right to learn. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
    Deming, W. (1993). The new economics. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Advanced Engineering Study.
    English, F. (2010). Deciding what to teach and test: Developing, aligning, and leading the curriculum. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
    Gewertz, C. (2011a, March 9). Critics post ‘manifesto' opposing shared curriculum. Education Week. Retrieved from http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2011/05/09/31curriculum.h30.html
    Gewertz, C. (2011b, April 28). Gates, Pearson partner to craft common-core curricula. Education Week. Retrieved from http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2011/04/27/30pearson.h30.html
    Hale, J. (2008). A guide to curriculum mapping, planning, implementing, and sustaining the process. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
    Hale, J., & Dunlop, R. (2010). An educational leader's guide to curriculum mapping. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
    Hattie, J. (2009). Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. New York, NY: Routledge.
    Kachur, D., Stout, J., & Edwards, C. (2010). Classroom walkthroughs to improve teaching and learning. Larchmont, NY: Eye on Education.
    Leong, M., Stepanek, J., Griffin, L., & Lavelle, L. (2011). Teaching by design in elementary mathematics, Grades 4–5. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
    Levine, D. U., & Lezotte, L. W. (1990). Unusually effective schools: A review and analysis of research and practice. Madison, WI: The National Center for Effective Schools Research & Development.
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