Leading the Common Core State Standards: From Common Sense to Common Practice


Cheryl A. Dunkle

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    To everyone's children


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    In this thoughtful and immensely practical book, Cheryl Dunkle brings the Common Core State Standards to life. For those readers who, like Cheryl, experienced the dawn of the standards movement two decades ago, it will be comforting that our profession has learned a few things since the days of dumping three-ring binders full of standards documents at the schoolhouse door and telling teachers to “read 'em and weep.” If the experiment of 50 sets of standards for 50 states taught us anything, it is the essential message that standards documents alone are insufficient to influence educational progress. Although the establishment of the Common Core represents an essential first step toward a clearer definition of what students should know and be able to do, it is insufficient to enact the teaching and leadership changes essential to implement the Common Core. That is what this book is all about, with the author providing three essential challenges to move us from theory to practice.

    First, Dunkle challenges us to rethink the premises of teaching, knowing that the delivery of the content of standards is but a small part of the task ahead of us. Certainly content expertise is important, as the expectations the Common Core make on teachers require greater and more specific expertise at earlier grades than at any time in our educational history. Kindergartners will be writing, 5th grade students will be doing pre-algebra, and middle school students will be composing more advanced essays and engaging in deeper critical thinking than ever before. But content expertise is a necessary but insufficient condition for success. Dunkle reminds us that great teachers need effective leadership support. Contrary to the prevailing political winds of educational leaders as those who can quickly rate, rank, sort, and humiliate teachers, the author challenges leaders to inspire, innovate, and implement. Leaders must collaborate with teachers to achieve the depth and rigor of the most effective instructional practices, a discipline that requires focus and energies that elude many preoccupied school administrators and overwhelmed classroom educators.

    Second, these pages place the burden of transforming the Common Core into effective curriculum and assessment precisely where it belongs—on the daily work of teachers and school leaders. We cannot afford to wait for any national group, however well-intentioned and sophisticated, to replace the daily work of teaching. Although the Common Core represents a step forward in clarity and focus compared to many previous standards documents, standards without accompanying curriculum and assessments will be a muddle. The essential question is not merely “What do the standards say?” but rather “What evidence must students provide that they are proficient?” The definition and generation of that evidence remains an obligation of the professionals in every school. Dunkle provides a thoughtful framework for these discussions, but her advice does not preclude the necessity for the difficult conversations that lie ahead. Among the many warning signs that the first generation of academic standards were headed for trouble was when teachers sighed, “I give up—just tell me what to do.” When teachers disengage—intellectually and emotionally—from the implementation of standards, then schools are left with the illusion of education. Grand vision and mission statements, bold standards, and lofty rhetoric will yield only frustration if the people responsible for getting the job done are disrespected, disengaged, and disenfranchised. They are not merely the recipients of standards, but the architects of their implementation.

    Third, Dunkle confronts policy makers and educational leaders who might otherwise succumb to the mirage of standards-based tests as a substitute for meaningful educational accountability. This is the central challenge of our time, as we recover from a decade of equating educational success with standardized test scores. However promising the Common Core may be, they are only a fraction of the equation when schools consider the profoundly important question of what makes for effective teaching, learning, and leadership. The author reminds us that while student proficiency in the Common Core is essential as a matter of securing our nation's future, the accountability for that success is not merely the sum of the test scores of children, but rather the product of a complex set of variables that includes the adults—parents, teachers, and school leaders.

    Cheryl Dunkle has devoted a lifetime to supporting the ideals expressed in this book, and readers who take the time to study, discuss, and learn from her years of wisdom will find their investment of time and energy well rewarded.

    Douglas B.Reeves, Boston, Massachusetts


    I can never fear that things will go far wrong where common sense has fair play.

    —Thomas Jefferson
    From Common Sense

    This book has been rattling around in my head for years. My work as a classroom teacher, practicing principal, professional development consultant, and college instructor has brought me to this point in my thinking about school leadership and the educational transformations that are critical for our students to learn more successfully and our teachers to teach more effectively. The impetus for me to actually pick up a pen and plug in my computer to convey some ideas and thoughts on a page resurfaced when the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were recently adopted by 46 states and the District of Columbia. Now I feel compelled to write.

    After extensive review of the literature about excellence in the schoolhouse, deep discussions with my colleagues at the Leadership and Learning Center, and my successful 40-year career in this profession, I continue to ask myself, if we know so much about what is essential for our students' learning successes and all of the research supports similar conclusions, why isn't this common sense translated into common practice in America's schools? This question provides me with the renewed motivation to keep on reading, reviewing, and reflecting to offer some suggestions about creating schools that will welcome the Common Core State Standards initiative with an open mind and work diligently to get it right this time.

    I agree with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan when he states that the CCSS reform initiative is indeed our “moon shot” in American education. If we do not embrace this opportunity to build upon the courageous and challenging work of the authors of Common Core State Standards, our momentum and enthusiasm to create meaningful change in how we educate our students will wane just as it did in 1992 and 1997. Both the Republican and Democratic parties, with laudable and best intentions, failed to define our common national learning targets as they had pledged they would do. We cannot afford for that legislative stalemate to occur again in our country. As educators, we must contribute our talent, our energy, and our expertise to this vital educational initiative.

    Many deeply caring and invested Americans are engaged in the current debate about the benefit and worth of the recently created and widely adopted Common Core State Standards as a viable education reform. Provocative and reflective questions arise in many of these vibrant and animated conversations.

    • Will CCSS cure the unevenness of educational opportunity and quality across our nation?
    • Will CCSS dramatically improve the mediocre performance of our students on international assessments?
    • Will the new standards provide some consistency in comparing student readiness for college, careers, and citizenship from state to state?
    • Are the CCSS more rigorous than what already exist in certain states?
    • Is the CCSS initiative an organic process for educational improvement and accountability or just another stand-alone educational reform?

    Great questions, right? In order for educators to answer in the affirmative to all five critical inquiries, we must first ensure that we thoughtfully consider five additional strategic implementation issues.

    • What are the implications for curriculum, instruction, and assessment decision making in the structure of the new standards?
    • What realities and challenges do school leaders face in transitioning their schools and districts to CCSS?
    • How will school leaders communicate and promote the message of CCSS so that teachers will work diligently to infuse them into their daily instruction and parents will embrace them as a workable alternative to what they are familiar with?
    • Which current teaching and learning practices and leadership policies will remain the same and which will need to be modified or abandoned?
    • What types of additional resources and supports are necessary for the successful implementation of this initiative?

    Opinions and responses to these preliminary concerns and questions are as diverse as the adults sharing them. Many educators, parents, community leaders, and policy makers are saying it is about time we agree as a nation on what our students need to know and be able to do at each level of a K–12 public school experience. Others contend that this initiative smacks of an attempt to federalize what is constitutionally a state's right and responsibility to determine, and national standards will limit the innovation and flexibility in local decision making. One of the dissenters in my own state of Colorado likened the approval of CCSS to being as naive as taking out a home mortgage without knowing the terms of the loan.

    Whichever argument you accept as truth about the potential power of this historic reform determines your role as a firm supporter or tentative skeptic of CCSS, and I believe both perspectives are necessary to enhance the outreach and quality of the final solution. Your responsibility as a school or teacher leader in the participating 46 states and Washington, D.C., nonetheless, is to ensure that this standards-based dialogue translates to common core accountability in each of your classrooms, which now comprise 85% of our nation's students.

    With its admitted flaws, design challenges, and unresolved issues, CCSS still represents our moral and ethical promise to do better for our children and the pledge that we should work together to keep. Our collective responsibility as educators and policy makers is to ensure that all of our students are prepared and on target for their next level of learning. As of today, many are not. Every citizen must respond to this call for action, and as school leaders and practitioners we must be first in line to propose and promote the right work and the right way to accomplish it.

    TO Common Practice

    I take very seriously what I am attempting to do with this book. Apt and appropriate words can ignite a fire within each reader to move right past what is and go directly to what can be. That is what I want to inspire. It's a pretty tall order for a rookie writer, but perhaps my passion overshadows my practicality right now. I know from experience we can create standards-based schools that support the success of all students. I agree with Douglas Reeves, my leader and mentor at the Leadership and Learning Center, and many other prominent educators and researchers who believe we already possess the knowledge and ability necessary to answer the difficult questions and solve the challenging problems of CCSS implementation; we just need to make a plan and get busy. In a thoughtful manner, we can move from common sense to common practice.

    The landscape of education is going to change dramatically during the next decade with or without our collective professional energy and expertise. States that adopt CCSS and even those few who decline the invitation to join this reform initiative will influence our primary work for the next 5 to 10 years and beyond. Preparing our teachers to be ready and willing to embrace these new standards, refining our curriculum and instruction to match the rigor of CCSS, creating next-generation assessment systems to measure our effectiveness at reaching the ambitious goals of CCSS, and designing an educational accountability system to connect all of these separate pieces in a logical way is a leader's challenge for years to come.

    The nine chapters in this book do not represent any innovative quick fix or shortcut solutions for improving teaching and learning. My experience as an educator says there aren't any. They do, however, encourage necessary conversations about what our obligations are in supporting new levels of achievement and performance from all of America's students and provide some concrete implementation suggestions to help us get there. I believe the adoption of CCSS is a first step in meeting the commitment of providing excellence and equity of opportunity to every student. Perhaps providing new insight on an old issue or offering old insight on a new issue, depending on your perspective, is the intent of the following chapters. New and different is intimidating to many people, but if we can connect the known to the unknown, if we can determine what already works for our students and what needs repair, these necessary changes will become less threatening and more plausible. And isn't that, in fact, the definition of learning for all of us?

    Chapter 1: What Matters Most

    I begin this book deliberately not with the typical description of the CCSS initiative but with the respectful and honest acknowledgment that teachers assume the starring role in any school reform. Classroom teachers have the power to propel or postpone any change initiative that ultimately impacts students. That is why we must consciously ensure that our best teachers have a platform from which to speak on behalf of their potential work with Common Core State Standards. We must blur the lines of traditional leadership so that the voices of these adults who matter most can be heard over the white noise that might distract us from effective implementation of CCSS. Chapter 1 helps us imagine a brighter future for our students by identifying the present realities that classroom teachers face on a daily basis.

    Chapter 2: Leading with Roots and Wings

    Educational reform initiatives come and go, but the ones with staying power and influence must have the endorsement of the school principal. Any change effort cannot survive a principal's opposition or indifference. Chapter 2 discusses the importance of bold and visionary leadership to initiate and sustain the compelling conversations that encourage and cultivate great teaching in a building. Supporting teachers is neither dramatic nor easy work, but it is imperative if we are to remove the boundaries of scattered pockets of excellence in our schools. Skillful leaders create collaborative structures and a climate of trust to share professional expertise and expand the capacity of every staff member in the building. Both are critical to the successful implementation of CCSS.

    Chapter 3: The Promises and Possibilities of Common Core State Standards

    In response to the confidence crisis in the American public educational system from President Obama on down, the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers released Common Core State Standards for grades K–12 in English language arts and mathematics in June 2010. The state-led initiative to develop these standards grew out of concerns that the current policy of 50 different sets of standards in 50 states is not adequately preparing students with the necessary knowledge and skills to compete globally in our highly mobile society. This chapter delves deeper into the CCSS initiative and discusses what is explicitly stated in the document and what strategic planning is left to the discretion of individual districts and schools.

    Chapter 4: A Relevant and Rigorous Common Core Curriculum

    Gone are the days when rearranging and revising what has been traditionally taught in schools is appropriate in curriculum design. School systems will have two distinct options to deal with aligning a relevant and rigorous curriculum to CCSS. Perhaps a district has adequate funding to purchase commercially produced curricular programs that demonstrate close “cross walking” to CCSS. Or perhaps a school system elects to customize existing materials and resources to update and redesign curricula to support the new standards. Either choice mandates that knowledgeable content specialists test their assumptions and attitudes about creating the “what” of learning. Since we will not have the benefit of the high-stakes assessments available prior to the implementation of the standards, we will need to conduct deep discussions and debates about what knowledge is enduring, what knowledge is essential, and what knowledge needs new emphasis to ensure that our students are college and career ready. This is the topic of Chapter 4.

    Chapter 5: Inviting Students to Learn

    Perhaps the most contentious issue about the CCSS document for many educators is the dissension about whether research-based practices in instructional strategies should have been included in the recommendations for implementation. The authors of CCSS have been challenged by their controversial stance that “teachers are thus free to provide students with whatever tools and knowledge their professional judgment and experience identify as most helpful for meeting the goals set out in the Standards” (Common Core State Standards Initiative, n.d.). The standards define what all students are expected to know and be able to do but not how teachers should teach. Discussions in Chapter 5 address both components of effective education—content and process—and add some suggestions for avoiding the potential disruption to the delicate balance between the art and science of teaching.

    Chapter 6: Powerful Professional Learning for Adults

    Since research shows educator quality to be the most important school influence on student achievement, it seems logical that teachers will require ongoing, sustained opportunities to enhance their knowledge and skills to teach all children more effectively in their classrooms. The dilemma is agreeing on how to effectively accomplish this task. Low-quality and unfocused trainings have left some teachers with limited faith that staff development activities can actually help them in their daily interaction with students. Professional development that is most effective in improving educator practice is results oriented, data driven, constructivist in nature, and job embedded. Chapter 6 explores methods and models to structure meaningful and worthwhile professional learning opportunities to support the implementation of CCSS.

    Chapter 7: Next-Generation Assessment Systems

    There is a shared anonymous adage among educators that states: “What is inspected is expected and what is expected should be inspected.” Two consortia of states have a historic opportunity to use Race to the Top funds to create next-generation assessment systems that can better fulfill the many purposes we have for testing: providing rich formative data that can inform decision making while also inspiring high-quality instruction in classrooms, allowing comparisons of student proficiency from state to state, and creating more rigorous and relevant performance tasks to measure authentic and ongoing student learning. Chapter 7 addresses how the next generation of state assessments can make the CCSS concrete and meaningful to educators, students, and parents and provide a critical vehicle for ensuring that all students master essential knowledge and skills and educators can be accountable for the results.

    Chapter 8: Powerful Learning Through Powerful Technology

    Advanced technology, which is pervasive in every aspect of our personal and professional lives, dictates that we interact and work differently. Leveraging the power of media literacy to instruct and assess learning will be a vital consideration to enhance the learning opportunities for all of our students. There is prolific electronic content and digital interactivity everywhere but in most of our schools. Many students believe that more learning takes places outside of the brick-and-mortar institutions: They suspend their expectations of learning something valuable and meaningful until the final bell rings at the end of their formal school day when they are once again allowed to turn on all of their mobile electronic devices. Harnessing the potential of technology as a tool to change our entire educational system from the classroom to the state offices is a must and the subject of Chapter 8.

    Chapter 9: Accountability for Excellence and Equity

    Educational accountability, to me, simply represents any effort to document progress toward the goal of improved student learning and academic success. Sadly, most people's experience with the word is reduced to critically viewing numbers on a page that list test scores on a required high-stakes exam. Just as a portfolio is a better indicator of student progress over time, so is a multidimensional accountability system more valid as a record of results in teaching, learning, and leadership. The report should include not only how well the students are doing, but also how the adults' actions support their growth. Chapter 9 demonstrates how teachers and school leaders can take control of the accountability mandates to ensure that they are meaningful and relevant to the real work of schools. Excellent teachers do not resist responsibility for student success—they welcome and celebrate it—and are constantly investigating more effective ways of engaging everyone in the accountability process.

    So that's the book. As you can see, it is not a training manual, not a treatise on the history of educational standards. It is a practitioner's thoughts on the tremendous potential that Common Core State Standards offers our struggling educational system. Hopefully, as a result of reading these pages for authenticity, thinking deeply about the contents, and discussing the book passionately and purposefully with colleagues, CCSS will become a valuable and viable education reform reality. We can finally fulfill a promise to our youth to guarantee that if they work hard and we do our part, America can commemorate the first generation of students in our nation's history that is fully prepared to meet the challenges of the future and best positioned to compete successfully as global citizens.

    You might be asking yourself these questions as you evaluate this book's relevance and potential contribution to inform your CCSS work:

    • Is this manuscript intended to generate ideas and discussion topics to inform the potential work of implementing CCSS?
    • Does this book contain both the bias and the benefit of an experienced and successful educator?
    • Is this book written with the passion and pride of someone hopeful for the future of American education?
    • Will the book inspire school leaders who are invested in the potential of our students to reach higher levels of achievement and performance?

    The answers to your queries are yes; probably; you bet; and hopefully so. With incredibly difficult and deliberate work ahead that requires huge displays of efficacy, I optimistically believe we can achieve those positive differences in teaching, learning, and leadership that drive our passion to change the world for our students. The following chapters and subsequent discussions will hopefully focus our effort and energy on the critical issues and intelligently inform the decisions that result. This book certainly does not represent an all-inclusive list of considerations for implementing CCSS, but it does represent my attempt to launch some of the compelling conversations that need to be hosted by school leaders. You, as the reader, can take what you need, what makes sense to you, and what fits with your values, beliefs, and experiences.

    Let's roll up our sleeves, lean in, and push forward together.


    The more I look at the world, the more I recognize that when I think about what I now value, it is no longer about acquiring things. It is about appreciating family, friends, love, freedom, health, happiness, time, and security. I attribute this change in my insight to maturity and to many rich professional and personal experiences along the way.

    This book represents this enhanced outlook on life, and I want to acknowledge and thank three very important families that contributed to it and collectively helped me achieve my dream of writing and publishing. This sincere thank-you note begins with my friends and colleagues in Douglas County Schools, where I spent the majority of my career in education. This group of dedicated and innovative educators grew me as a leader and taught me how to do the work of learning, teaching, and leading with an open mind and heart. Thank you to everyone who tolerated my impulsivity and called it enthusiasm.

    The Leadership and Learning Center receives my second and heartfelt appreciation for growing me as a thinker. The immense pool of talented people that I have learned from the past 10 years has allowed me to see a clearer journey and a more hopeful destination for our students. Thank you for asking for my thoughts and inviting me to join a very powerful think tank of caring and compassionate educators.

    Finally, and most importantly, I want to thank my Dunkle family for just growing me as a person, a wife, a mom, a nana, and a mother-in-law. Each of you has pushed me when I was stuck, pulled me when I was reluctant, and stood beside me always. Thank you, Wayne, Jason, Megan, Kyler, Madison, Mackenzie, Morgan, Cindy, and Chris.

    Publisher's Acknowledgments

    Corwin would like to thank the following individuals for taking the time to provide their editorial insight and guidance:

    Charlotte R. Bihm, Grants Facilitator

    St. Landry Parish School Board

    Opelousas, Louisiana

    Freda Hicks, Assistant Principal

    Grady Brown Elementary School

    Hillsborough, North Carolina

    Martin J. Hudacs, Superintendent

    Solanco School District

    Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    Delia McCraley, Principal

    Southgate Academy Charter School

    Tucson, Arizona

    Richard Rutledge, Assistant Principal

    Arab High School

    Arab, Alabama

    Jason Thompson, Assistant Principal

    Schalmont Central School District

    Schenectady, New York

    Bonnie Tryon, Retired Principal

    Cobleskill-Richmondville Central School

    Cobleskill, New York

    About the Author

    Cheryl A. Dunkle is a professional development associate with the Leadership and Learning Center, located in Englewood, Colorado, working with educators across the country in the areas of assessment, accountability, and standards implementation. She was a practicing elementary principal with Douglas County Schools from 1983 to 2001. Previous to that, she served as an elementary guidance counselor and a teacher of primary students for 14 years. She retired from public education in July 2001.

    In addition to her leadership in public schools, Cheryl has taught for several colleges and universities both online and in face-to-face courses and has coordinated a cohort teacher education program in the Denver metro area. Cheryl has a wealth of experience with professional development, including work as a district trainer of trainers in the areas of early childhood education, effective teaching strategies, group facilitation, Cognitive Coaching, student discipline, and techniques for success in working with parents. She has extensive knowledge in adult development and learning theory, as well as standards-based education and data-driven decision making. Her current area of study and interest is investigating the elements of successful implementation of the Common Core State Standards.

    Recognitions for her work include National Distinguished Principal, president of the Colorado Association of Elementary School Principals and recipient of their department service award, member of the coordinating council for the Colorado Association of School Executives, and selection as planning principal for a new elementary school in Douglas County. Cheryl gained invaluable knowledge and skills about teaching, learning, and leadership through each of these challenging and rewarding professional experiences.

    Cheryl lives with her husband, Wayne, in Castle Rock, Colorado, close to her two adult children, Jason and Megan, both of whom are teachers. She enjoys spending time with four grandchildren, reading, writing, and gardening in her spare time. She can be reached at (303) 504-9312, ext. 506, or via e-mail at cdunkle@leadandlearn.com.

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    Reeves, D. B. (2011). Finding your leadership focus: What matters most for student results.New York, NY: Teachers College Press.
    Resta, P., & Carroll, T. (2010). Redefining teacher education for Digital Age learners. Retrieved from http://www.redefineteachered.org
    Rose, A., Peery, A., Pitchford, B., Doubek, B., Kamm, C., Allison, E., Cordova, J., Nielsen, K., Besser, L., Campsen, L., Gregg, L., White, M., & Ventura, S. (2010). Data teams: The big picture. Englewood, CO: Lead + Learn Press.
    Schmoker, M. (2006). Results now: How we can achieve unprecedented improvement in teaching and learning.Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
    Schmoker, M. (2011). Focus: Elevating the essentials to radically improve student learning.Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
    Senge, P. (1990). The fifth discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization.New York, NY: Doubleday.
    SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC). (2010, June). Race to the Top assessment program application for new grants: Comprehensive assessment systems. Retrieved from http://www.k12.wa.us/SMARTER/pubdocs/SBAC_Narrative.pdf
    Stiggins, R. (2005). Student-involved assessment for learning (
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    U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Technology. (2010). Transforming American education: Learning powered by technology.National Education Technology Plan. Retrieved from http://www.ed.gov/technology/netp-2010
    van Leeuwen, F. (2011, March 16). International Summit on the Teaching Profession, New York, NY. Education International. Retrieved from http://www.ei-ie.org
    White, S. (2009). Leadership maps.Englewood, CO: Lead+Learn Press.
    White, S. (2011a). Beyond the numbers: Making data work for teachers and school leaders (
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    Wiggins, G. (1998). Educative assessment.San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
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    Suggested Reading

    Achieve, Inc. (2010, August). Aligning assessments with the Common Core State Standards. Retrieved from http://www.achieve.org/files/CCSS&Assessments.pdf
    Achieve, Inc. (2011, September). The future ready project. Retrieved from http://www.futurereadyproject.org/messaging
    ACT. (2006). Benefits of a high school core curriculum.Iowa City, IA: Author. Retrieved from http://www.act.org/research/policymakers/pdf/core_curriculum.pdf
    ACT. (2010). Mind the gaps: How college readiness narrows achievement gaps in college success.Iowa City, IA: Author. Retrieved from http://www.act.org/research/policymakers/pdf/MindTheGaps.pdf
    Ainsworth, L., & Viegut, D. (2006). Common formative assessments: How to connect standards-based instruction and assessment.Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
    Allison, E., et al. (2010). Data teams: The big picture.Englewood, CO: Lead+Learn Press.
    Almeida, L., et al. (2011). Standards and assessment: The core of quality instruction.Englewood, CO: Lead+Learn Press.
    American Educator. (2011, Spring). [Entire edition]. 35(1).
    Barth, R. S. (2001). Learning by heart.San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
    Bryk, A. S., Gomez, L. M., & Grunow, A. (2010). Getting ideas into action: Building networked improvement communities in education. Retrieved from http://www.carnegiefoundation.org/spotlight/webinar-bryk-gomez-building-networked-improvement-communities-in-education
    Center for K–12 Assessment and Performance Assessment. (2010, February). Coming together to raise achievement: New assessments for the common core state standards. Retrieved from http://www.k12center.org/publications/assessment_consortia.html
    Center on Education Policy. (2011, January). States' progress and challenges in implementing common core state standards. Retrieved from http://www.cep-dc.org/cfcontent_file.cfm?.
    Common Core. (2009). Why we're behind: What top nations teach their students but we don't.Washington, DC: Author.
    Common Core State Standards Initiative. (2010, June). Preparing America's students for college & career. Retrieved from http://www.corestandards.org
    Common Core State Standards Initiative. (2010, June 30). Common Core State Standards webinar. Retrieved from http://www.corestandards.org
    Common Core State Standards Initiative. (n.d.). Standards-setting considerations. Retrieved from http://www.corestandards.org/assets/Considerations.pdf
    Conley, D. T. (2011, March). ‘Building on the common core’. Educational Leadership, 68(6), 16–21.
    Danielson, C. (2009). Talk about teaching! Leading professional conversations.Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
    Darling-Hammond, L. (2000). Teacher quality and student achievement: A review of state policy evidence. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 8(1), 1–49. http://dx.doi.org/10.14507/epaa.v8n1.2000
    Darling-Hammond, L. (2010a). Performance counts: Assessment systems that support high-quality learning.Washington, DC: Council of Chief State School Officers.
    Darling-Hammond, L. (2010b). The flat world and education: How America's commitment to equity will determine our future.New York, NY: Teachers College Press.
    Darling-Hammond, L., & Pecheone, R. (2010). Developing an internationally comparable balanced assessment system that supports high-quality learning.Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Services.
    DuFour, R., DuFour, R., & Elmore, R. E. (2000). Building a new structure for school leadership.Albert Shanker Institute. Retrieved from http://www.shankerinstitute.org
    Education Commission of the States. (2007). High school graduation requirements: Foreign language.Denver, CO: Author.
    Education International. (2011, March). EI general secretary tells summit nations are built on public schools. Retrieved from http://ei-ie.org/en/news/news_details/1708
    Education Northwest. (2011, October). Spotlight on the common core state standards. Retrieved from http://educationnorthwest.org/resource/1335
    Finn, C. E., & Pertill, M. J. (2010, October). Now what? Imperatives and options for “common core” implementation and governance. Retrieved from http://www.edexcellence.net/publications-issues/publications/now-what-imperatives-and.html
    Fordham Foundation. (2011). ESEA briefing book. Retrieved from http://www.edexcellence.net/publications/esea-briefing-book.html
    Foundation for Excellence in Education. (2010). Digital learning now report. Retrieved from http://www.digitallearningnow.com/
    Fullan, M. (2005). Leadership and sustainability: System thinkers in action.Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
    Fullan, M. (2010). The moral imperative realized.Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
    Gewertz, C. (2010, June). ‘Final version of core standards assuages some concerns’. Education Week, 33(9), 18–19.
    Gewertz, C. (2011, April 27). Gates, Pearson partner to craft commoncore curricula. Education Week. Retrieved from http://edweek.org/ew/articles/2011/04/27/30perason.h30.html
    Guskey, T. R. (2002). Professional development and teacher change. Retrieved from http://academic.research.microsoft.com/Paper/5985521.aspx?viewType=1
    Guskey, T. R. (2003, February). ‘How classroom assessments improve learning’. Educational Leadership, 60(5), 6–11.
    Harvard Graduate School of Education. (2011, February). Pathways to prosperity: Meeting the challenge of preparing young Americans for the 21st century. Retrieved from http://www.gse.harvard.edu/news-impact/2011/02/pathways-to-prosperity-meeting-the-challenge-of-preparing-young-americans-for-the-21st-century/
    Hawley, W., & Valli, L. (1999). The essentials of effective professional development: A new consensus. In L.Darling-Hammond & G.Sykes (Eds.), Teaching as the learning profession: Handbook of Policy and Practice.San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
    Hayes-Jacobs, H. (2010). Curriculum 21: Essential education for a changing world.Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
    Heritage, M. (2010a). Formative assessment and next-generation assessment systems: Are we losing an opportunity?Washington, DC: Council of Chief State School Officers.
    Heritage, M. (2010b). Formative assessment: Making it happen in the classroom.Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
    Holt, T. (2010). Moving education through technology integration ebook. Retrieved from http://www.al.atomiclearning.com/lp=26
    International Center for Leadership in Education. (2010, August). Common core state standards initiative: Classroom implications for 2014. Retrieved from http://www.leadered.com/whitepapers.html
    King, J. E. (2011, January). Implementing the common core state standards: An action agenda for higher education.American Council on Education. Retrieved from http://www.acenet.edu/links/pdfs/cpa/ImplementingTheCommonCoreStateStandards_2011.html
    Marzano, R. (2003). What works in schools: Translating research into action.Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
    Marzano, R. (2007a). The art and science of teaching: A comprehensive framework for effective instruction.Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
    Marzano, R. (2007b). The art and science of teaching.Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
    Marzano, R., Waters, T., & McNulty, B. (2005). School leadership that works: From research to results.Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
    Mathis, W. (2010, July). The common core standards initiative: An effective reform tool? Retrieved from http://www.nepccolorado.edu/author/mathis-william-j
    McTigue, J., Elliott, S., & Wiggins, G. (2004, September). ‘You can teach for meaning’. Educational Leadership, 62(1), 26–30.
    Munson, L. (2011, March). ‘What students need to learn’. Educational Leadership, 68(6), 10–15.
    NGA, CCSSO, & Achieve Inc. (2008). Benchmarking for success: Ensuring U.S. students receive a world-class education. Retrieved from http://www.achieve.org/BenchmarkingforSuccess
    Nye, B., Konstantopoulos, S., & Hedges, L. (2004). How large are teacher effects?Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 26(3), 237–257. http://dx.doi.org/10.3102/01623737026003237
    OECD. (2010). PISA 2009 results: Executive summary. Retrieved from http://www.mcgraw-hillresearchfoundation.org/mhrf-pisa-paper
    OECD. (2011). Lessons from PISA for the United States: Strong performers and successful reformers in education.OECD Publishing. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264096660-en
    Pashler, H., et al. (2007). Organizing instruction and study to improve student learning (NCER 2007–2004). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Research, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved from http://ncer.ed.govhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1037/e607972011-001
    Peery, A. (2009). Writing matters in every classroom.Englewood, CO: Lead+Learn Press.
    Petrilli, M., & Finn, C. E., Jr. (2011, May 12). Fordham responds to the common core “counter manifesto.”Education Next. Retrieved from http://educationnext.org/fordham-responds-to-the-common-core-counter-manifesto/
    Programme for International Student Assessment. (2009). In what students know and can do: Student performance in reading, mathematics and science.Paris: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. Retrieved from http://www.pisa.oecd.org/dataoecd/54/12/46643496.pdf
    Quillen, I. (2011). E-learning update: Report shows blended examples. Retrieved from http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/DigitalEducation/2011/05/elearning_update_study_shows_b.html
    Ravitch, D. (2010). The death and life of the great American school system: How testing and choice are undermining education.Philadelphia, PA: Basic Books.
    Reeves, D. B. (2000). Accountability in action: A blueprint for learning organizations.Englewood, CO: Advanced Learning Centers, Inc.
    Reeves, D. B. (2002a). The leader's guide to standards: A blueprint for educational equity and excellence.San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
    Reeves, D. B. (2002b). Holistic accountability: Serving students, schools, and community.Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
    Reeves, D. B. (2004). Accountability for learning: How teachers and school leaders can take charge.Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
    Reeves, D. B. (2009). Leading change in your school: How to conquer myths, build commitment, and get results.Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
    Reeves, D. B. (2010a). ‘Getting ready for national standards’. ASCD Express, 5(8).
    Reeves, D. B. (2010b). Transforming professional development into student results.Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
    Senechal, D. (2010, Spring). ‘The most daring education reform of all’. American Educator, 34(1), 4–16.
    Sloan, W. (2010). ‘Coming to terms with common core standards’. ASCD Info Brief, 16(4).
    Speck, M., & Knipe, C. (2005). Why can't we get it right? Designing high quality professional development for standards-based schools.Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
    Stiggins, R. (2006). Balanced assessment systems: Redefining excellence in assessment.Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service.
    Topol, B., Olson, J., & Roeber, E. (2010). The cost of new higher quality assessments: A comprehensive analysis of the potential costs for future state asssessments.Stanford, CA: Stanford University, Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education. Retrieved from edpolicy.stanford.edu/publications.pub/120
    Topol, B., & Whitchurch, J. (2010). Online assessment platform development recommendations: Building the next generation assessment platform–the consortia opportunity. Retrieved from http://www.2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-assessment/rfi-response/asg-white-paper.pdf
    U.S. Department of Education. (2008, April). A nation accountable: Twenty-five years after a nation at risk. Retrieved from http://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs/accountable/accountable.pdf
    U.S. Department of Education. (2010, March). A blueprint for reform: The reauthorization of the elementary and secondary education act.Washington, DC: Author.
    Whitehurst, G. (2009). Don't forget curriculum.Washington, DC: Brookings Institution. Retrieved from http://www.brookings.edu/papers/2009/1014_curriculum_whitehurst.aspx
    Whittier Union High School District. (2011). Statement of beliefs. Retrieved from http://www.wuhsd.org/site/Default.aspx?PageID=6
    Williamson, R., & Blackburn, B. (2010). Rigorous schools and classrooms: Leading the way.Larchmont, NY: Eye On Education.
    Willingham, D. (2009, September 28). Reading is not a skill–and why this is a problem for the draft national standards. Retrieved from The Answer Sheet at http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/daniel-willingham/willingham-reading-is-not-a-sk.html

    CORWIN: A SAGE Company

    The Corwin logo—a raven striding across an open book—represents the union of courage and learning. Corwin is committed to improving education for all learners by publishing books and other professional development resources for those serving the field of PreK-12 education. By providing practical, hands-on materials, Corwin continues to carry out the promise of its motto: “Helping Educators Do Their Work Better.”

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