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Capitol News: CTA Members Testify before Assembly Education Panel as It Weighs Challenges of Implementing Common Core State Standards

Daly Jordan-Koch, chair of CTA's Curriculum and Instruction Committee and a fourth-grade teacher in the Vallejo City Unified School District, testified before the Assembly Education Committee last week during the first hearing on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) this year. He walked through the steps a local chapter and a local school district are following to ensure teachers get the professional development they will need to help their students prepare for higher education and the career challenges of the 21st century.

Daly said educators must be involved in the process because these new standards will dramatically change how teachers teach. Teachers must have the tools they need to help students succeed. Those tools begin width quality professional development and training. In San Juan, the teachers association and the district have developed several committees that include all educators to oversee implementation.

Jordan-Koch and others talked about the cost and complexity of implementing the multi-state CCSS. They also outlined the challenges of providing instructional materials to advance the new curriculum goals, train teachers, and provide the expanded computer access that will be employed in testing student mastery of concepts and information.

Stanford University education professor Linda Darling-Hammond spelled out the complex skills in reasoning and mathematics that students will be seeking to acquire under the CCSS.

Estimates put the cost of implementing the new standards, including developing a new curriculum, buying new textbooks, training teachers and acquiring the computers and new technology needed to use computer-based assessments, in the billions.

Assembly Member Joan Buchanan (D-Danville) expressed skepticism whether, even width intense efforts by the education community, the state would be able to meet a 2014 deadline for complete implementation of the CCSS.

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