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Common Message Delivered to Lawmakers on Implementation of Standards - Time and Money Needed to Implement Common Core State Standards Successfully


On March 13, the Senate Education Committee held an informational hearing on Understanding the Common Core and the Smarter Balance New Generation of Assessments.  Speakers, including fourth-grade teacher Daly Jordan-Koch, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, and State Board of Education President Michael Kirst, all made points about what steps the state must take to help schools fully implement the new curriculum standards, officially called the Common Core State Standards or CCSS.
Schools are supposed to fully implement the CCSS, including new computer-based assessment systems for students, by the year 2014. These assessments are tests that are administered either online or at the site with the student on a computer.
Jordan-Koch, who teaches at Elsa Widenmann Elementary School in the Vallejo City Unified School District, stressed that schools need funding for site-based technology for students to demonstrate their subject mastery, a key element of the new multistate standards.  He said teachers need intensive professional development to prepare them to help their students meet the rigorous standards and master higher-order thinking skills.
Jordan-Koch impressed upon the committee, chaired by Sen. Carol Liu (D-La Cañada Flintridge), that schools would need time and significant resources to secure the up-to-date textbooks and materials aligned with the new standards and to provide training for teachers.  Jordan-Koch also cited the crucial importance of having teachers and their local association involved in all aspects of implementing the CCSS. He noted in particular the effective way in which the San Juan Teachers Association and the San Juan Unified School District have agreed upon a vision document that is the outline for their joint efforts on CCSS. The process establishes various stakeholder committees to ensure that all educators and parents are included.

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