One School of Thought

Moving Toward the Common Core

See teachers' ideas to improve our transition to higher standards.

See the Full Recommendations Read the Press Release Meet the Teachers

The Common Core State Standards can transform the art of teaching and learning for the 21st century, but they are a destination, not a roadmap. The journey to actually achieving these standards will require collaboration and alignment between our state, districts, union and individual schools..

Written by an Educators 4 Excellence-Los Angeles Teacher Policy Team of 16 working classroom teachers, One School of Thought: Moving Toward the Common Core discusses the potential of the Common Core State Standards to transform the art of teaching and learning for the 21st century. It lays out recommendations for the state, districts, unions and schools that provide a way forward in making new, higher standards more successful through formal teacher leadership roles and targeted support for teachers, students, and parents. 

The state should continue to allow individual districts to innovate and meet local needs, but still set and communicate a broad vision and overarching goals, and provide data so that districts are held accountable to their own plans. The state can and should still collaborate with community, civil rights and philanthropic partners in setting and communicating this vision.

Districts, and specifically Los Angeles United School District, should provide a clear local plan that enables each school to assess where they are and then lay out a path forward. The plan should include an overall vision, aligned to the state’s timeline and vision, and be as clear and concise as possible, with teachers, community and parents as its target audience.
This vision and plan needs to be developed with teacher leaders at the helm, and open to parents and community for both shared responsibility and accountability.
United Teachers Los Angeles and unions throughout the state should advocate on behalf of high-quality implementation of Common Core at both the negotiating table and in the public discourse, taking into account the needs of both its members and their number one concern — students. A strong focus on Common Core would give our union a much-needed proof point of its student focus, and restore its position in the public dialogue as the trusted and respected voice on curriculum and education policy issues.
Schools should utilize their proximity to both teachers and parents to build buy-in at the local level. Schools can provide workshops for parents, to share information and training that helps
parents feel informed and empowered on a consistent basis. Among teachers, schools can create leadership roles that keep teachers in the classroom while giving them opportunities to truly own and shape the implementation of Common Core across the school. By aligning both the workshops and the teacher leadership roles and responsibilities with the state and district visions, schools can meet the minimum standards set out by the state and the district. At the same time, schools can leverage this strategy to serve as hubs of innovation, utilizing the unique talents of their teachers and community to meet and exceed those goals.

Any bold change requires great courage to not just begin a transformation, but to also truly stay the course toward ongoing growth and improvement in public schools. Teachers, students and parents simply can’t make this shift alone; they need the state, districts, unions, administrators and communities to have courage along with them.

Together, we can create a new generation of schools that offer the kind of deeper learning needed to access colleges, careers and—most importantly—the deepest potential of our student’s minds.

Read the full recommendations:

Read the full report         Read the executive summary         Read the press release        Meet the Teachers


One School of Thought: Moving Toward the Common Core

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#LAUSD teachers on what needs to be done to make #CommonCore transition more successful:

Achieving #CommonCore requires alignment between #CA state, districts, union and schools, say #teachers

Check out ideas from #LAUSD teachers to make #CommonCore more successful for students, teachers, and parents:

The journey to achieving the Common Core in LAUSD and California will require collaboration and alignment between our state, districts, union and individual schools. Check out Educators 4 Excellence teachers’ solutions for how we can do this:


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