Common Core State Standards
Over 45 states in America have adopted the Common Core State Standards. These standards will help provide consistent and rigorous learning to prepare students to be college and career ready upon graduation from high school. With students prepared, our nation can meet the changing demands of a globally competitive as well as globally collaborative economy. The standards clearly define the knowledge and skills students should have at each grade level regardless of where they live in the United States.
For staff development and resources available to you regarding the Common Core, http://commoncore.americaachieves.org has done an exceptional job of building a valuable toolkit for educators across our country. You have to join the site, but there is no cost or fee to register. It may take a little while to learn to naviage their site, but stay at it because it is definitely worthy of your exploration.
Unfortunately as the Common Core has been unveiled in many states, there still seems to be confusion and frustration amongst our nation's teachers in its implementation. Many states have unpacked the standards for teachers. Some leaders in education see this as an end to the unpacking process. While this has been a noble effort of many state departments of education, unpacking is indeed a verb. Simply put teachers need to unpack the standards for themselves, using a protocol that is collaborative and manageable.
Learning Teams are a great place for unpacking to take place. Learning Team Facilitators are able to help monitor the unpacking protocol process as well as make sure their is an alignment with each standard and the state documents. This facilitation helps create fidelity and negate ambiguity as teachers determine what strategies and texts work best with their learners.