Forty-five states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Common Core State Standards and are in the early stages of implementing them. But as panelists concluded at an AEI research conference on Monday, the state-led initiative will face an uncertain future as it intersects with additional efforts to improve schooling, such as teacher accountability policies and charter schooling.
AEI's Mike McShane began by explaining the numerous complications associated with implementing national initiatives such as the Common Core that require diverse actors to work together. Many educators on the panels offered ways to reduce such complications. Specifically, Lily Eskelsen of the National Education Association tied the Common Core's future success with professional development for educators that is built around collaboration.
Patrick McGuinn of Drew University emphasized how questions of governance factor into the initiative's uncertain fate. Chester Finn of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, however, highlighted the initiative's flexibility as a positive change from the No Child Left Behind Act's prescriptive nature. Panelists agreed that ultimately, the success or failure of the Common Core will hinge on these implementation challenges and whether the initiative will complement current reform efforts throughout the implementation process.
While most of the discussion about the Common Core State Standards Initiative has focused on its technical merits, its ability to facilitate innovation, or the challenges of practical implementation, there has been little talk of how the standards fit in the larger reform ecosystem. Going forward, will the Common Core initiative complement or conflict with the school reform agendas that states are currently pursuing? Ultimately, the Common Core initiative’s success will be determined by the degree to which leaders support the effort and insulate it from political dynamics and competing pieces of the reform agenda.
At this AEI conference, panelists will present the results of their research and thoughts on these topics, and provide actionable responses to the questions that will mark the next phase of Common Core implementation efforts.
If you are unable to attend, we welcome you to watch the event live on this page. Full video will be posted within 24 hours.
- Carlson: Accountability and the Common Core: A story of opportunities and challenges
- Jochim: A reform at risk? The political realities of the Common Core
- Lake and Maas: Common Core: Will charter schools lead or lag?
- Linn: Governors and the Common Core
- McGuinn: Core governance: Analyzing the different visions and challenges for multi-state governance of the Commom Core standards and Assessment
- McShane: The lay of the land
- Meyer: The history of history standards: The prospects for Common Core standards for social studies
- Polikoff: The Common Core standards and teacher quality reforms