Common Core meets the reform agenda

Video

 

Event Summary

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.

--Chelsea Straus

Event Description

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.

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About the Author

 

Frederick M.
Hess
  • An educator, political scientist and author, Frederick M. Hess studies K-12 and higher education issues. His books include "Cage-Busting Leadership," "Breakthrough Leadership in the Digital Age," "The Same Thing Over and Over," "Education Unbound," "Common Sense School Reform," "Revolution at the Margins," and "Spinning Wheels." He is also the author of the popular Education Week blog, "Rick Hess Straight Up." Hess's work has appeared in scholarly and popular outlets such as Teachers College Record, Harvard Education Review, Social Science Quarterly, Urban Affairs Review, American Politics Quarterly, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Phi Delta Kappan, Educational Leadership, U.S. News & World Report, National Affairs, the Washington Post, the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic and National Review. He has edited widely cited volumes on the Common Core, the role of for-profits in education, education philanthropy, school costs and productivity, the impact of education research, and No Child Left Behind.  Hess serves as executive editor of Education Next, as lead faculty member for the Rice Education Entrepreneurship Program, and on the review boards for the Broad Prize in Urban Education and the Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools. He also serves on the boards of directors of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers and 4.0 SCHOOLS. A former high school social studies teacher, he teaches or has taught at the University of Virginia, the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University, Rice University and Harvard University. He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Government, as well as an M.Ed. in Teaching and Curriculum, from Harvard University.


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  • Email: rhess@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Sarah DuPre
    Phone: 202-862-7160
    Email: Sarah.DuPre@aei.org

 

Michael Q.
McShane
  • Michael Q. McShane is a research fellow in education policy studies at AEI. He is the coeditor, with Frederick Hess, of "Common Core Meets Education Reform" (Teachers College Press, 2013). He is also the coauthor of "President Obama and Education Reform: The Personal and the Political" (Palgrave MacMillan, 2012). His analyses have been published widely in technical journals and reports including Education Finance and Policy. He has contributed to more popular publications such as Education Next, The Huffington Post, National Review, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He began his career as an inner-city high school teacher in Montgomery, Alabama.


    Follow Mike McShane on Twitter.

  • Phone: 202-862-5838
    Email: Michael.McShane@aei.org

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