ASCD asked some of our affiliate leaders to tell us how the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) has been going in their home states. Below we hear from Marie M. Adair, the executive director of New Jersey ASCD, on the challenges and successes that New Jersey has had with Common Core implementation.
New Jersey ASCD has made a major footprint on Common Core implementation throughout the state. Our mark can be measured through focused initiatives, professional development offerings, and ongoing and new partnerships with other organizations and colleagues who hold the same goal.
The New Jersey State Department of Education is just beginning to create plans for the statewide Common Core implementation. As a trusted source, NJASCD began to address knowledge of the Common Core, the differences in these standards, and the required instructional shifts by creating a presentation cadre of outstanding educators who provide on-site professional development in English/Language Arts and Mathematics to schools and districts throughout New Jersey. This strategy accommodates larger numbers of staff to learn about the standards during dedicated inservice time. Additionally, the creation of a professional development series for administrators–designed and presented by highly respected state and district level administrators–was offered statewide to introduce superintendents and others of the new requirements and introduce effective strategies to address their particular responsibilities.
NJASCD invited eight districts to participate in the development of a Common Core Curriculum Project, which designed a curriculum template based on the Common Core standards with samples of uncommonly good curriculum. A Common Core Portal is housed at www.njascd.org, where curriculum, PowerPoint presentations, sample activities, and other resources can easily be accessed and used by all visitors including an overview of the Common Core standards presented by the executive director of NJASCD.
The New Jersey State Department of Education has invited major organizations to be partners in the Common Core implementation. Fortunately, NJASCD is an invited partner in this work. Achieving the Common Core: an Essential Framework for Implementation is a plan that outlines learning for district administrators, school-level administrators, and instructional staff. A yearlong series of professional learning opportunities, endorsed and supported by the New Jersey State Department of Education in an effort to reach all educators, is in development and will be presented in three geographic regions in the state.
The success of this work demands the attention of all responsible for it. Forming partnerships that hold common goals and can reach different constituencies is an effective method for statewide awareness and implementation. The message becomes one goal with a collective voice—a powerful strategy and the best chance for success!
For more information on the Common Core resources ASCD has to offer, visit www.ascd.org/commoncore.