I weighed in on this week's question on the National Journal Education Experts blog. It asks:
What do the Common Core State Standards add to the conversation about academic achievement? Are they an appropriate substitute for the benchmarks created under NCLB? Does a move toward Common Core mean that the federal involvement in public schools will be diminished? How can states ensure that kids are at basic grade level in reading and math, as NCLB demands, using Common Core?
I raise this point about carrying out the Common Core: "Without proper implementation they will likely have little effect on academic achievement." States must think about changes needed to teacher preparation, professional development for teachers and principals and textbooks and resources that are aligned to the new standards. This is no easy task.
(Some leaders in the early childhood community still have concerns about the standards, but Early Ed Watch has seen them as a generally positive way to raise expectations if implemented well.)
I also bring attention to what the Common Core means for kindergarten, suggesting "States that only provide funding for half-day should fund kindergarten at the same levels as first grade. This will help to give young learners the start they need to meet the challenges of the common core and become proficient readers by the end of third grade."
Read our full comments here. And keep an eye out for our future comments – the Early Education Initiative is now a regular contributor to the blog.