Student assessments, teacher and leader evaluations, pre-service certification requirements, and school accountability systems will be fully aligned to the common core standards. The Smarter Balanced Assessment system mirrors the foundational expectations of the Common Core, helping facilitate a seamless connection between standards, curriculum and assessment. Recent changes to pre-service programs and teacher and administrator evaluations reflect the importance of deep understanding of the common core being demonstrated in practice as well as codified in protocols and procedures. For example, due to recent Idaho Board of Education rule changes, pre-service programs in mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy will be reviewed every three years for CCSS alignment rather than every six years. Likewise, evidence of common core principles being systematically embedded in instruction will be an expectation in future educator evaluations. Idaho’s new innovative 5 Star accountability system provides a multi-dimensional view of student and school achievement that highlights student growth and achievement in common core subjects, mathematics and ELA/Literacy, while including other important metrics for post high school success such as college entrance exam scores, the number of students enrolled in and completing AP courses, and high school graduation rate.
Additional information about Idaho's 5 Star Accountability System can be found at these links:
Content and implementation support for common core standards will be available through professional development workshops and resources provided by the SDE and in partnership with state universities, through leadership networks and from regional specialists. A multi-dimensional approach of face-to-face training, use of the train-the-trainer model, and asynchronous training and resources will be employed to reach each Idaho educator.
The SDE is committed to providing all educators with quality resources, tools and professional development (PD) centered on Common Core State Standards. Face-to-face training provided to district and school implementation teams that is leveraged via the train-the-trainer model with resources and training modules built for effective replication in local LEAs on an as needed basis will form the basic structure of SDE outreach. In addition, the SDE will sponsor scholarships to selected, pertinent higher educational courses that stipulate recipients provide continuing PD in their local districts in support of common core implementation.
The SDE delivery model will rely on building the capacity of district and school CCSS implementation teams to provide ongoing professional development at the local level. District implementation teams were formed in fall of 2011, with over 115 districts participating in the SDE led regional training entitled, 'Introduction to the Common Core: Big Shifts.' These teams were brought back for summer workshops in 2012, 'Transitioning to the CCSS,' a deeper look at using the CCSS to develop lessons/units. Each workshop was delivered through the lens of the trainer and provided the necessary tools and resources for replication at the local level. It is imperative that cohesive school and district implementation teams be formed and that they create an individual plan for reaching all staff with appropriate training. This training should be ongoing and methodical to enable lasting change in instructional practice that supports CCSS implementation. For example, many districts have employed Title II monies for weekly time devoted to Professional Learning Community [PLC] work on CCSS implementation.
To facilitate this train-the-trainer model, modules will be placed in the CCSS Toolboxes that break down the face-to-face workshops into discrete but interlocking modules, all complete with facilitator notes detailing goals, objectives, sequencing and progression of activities. These modules are designed to meet educators on their own schedules as individuals and as part of school level PLCs. In addition, the CCSS Toolboxes will provide access to many resources including videos, lesson plans, sample units and learning progressions, as well as the aforementioned professional development modules. These are now available statewide to all educators on Schoolnet, along with thousands of items, including performance assessment, aligned to the CCSS in the Assessment Module.
Also, SDE content staff will be providing during the school year monthly interactive webinars on important subjects in Math and ELA/Literacy related to the common core. As with the face-to-face training, resources from all sessions with facilitator notes will be archived in the toolboxes which are found on both the SDE site and on Schoolnet, the state funded learning management system open to all Idaho educators. ELA Core
Finally, everyone understandably wants to know what will be on the new test. What will the expectations be? As resources become available from the Smarter-Balanced Assessment Consortium, such as but not limited to sample items, interim item banks, formative tools, assessment literacy training, learning progressions with embedded assessments, they will be made available to all Idaho educators in the Common Core Toolboxes.
In order for educators to plan ahead for professional development coverage for their school district or local professional learning community, the following venues will always provide explicit face-to-face training on the common core:
What can Schoolnet do for educators? Available to all Idaho public schools and all educators, Schoolnet and the SDE website will provide a repository of CCSS resources ranging from archived webinar workshops to exemplary lesson plans and videos of master teachers. Lesson and unit planning and study are at the core of Idaho's plan because that is what teachers do - plan and deliver rich learning opportunities to students. Routinely delivering deeper learning opportunities on a consistent basis is key to successful implementation of the CCSS. Assessment items on Schoolnet will support educators as they align instruction to the new standards. Likewise, lessons/units created by Idaho teachers for Idaho teachers and aligned to the CCSS are shared statewide in the Classroom module of Schoolnet. Sharing of resources is also available at the school and district level. Schoolnet also provides historical or real time assessment data that can inform instruction and has many formative uses as well.