Part II: Major Implementation Strands

button Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy

Professional development activities will be created that honor the key foundational directive to have responsibility for literacy shared across all content areas. Beginning with a focus on reading, writing and analyzing informational text in 2011-12, the next area of focus will be the more rhetorically complex mode, argumentation in 2012-13, followed in 2013-14 by narrative writing. In addition, other areas of importance, such as but not limited to alignment of curriculum to the CCSS, understanding and applying new standards of text complexity, lesson/unit study and creation, and the accurate scoring of created student work will be ongoing efforts. Finally, tools and resources created by SBAC such as interim item banks, formative tools and assessment literacy modules, will be intertwined with ongoing professional development to help create a unified approach between standards, instruction, and assessment. Selected face-to-face training will be captured in easy to use modules complete with facilitator notes, sequence of events and featuring video clips of live sessions. These modules will be posted on the SDE website and on Schoolnet, and will represent a continuum from introductory sessions through deeper, more complex and specific sessions.

Delivery chains show the mechanism and structure of our outreach on CCSS implementation. They also show feedback loops illuminating how we will receive data through the process that can help inform and adapt our efforts and gauge progress.


button Common Core State Standard for Mathematics (CCSSM)

The Common Core State Standards powered by effective professional development systems are a significant driver of the transformation of education in Idaho. A truly effective implementation of the CCSS demands innovation in learning environments, technology and systems that support all teachers in their quest to assist all students to meet rigor of the Common Core and the rigor of 21st century expectations. The goal of the SDE is to provide a framework of support for districts, schools, and teachers and their continued professional growth and their efforts to successfully implement the CCSSM. The framework of support will evolve and grow as new resources are created or identified and further connections are mapped to a new course for education in Idaho.

The transition period between the adoption of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in 2011 and the first administration of CCSS aligned assessments in 2015 requires a phased approach for Idaho schools and districts.

During the first phase, beginning in 2010, the SDE traveled the state to provide regional workshops offering local districts opportunities to become familiar with the CCSS. The next phase is to gather, develop, and share resources for districts/schools/teachers as they transition to the CCSSM. These resources include CCSSM/MTI Conferences, the Committee for Teachers as Professionals [C-TaP] trainings in conjunction with the Institute of Best Practices, "Workshop in a Box," and webinars . In addition, the Common Core Math Initiative will build on the success of the Idaho Math Initiative, reframing the work to meet the challenge of the new standards.

The final phase is the creation of Regional Centers. Partnering with institutes of higher education, these Regional Centers will play an important role in providing professional growth opportunities that foster educational expertise and professionalism including a continual deepening of mathematics knowledge, effective teaching and assessment practices. The centers will utilize MTI regional specialists and district administration to assist in the identification of key mathematics teacher leaders at the school and district level. Teacher leaders will represent districts/schools and support the work of the regional centers. The Regional Centers will foster and the support development of district/school professional communities involving all who teach mathematics.

Delivery chains show the mechanism and structure of our outreach on CCSS implementation. They also show feedback loops illuminating how we will receive data through the process that can help inform and adapt our efforts and gauge progress.


button Schoolnet and Role of Digital Content

The Schoolnet learning management system affords many opportunities to put excellent resources in front of all educators in real time with a few clicks of the mouse. Among the many resources supporting CCSS implementation is the exemplar lesson plan bank accessible to all Idaho teachers now. Created by master Idaho teachers for fellow teachers, these lessons/units aligned to the common core also include digital content through Discovery Learning, a rich tool also available statewide on Schoolnet. In addition, all districts have access to the many thousands of assessment items, many open-ended performance-based, that reside in the Assessment module. These items can be used to create and deliver online assessments for formative or summative uses.

Delivery chains show the mechanism and structure of our outreach on CCSS implementation. They also show feedback loops illuminating how we will receive data through the process that can help inform and adapt our efforts and gauge progress.


button Teacher and Administrator Evaluation Aligned with CCSS Expectations

The Idaho Department of Education, Educator Evaluation, recognizes the importance of aligning teacher and administrator evaluation to the use and implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The goal of the State Department of Education (SDE) is to support districts in understanding the core teaching requirements surrounding the CCSS and the alignment of those standards to teacher and administrator evaluation.

Districts are expected to provide evidence based observations using the Danielson Framework for Teaching. Specific teacher practices related to implementation of the Common Core State Standards are being integrated in the Framework for Teaching at this time. Using the revised Framework as a starting point, the SDE will devise a plan through research and stakeholder teams to determine appropriate types and levels of evidence of educators' knowledge and skills related to Common Core Mathematics and English Language Arts instruction. The State's plan will identify points of alignment between its educator observation rubrics and the necessary CCSS instructional shifts that will support instructional leaders in performing both formative and summative evaluations. It is expected that all evaluators will provide instructive feedback to ensure a mutual understanding of CCSS that will promote teacher growth and effectiveness, focusing on instructional conversations resulting from observation and evidence-based evaluations.


button Pre-service programs and their Certification: a Key Higher Education Connection

Sending newly certified teachers to the classroom ready to contribute and lead in implementation of the common core is vital to strengthening and perpetuating the teaching of essential college and career ready skills to all Idaho students. Recent changes to certification approval cycles and expectations of Common Core readiness built into approval criteria provide great hope for unifying expectations across the K-21 spectrum, creating a supporting partnership between higher education and K-12.

Idaho has re-designed the state approval process for teacher preparation programs to produce candidates who will effectively teach the Common Core Standards no later than the 2014-2015 school year.

The revision has been approved by the Idaho State Board of Education and is expected to receive approval from the Legislature in spring of 2013. The utilization of, and emphasis on, the Idaho Standards for Initial Certification of Professional School Personnel, enables the Idaho State Board of Education to have more oversight of the teacher preparation program approval process. The state will begin to conduct focused reviews of state-specific, core teaching requirements that may be adjusted over time, depending upon state-wide initiatives. The emphasis on state reviews anticipated over the next decade will include integration of technology and use of student data, as well as pre-service preparation that will address effective K-12 practices in the teaching of the Common Core Standards. (See Approved Board Rule)

These state reviews will be conducted every third year to specifically monitor and collect candidate performance data in the following areas:

  • Integration of appropriate educational technology. Pre-service technology standards approved by the legislature in 2010.
  • Evidence of candidate knowledge and skill related to Common Core Mathematics instruction. This work is in early draft stages, but includes mathematical thinking for instruction for elementary teachers, and application of statistics for secondary teachers. Development of pre-service standards are being crafted by groups of teachers, administrators and higher education faculty as they work through the process of "unpacking" the Common Core Standards.
  • Evidence of candidate knowledge and skill related to Common Core English Language Arts instruction. An early first draft of competencies specifically addresses English Learners and students with special needs. Development of pre-service standards are being crafted by groups of teachers, administrators and higher education faculty as they work through the process of "unpacking" the common core standards.

Delivery chains show the mechanism and structure of our outreach on CCSS implementation. They also show feedback loops illuminating how we will receive data through the process that can help inform and adapt our efforts and gauge progress.