1st Edition

Assessing the Common Core
What's Gone Wrong--and How to Get Back on Track

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ISBN 9781462524327
Published March 29, 2016 by Guilford Press
192 Pages

USD $29.00

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Book Description

From distinguished educators, this book imagines what our schools could look like if an authentic vision of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were put in place, and thoughtfully critiques how and why implementation has faltered. The authors outline a curriculum framework that focuses on student-based inquiry and the use of formative assessment to monitor and guide student learning. They provide workable, innovative alternatives to the packaged instructional programs and summative tests that have come to be associated with the English language arts (ELA) standards. Vignettes of diverse schools and districts highlight a range of successful approaches to making the CCSS work.

Table of Contents

1. The State of American Classrooms in 2024: Snapshots of a Possible Future
2. No Child Left Untested: The Unrests of 2010
3. The Common Core Standards: A New Vision for American Schools
4. Implementing the Standards, Part I: Current Directions and Misdirections
5. Implementing the Standards, Part II: A Curriculum Framework for Success
6. Moving toward the Common Core Vision: Big Shifts and Bright Spots
Appendix A. Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects: Grades K-5
Appendix B. Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects: Grades 6–12

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Robert C. Calfee, PhD, until his death in 2014, was Professor Emeritus of Education at Stanford Graduate School of Education. He was also a former Dean of the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Riverside. A cognitive psychologist, Dr. Calfee conducted research on the effect of schooling on the intellectual potential of individuals and groups, the assessment of beginning literacy skills, and the broader reach of the school as a literate environment.

Kathleen M. Wilson, PhD, is Associate Professor Emerita of Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. As a founding director of the University’s Schmoker Reading Center, she studies teacher professional development in formative assessment and instruction of children experiencing difficulty with literacy acquisition. Most recently, Dr. Wilson has been exploring teachers’ integration of digital technologies into literacy instruction.


"In this concise assessment of the Common Core and vision of its future, Calfee and Wilson examine the document itself, the missteps in its implementation thus far, and some of the 'bright spots' of teaching and learning that it has already produced, and share their very positive view of what appropriate implementation can mean. This book will stand as a lasting tribute to Calfee's knowledge, wisdom, and unfailing trust and respect for teachers and children. It is essential reading for teachers and those preparing to be teachers, as well as policymakers."--Michael F. Graves, PhD, Department of Curriculum and Instruction (Emeritus), University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

"Drawing on their vast knowledge and experience, Calfee and Wilson tackle explicating the merits of the CCSS and how the standards define what it means to be educated for literacy in the 21st century. This is a 'must read' for all inservice and preservice teachers, especially those in the academic content areas. The book provides the necessary perspective to understand and support literacy acquisition in all subjects K-12. It offers a big-picture view of the types of high-quality instructional and assessment activities in which children (and teachers) should be engaged in our nation’s public schools."--Roxanne Greitz Miller, EdD, College of Educational Studies, Chapman University

"Making a vision of competent, engaged literacy and language users a reality is precisely where educators should be directing their energies. This volume starts and ends with a vision of the learner. Ways in which instruction, curriculum, and assessment can support students who depend on public schools for their academic literacy experiences resonate throughout the book, and are the legacy of Bob Calfee."--Elfrieda H. Hiebert, PhD, President and CEO, TextProject, Inc.

"This inspiring, practical book is for everyone who is hopeful and concerned about public schooling in the United States. The authors cut through the controversy that has grown up around the CCSS and present recommendations for implementation focused on achieving the powerful original vision of the ELA standards. The book shows how the standards provide a basis for guiding students in a steady progression of mastering essential literacy and communication skills for school, work, and life."--Donna Wilson, PhD, Lead Developer, Brain-Based Teaching Programs, Fischler School of Education, Nova Southeastern University
-Highly recommended. Graduate students, teacher education programs, active teachers, school districts.--Choice Reviews, 9/1/2016