Common Core Radio: Cast your Bammy Vote!

As many Eduflack readers know, for the past few months I have been a part of the BAM Radio Network, co-hosting its Common Core Radio show with educator Darren Burris. On these segments, we’ve been able to explore important issues related to effective CCSS implementation. Everything from textbook alignment to educator supports, PISA and parochial schools, early childhood education to the delay of high-stakes consequences.

I got involved in the show because I personally believe we need to do more to highlight the importance of CCSS and how to ensure it is implemented effectively. It is far too easy to demonize the standards. It is much harder to talk about what is going right and what we can learn from the process. BAM Radio has provided that platform with Common Core Radio.
With each episode, I learn something new. And I’m fortunate to work with a terrific co-host and a great producer. So it is particularly heartening to learn that Darren and I have been nominated for a Bammy Award in Education in the Talk Show Host(s) category.
The Bammies noted:
Much of the conversation around common core standards involves supporters and detractors talking at each other, past each other or exchanging dueling Twitter posts and blog posts. #Common Core Radio is where you hear Uncommonly, thoughtful, informed and civil discussions about implementing Common Core Standards. Each episode features discussion on new developments, emerging issues, trends and interviews with Common Core news makers. Both Darren and Patrick highlight interesting perspectives as well as gathering from the incredible guests on their program, from Randi Weingarten to Cheryl Scott Williams, to Governor Bob Wise.
Now the voting begins. Yeah, yeah, I know, it is an honor to just be nominated. But let’s get out there and cast some votes and show some love for Common Core Radio. Cast your votes here. As they say in Chicago, vote early, vote often!

Ensuring the Time for CCSS Implementation

Each day, we seem to be reading a new headline about states experiencing testing challenges. These concerns, coupled with the conspiracy theories from both the far left and far right on the “true” intents of Common Core State Standards have some looking to pull the plug on CCSS, their implementation, and the tests that go along with it.

There is no question that implementing the CCSS is a complicated endeavor, one that requires significant time and attention. Collectively, we have one chance to get this right. There are no do-overs or second chances. 
So why not ensure that we provide states and districts and schools and educators the time to actually do it right the first time? Why not make sure we take the standards, implement them, align the curriculum and materials, and provide the needed professional development BEFORE we start using test results in high-stakes ways?
That’s the topic of the latest installment of BAM Radio’s Common Core Radio show, found here.  In this episode, we speak with Cheryl Scott Williams, the executive director of the Learning First Alliance and Kathleen Porter Magee, the Bernard Lee Schwartz Fellow at the Fordham Institute.
Give it a listen!  It is a great conversation, reinforcing the importance of identifying those states and districts where CCSS implementation is going well.

“Common Sense on the Common Core”

With states, districts and educators working to ensure that
all students graduate from high school “college and career ready,” we are
hearing more and more about Common Core State Standards and their impact on the
classroom, particularly with regard to testing. What seems to be lacking from
that discussion, though, it a meaningful chronicling of what successful
implementation of the standards means. Until now.

This week, the Learning First Alliance rolled out a new
podcast series—Get It
Right: Common Sense on the Common Core
. In LFA’s own words, “to help those
committed to the standards ensure the proper implementation, the Learning First
Alliance is spotlighting those communities that are working hard to get Common
Core implementation right. These podcasts tell their stories.

The Get It Right series launches with three interesting
discussions, all of which the importance of proper planning and collaboration
in the implementation process. These podcasts include:

In addition to the podcasts themselves, LFA has also provided
resources from each of the states profiled, as well as from its
member organizations

If we are serious about ensuring every learner is college
and career ready, it is essential that we get CCSS implementation right. LFA’s
new effort helps all those involved in the process better understand what “getting
it right” really looks like in our states, district and schools.

This post originally appeared on the Collaborative
Communications blog

Full disclosure: Eduflack has worked with the Learning First Alliance and many of its member organizations over the years.

Problem solving and PISA

OECD is out with the latest PISA results. This time, the focus is on the problem-solving skills of the world’s schoolchildren. As we typically see, the U.S. students tested score above average, but definitely aren’t leading the class.

Check out my look at the topic here on a new blog launched by Collaborative Communications Group. And watch for interesting posts from a collection of smart, forward-thinking individuals there.