Last week, the Learning First Alliance hosted an important Twitter Town Hall. Those of us in the Twitterverse recognize there is a great deal of negativity floating around on the Common Core State Standards. This is particularly true of the testing and high-stakes consequences attached to the coming school year.
Back in the spring, LFA issued a rare public statement urging states to take the proper time in implementing CCSS, making sure that we get it right. In its statement, LFA noted that there is only one chance to get implementation right. There are no do overs in this.
Following the LFA recommendations, several states took note. Places like New York and Washington, DC called for a pause in high-stakes consequences for at least another year so they could focus on proper implementation. Just recently, New Jersey followed suit, asking for more time before CCSS student assessment scores counted in teacher evaluation.
Even the Gates Foundation recently called for implementation and the consequences to be separated, offering a statement quite similar to the original LFA call.
To help focus the education community’s attention further, LFA set out to focus on the success stories regarding Implementation. With so many focused on the challenges and road bumps, it was important to begin talking about those states and districts that were getting it right. The LFA Get It Right podcast series now serves as that venue, spotlighting the best and promising practice in implementation.
LFA took this discussion to a new level last week with this Twitter chat, using the opportunity to talk about what states like NJ, NY, and DC should do with the extra time they have now called for. Hundreds discussed better ways to involve parents and educators. They talked about how to unpack the standards to make them easier to apply to the classroom. They spoke of the importance of real materials aligned to the standards, rather than those bearing a phony seal of approval.
It was the beginning of a very important discussion, all of which can be found at #CCSStime. Why was it so important? Mainly because it was a productive talk on how to get it right, not on urban legends or dreaming ways to short circuit standards that are not going away.
And it is one the public cares about. By early counts, it seems the #CCSStime hour-long discussion, a trending topic on Twitter that evening, included in nearly 2,000 tweets, resulting in more than 15 million impressions. That’s a lot of people giving up a summer evening to ensure we get CCSS implementation right. And a lot of concerned educators committed to improving teaching and learning for their students.
(Full disclosure, Eduflack has worked with LFA and many of its member organizations over the years.)