As more and more states adopt the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the next logical question is “How do we implement them?” Achieve, Inc., which helped the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers draft the standards, has just released a guide to answer that very question. On the Road to Implementation: Achieving the Promise of the Common Core State Standards aims to help states align instructional materials, assessments, and graduation requirements with the common standards, leverage state funding to support the standards, and conduct “gap analyses” to see how a state’s standards differ from the common core standards.
There is also a section in the guide on “Implementing the Common Core Literacy Standards in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects.” The CCSS include literacy standards in grades 6 to 12 that are specific to history/social studies, science and technical subjects. Since current state standards in history/social studies, science and technical subjects may not include literacy standards, this could represent a significant change for teachers in those fields, including CTE teachers. The guide suggests that states assemble relevant teams of history/social studies, science and technical subject teachers and content experts to consider implications for implementation:
- Include representatives from relevant state organizations (National Science Teacher Association and National Council for Social Studies state affiliates, for example), department of education content staff, middle and high school teachers, administrators, and higher education faculty;
- Determine how the expectations in the Common Core State Standards already in practice, but perhaps not explicit in the state standards, can be formalized in the state’s standards, assessments, teacher preparation and professional development, and instructional materials;
- Discuss and make recommendations to state policymakers concerning how to assign responsibility for teaching and assessing the disciplinary literacy skills in the CCSS; and
- Develop communications and outreach strategies on suggested professional development for history/social studies, science and technical subject teachers.