Administrator Magazine
Scholastic Administrator is a must-read resource for 240,000 of today's results-driven school leaders. Every issue features leadership for education executives, insight and analysis into what's next in education, and reporting on cutting-edge technologies in real life applications.

Dips in the Road Ahead?

Anticipating inevitable rough patches can make for a smoother Core transition.

With the shift to Common Core in full swing, analysts warn that state and district education leaders should be prepared for "implementation dips" that accompany systemic change.

All schools encounter "a dip in performance and confidence" as they move forward with innovation that requires new skills and understandings, wrote education reformer Michael Fullan in Leading in a Culture of Change, his widely read 2001 book.

Such temporary setbacks should be expected with CCSS, says Kathleen Porter-Magee, senior director of the High Quality Standards Program at the Fordham Institute, a conservative education think tank. "It would be foolish to pretend you can completely protect a school or district from some kind of an implementation dip," she says. "It's inevitable, but with a lot of hard work, strategic planning, and good messaging, you can minimize it."

School leaders will need to reassure parents as well as teachers who feel threatened by Common Core changes, Porter-Magee explains. "Parents will say, ‘Last year my child was proficient, and this year [she is] below basic. What happened?' Schools will need to thoughtfully align curriculum and instruction, and not just teach test-prep strategies" to temporarily offset a performance dip, she says. "We need to be on a long-term path to teaching kids."

Another area of concern to teachers—coincidental with the implementation of CCSS—is the increasing focus on merit pay, which has taken hold in 42 states, according to the National Center on Performance Incentives at Vanderbilt University. With the pay of so many based in part on standardized test scores, teachers worry that they will be judged harshly if their students don't measure up under the new standards.

Eric Lerum, of Students First, Michelle Rhee's education advocacy organization, says this may not be a concern. "District leaders can account for fluctuations in scores, because what they are looking at is where students start and where they end. They should be able to translate what those scores are from one system to another."

Porter-Magee adds, "The phasing in of new teacher evaluation systems and the Common Core can be done in concert. Many plans ask teachers to be part of the goal-setting process. If everybody is knowledgeable, Common Core doesn't have to hold teachers accountable unfairly."

—Late Fall 2012—

  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Targeted Reading Interventions for the Common Core: Grades 4-8

    Targeted Reading Interventions for the Common Core: Grades 4-8

    by Diana Sisson;Betsy Sisson

    Help struggling readers step up to the standards with these classroom-tested interventions. Reading experts Diana Sisson and Betsy Sisson have broken down each standard into its essential skills. Then the Sissons designed and tested interactive lessons that scaffold students as they learn to apply these skills, building their capacity to read and comprehend complex informational texts and literature. Created with the goal of meeting students where they are and guiding them to where they need to be, this is the go-to resource for any teacher with students who need extra support.

    $18.74 You save: 25%
    Teaching Resources | Grades 4-8
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Targeted Reading Interventions for the Common Core: Grades 4-8
    Grades 4-8 $18.74
    Add To Cart
  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Common Core Grade 5 Classroom Kit

    Common Core Grade 5 Classroom Kit

    Built for the Common Core State Standards! This comprehensive kit for Fifth Grade provides the resources needed to address the most critical skills in the Common Core State Standards.

    Kit includes:
    • Reading Strategies Toolkit: Nonfiction: Grades 4-5
    • Text-Marking Lessons for Active Nonfiction Reading: Grades 4–8
    • Literary Elements Write On/Wipe Off Flip Chart
    • Writing Workshop in Middle School
    • Class Quiz Pocket Chart
    • Language Arts Class Quiz: 5–6 Pocket Chart Add-ons
    • Math Class Quiz: Grades 5-6 Pocket Chart Add-ons
    • 3-Minute Reading Assessments: A Professional Development DVD and Study Guide

    $243.70 You save: 25%
    Boxed Set | Grade 5
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Common Core Grade 5 Classroom Kit
    Grade 5 $243.70
    Add To Cart
Help | Privacy Policy




(Separate multiple email addresses with commas)

Check this box to send yourself a copy of the email.


Scholastic respects your privacy. We do not retain or distribute lists of email addresses.