Shared Resources and Expertise on Delaware’s Horizon
Five states that have adopted the Common Core State Standards will design and pilot an open-source “platform” that would enable teachers to access, download, and create resources tied to the standards in 2012, with Delaware (along with three other states) joining the effort in 2013.
With its participation, Delaware educators will have access to an array of materials, including lesson plans, diagnostic tools, and curriculum supports – all for free. The “platform” will work as an online clearinghouse, providing teachers the opportunity to network and provide constructive feedback. While there isn’t a formal quality control mechanism, the goal is to create a teacher-led continuous improvement system in instructional materials and supports – with increased student learning as the ultimate benefit.
The effort, which is being led by the Council of Chief State School Officers with funding from the Gates Foundation, includes five initial states, which are Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, and North Carolina. These states are beginning work to develop the “platform” for the initial 2012 rollout while four other states, including Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, and Louisiana, will join in 2013.
In addition to the “platform”, the designers want to create “applications” for teachers and students to help them track their progress against the standards to ensure understanding. This feature would allow all users to constantly monitor their progress and adjust instruction/support as necessary.
One thing we’ve learned thus far from other high-performing countries is that they are “tight on the ends” (what students should know and be able to do) and “loose on the means” (how teachers teach). We believe that an online network of educators, collaborating on lesson planning and evaluation, can be a powerful tool for improving instructional practice and student learning outcomes throughout Delaware schools.