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The Daily Dish: Common Core Summit Gives California Teachers the Chance to Share Ideas

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June 26, 2015 02:38 pm


The Daily Dish digs deeper into one of the day’s top news stories on K–12 education. Make sure to add High School Soup to your RSS feed for all the latest updates and follow the Alliance on Twitter at @All4Ed for more education news.

Many schools and districts across the country have fully implemented the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English and mathematics, but there is still much to be learned – by teachers and students – on the how to ensure the implementation is successful in preparing students for college and career.

This week, Katherine Ellison of EdSource, examined a new Common Core summit initiative that will allow teachers in the state to share with their peers the best practices they’ve pick up on while teaching the standards in their classroom. Ellison writes the July 31 event, “Better Together: California Teacher Summit,” is the work of a partnership between The New Teacher Center and the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities and California State University; it expects to host some 20,000 pre-K-12 teachers leading and attending workshops at 33 colleges and universities.

Kitty Dixon, senior vice president for special projects at the New Teacher Center, told Ellison that the conference “aims to inspire and help teachers struggling to find effective curriculum materials and best practices to help them implement the new standards.”
“These concerns,” she said, “have been at the top of teachers’ lists when asked what would most help them.”

While teachers in California are working to assist peers in discovering new practices for the CCSS, those in New York are taking on new, interactive lessons to help their English-language learner (ELL) students. The Hechinger Report’s Margaret Ramirez reported this week about Thomas A. Edison Elementary School in Port Chester, New York where teachers are incorporating theater in the classroom in an effort to “teach literacy, boost vocabulary and help students master the new Common Core language arts curriculum.”

According to a recent report from the National Center for Education Statistics Institute for Education Sciences the number of English language learners enrolled in U.S. public schools continues to steadily climb and accounted for 9.2 percent of students for SY 2012–13. In New York, Ramirez says that subgroup consists of more than 214,000 students speaking upwards of 160 languages. Due to the steady climb, administration at Thomas A. Edison decided to take the fresh approach to the English-language arts (ELA) Common Core curriculum in an effort to raise proficiency levels for their students.

Ramirez notes the exercises have been successful with the more than 40 percent of the school’s ELL student body. Though the program concept is not a new one for ELL educators, teaching it alongside the CCSS is, as instructors have tailored material to focus more on real-life stories. As Ramirez writes, “Given the tougher requirement of Common Core-aligned tests, [Principal Ivan] Tolentino hopes the new theater instruction will improve their proficiency in written and spoken English.”

For more on the CCSS, check out the Alliance’s Common Core and Equity video series highlighting how five states are implementing the Common Core State Standards and serving significant percentages of low income students or students of color.


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