07 Oct Delaware Teachers Respond to Common Core State Standards
October 7, 2013Courtney Fox, a Hope Street Group National Teacher Fellow and Delaware Teacher of the Year 2008, connects with Delaware teachers through a unique partnership with the Delaware Department of Education, the Rodel Foundation of Delaware and Hope Street Group. Learning from Delaware teachers, Fox identified key needs and opportunities for the state’s Common Core efforts, which will be discussed at the Vision 2015 Conference on Delaware public education.
October 7, 2013 – (Wilmington, DE) – As states nationwide continue implementation of the Common Core State Standards, the voluntary state-led standards for Pre-K-12 math and language arts, one teacher has forged partnerships and engaged teacher leaders across Delaware to improve adoption of these standards in her state.Courtney Fox, a 2013 National Teacher Fellow with Hope Street Group, a national nonprofit organization known for its teacher engagement work, partnered with the Delaware Department of Education, Hope Street Group and the Rodel Foundation of Delaware to work with Delaware State Teachers of the Year to gather data regarding teachers attitudes towards the Common Core, their progress towards implementation and the challenges they are facing. Data collected from 63 teachers of the year over the summer was analyzed to provide recommendations for the many stakeholders involved for success. An executive summary of the survey, briefs with recommendations tailored for audiences–including policymakers, education leaders, and community members–and a short video capturing perspectives of teachers can be found on the Hope Street Group Playbook here: http://playbook.hopestreetgroup.org/implementation-challenges-and-solutions.
Teacher of the Year survey respondents agree that the Common Core State Standards will increase student achievement, increase the rigor of material taught, and prioritize what is taught. They indicate that much work remains ahead, but most teachers have had some support in implementing the CCSS, including professional development and collaborative planning time.
Fox, a first grade teacher from Wilmington, has undertaken a unique approach to engage with her fellow teachers, test ideas and collect data to inform the state policy conversation across sectors. Fox said, “This project was a great opportunity to leverage the expertise of teacher leaders to highlight the ways our communities can support the implementation of the Common Core, which we know will benefit our students.” Katherine Bassett, Executive Director of the National Network of State Teachers of the Year stated, “Courtney’s work with Hope Street Group exemplifies the kind of teacher leadership in which State Teachers of the Year in their years of service engage. Trained in policy, practice and advocacy, we work to involve other educators in strengthening teaching and learning.”
While the majority of teachers agreed that the Common Core State Standards will increase student achievement, they also agreed that equal, perhaps even more, resources are needed to ensure teacher support in implementation. According to Fox, “Teachers need support from their school leaders, families, educational leaders and the community to be able to reap all the potential benefits of the Common Core State Standards; and we were able to identify a variety of realistic strategies.” Fox will discuss her project findings and Teacher of the Year recommendations at the Vision 2015 Conference, Realizing the Vision, on Wednesday, October 9th, 2013 in Newark, Delaware.
In addition, representatives from the Delaware State PTA, State Board of Education, Department of Education, and Indian River School District will share their perspectives on the briefs and what is currently being done to support the successful implementation of Common Core and what opportunities lie ahead Terri Hodges, Ph.D, President-Elect of the Delaware PTA and a member of the panel, noted, “These briefs are a great resource to add to the great work underway in Delaware. The PTA is a proud partner with teachers, and we look forward to continuing to support the Common Core.”
Hope Street Group is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to expanding economic opportunity and prosperity for all Americans. Founded by a small group of young entrepreneurs on South Hope Street in Los Angeles, we are committed to helping further innovative and collaborative reform efforts in education, health and jobs and workforce.