Posted by: Jared Heath, content manager
Kentucky was the first state to officially adopt the Common Core Standards—a bold move that preceded official adoption by 43 other states and participation by another four states. Now that 48 states play a role in the Common Core Standards, will they look to Kentucky to see if they will lead other states in integrating the Standards?
The plan: train from two directions. One part of plan includes giving Common Core training to the leaders and let it trickle down to the teachers—a tried method with varying degrees of success. The “grassroots” part of the campaign—or training for those in the trenches, as I prefer to think of it—is much more involved than ever before on a statewide training plan.
If you haven’t guessed that Common Core 360 is at the heart of it, then let me spill the beans for you here. STOP—this isn’t a promo post for Common Core 360 training and resources. This is to let you know just how the entire state of Kentucky is trying to get the ball rolling on Common Core Standards, teacher performance, and student learning.
On-demand Common Core training is being provided to every classroom in the state. This is perhaps the first attempt at giving teachers in the classroom direct, personal, and on-demand training on a state level that the country has ever known. The teachers—those with classrooms, facing students every day, and essentially “in the trenches”—need direct, personal training for the Common Core Standards, but a personal trainer or coach for 44,023 teachers adds up to more money than any state has in this economy.
By providing on-demand professional development for the Common Core Standards, the state is giving teachers an opportunity to have “one-on-one” training complete with collaboration and PLCs on the online community in order to make a change in education.
The bravery involved in being the first to adopt the Standards and the first to begin universal training is centered in daring to do it all simultaneously. Every other state has districts following their own plans and schools perhaps following their own—and that’s probably a good thing. Universal integration is one of the most difficult ways to make change, because “top-down” training only seems to come down so far, leaving the “grass roots” unfed. And if any of us need an example, I don’t think the 1960s Civil Rights Movement was too far away for us to remember.
Fully and simultaneously integrating Common Core training is both brave and likely to succeed, however, in this one instance. Kentucky has found a way to feed the teachers while still implementing a form of “top-down” training for leaders. And to this new method and Kentucky’s vision, I raise my glass and cry, “Bottoms up!”
What are your schools and districts doing to provide Common Core training and resources? What would you like to see more of as the school year rolls on? Let’s talk about it in the comments!