Professional development will be crucial for Common Core implementation

Professional development will be crucial for Common Core implementation

March 10, 2014

Professional Development Will Be Crucial for Common Core Implementation
Investing in our teachers is necessary for student success and achievement

NEW YORK – Requests for Common Core-specific assistance from districts and schools across the country are on the rise, and for good reason; the standards demand more from students and far more from teachers. That’s according to Generation Ready, one of the largest providers of professional development and school improvement services in the country.

The Common Core State Standards are the latest standards aimed at preparing students to be college and career ready in a global society. In spite of various opinions on the standards, they take effect this fall, and many school districts are unprepared.

Sheena Hervey, Chief Academic Officer for Generation Ready, says regardless of what standards happen to be in place, their classroom embedded education consultants have worked side by side with teachers to help plan and teach more rigorous content, develop performance tasks, and collaboratively analyze student work in English Language Arts and Literacy and math.

“Meeting the raised expectations of the standards will require teachers to teach in profoundly different ways,” says Hervey. “We believe that teachers need substantially more professional development around the Common Core, not just in understanding what the new standards include and how they differ from states’ old standards, but also to fill the gaps in instructional strategies that will be needed for students to succeed.”

New York and Common Core

Generation Ready has been working with more than 700 schools in New York City Public Schools and more than 250 schools around the state on literacy, math and leadership improvement.

To prepare for Common Core, New York led the way by adopting and introducing more rigorous standards in the 2012-2013 school year.  In 2010, Generation Ready partnered with the New York City Department of Education to lead one of the department’s five pilot programs for improving English Language Arts and literacy outcomes.

According to the New York City Department of Education, the results of recent Common Core exams show that New York City public school students tested higher than students in other large urban school districts in New York State. But overall state test results highlight the fact that teachers need substantially more professional development around the new standards.

A report issued in August 2013 by the Center on Education Policy (CEP) stated that 37 states consider it a challenge to provide enough high-quality professional development to help teachers implement the Common Core, and 31 states said that providing all math and English language arts teachers with state-sponsored professional development was proving challenging.

California and Common Core

Recognizing this challenge, the state of California released $1.25 billion this past fall to assist school districts in implementing the Common Core. School districts across the state started using professional development to prepare for the latest standards. In addition to these funds, some school districts received additional grants to get a head start on key elements of Common Core implementation. For example, Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) was awarded a grant to work on three academic areas: content standards, instructional shift and standards for mathematical practice.

Dr. Olivine Roberts, chief academic officer for SCUSD, used that grant to hire Generation Ready, a professional development company, to offer her district leadership workshops and classroom embedded education consultants to assist with the new mathematics standards.

“For the first time, students will be assessed on how they problem solve and whether or not they communicate precisely,” said Roberts. “It is asking us to do things differently. When we talk about improving schools we’re not improving schools we are improving people.”

Dr. Roberts says it is too soon to see the benefits of this type of professional development for her teachers and leadership team, but she hopes to report positive results from this investment in the spring after student and teacher assessments.

About Generation Ready

Generation Ready is the only national provider of professional learning services that uniquely combines deep instructional job-embedded expertise, innovative technology tools, and a targeted digital content library that ensures sustained professional growth and improved student learning. Many of our consultants have been trained in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada where instruction is considered some of the most effective in the world.  Created through acquisition by Weld North Holdings LLC in September 2012, Generation Ready combines the deep expertise and resources of two long-renowned education organizations – Editure/AUSSIE Professional Development and JBHM Education Group. Our mission is to support teachers and school leaders in order to educate a stronger, more vibrant generation of students prepared to meet life’s challenges. For more information, visit

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