Successful transition to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), like most things in life, has a lot to do with timing. Every district in the 46 states participating in the Common Core is unique in terms of where they currently are relative to the new standards, so the question becomes:
1. Are you measuring the content that is currently taught in the classrooms or,
2. Are you evaluating your current curriculum’s strengths and weaknesses relative to the CCSS?
Depending on your answer, the timing for successful CCSS will be different. If you’re measuring the current content being taught in your classrooms, then we recommend migrating to the CCSS aligned tests when the alignment of the instructional materials to the CCSS occurs in your district. To avoid added disruption to your students and the learning process, we recommend that the migration occur between academic school years.
If you’re looking to evaluate your current curriculum, then our recommendation is to switch to CCSS aligned tests prior to when the CCSS curriculum is implemented. Our MAP and MPG tests can play a key role here in terms of gap analysis, so you’re not completely rewriting curriculum.
Another variable in transitioning to the CCSS to consider is just how much curriculum change you plan on making. If your district only plans to make adjustments to your current curriculum, then a switch sooner might be appropriate. If you’re going to overhaul curriculum with a number of changes, then you’re better off switching when the new curriculum is implemented.
At this past year’s Fusion conference, we held a session entitled Transitioning to the Common Core State Standards, which is up on SlideShare, and embedded below, and is another resource you may want to reference. As always, if you have questions on CCSS and its impact on your district, contact us for guidance and recommendations.