Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy 2011 literacy and math possibilities

I'm delighted to kick off 2011 with great hopes for some great tools.  The Gates Foundation website now features an overview and samples of the literacy and math strategies it is developing to support the new Common Core State Standards. "Supporting Instruction" explains the overall project this way:
While the standards were being produced, we were also investing in the tools teachers will need to help their students meet them. For the last two years, we’ve been leading two design collaboratives, one in mathematics and one in literacy. These groups have been developing and piloting the formative assessments teachers need to understand where students are relative to the standards, the lessons to move students forward, and the rich classroom-based summative assessments that demonstrate student progress.
In both cases, the design teams are indeed collaboratives and involve subject-matter experts, education leaders, and classroom teachers who keep the effort grounded in real schools and students.
These tools are now being codeveloped and piloted in 14 school districts in 8 states during the current school year, along with a rigorous evaluation process to ensure that they work. It will be several months before we can report on their progress, but we expect to be ready to share “version 1.0” in the 2011–2012 school year.
Yes, Kentucky's one of the eight states doing co-development and piloting, through grants for Prichard Committee work with a small group of educators around the state, described here and here.

And, yes, I've had the privilege and delight of being right in the middle of the convenings where the participating share their early experiences with each strategy.  I think these tools have huge potential to raise student engagement, understanding and achievement in very exciting ways.

You can download the Foundation's monograph here, and I'll blog on the mathematics and the literacy details a little later in the day.

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Updates and data on Kentucky education!