Help on the Way?
A recent poll by the Education Week Research Center reaffirms what other polls have shown — that teachers are well aware that the textbooks and materials they are expected to use do not line up with the standards they are expected to satisfy.
That was true when there were 50 different state standards, and it remains true now that 43 states have adopted the Common Core.
So it will be interesting to see if EdReports.org, a new nonprofit organization, can provide the kind of help teachers, districts, and states need by acting as a Consumer Reports-like arbiter of quality and alignment of textbooks and other materials. (Full disclosure: Ed Trust Vice President Sonja Santelises is on the board of EdReports.org.)
It will be a while before their first reports are issued, however, and in the meantime, teachers have taken matters into their own hands. The American Federation of Teachers has an online lesson bank, Share My Lesson, that relies on crowdsourcing to validate lessons; and the National Education Association has assembled a team of what it calls “master teachers” to develop lessons on the website, Better Lesson. Both are attempting to provide Common Core-aligned lessons, and both are free to any teacher who wants to use them.
I would love to hear from educators who have used these resources and are willing to share whether they are helpful.