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Are You Ready to Implement Common Core Standards?

If you think your district needs further preparation to implement the common core state standards (CCSS), you're not alone.
In his State of the Union address President Obama strongly addressed education and preparing all students with 21st century skills. The Common Core State Standards aims to address many of these concerns.

If you think your district needs further preparation to implement the common core state standards (CCSS), you're not alone. According to a poll conducted by the Leadership and Learning center, an organization providing solutions to districts and school leaders, 96 percent of respondents reported they were unprepared to implement the standards in their district. The poll consisted of 115 thorough responses from district leaders and, while far from scientific, sheds light on some specific concerns facing administrators.

Most respondents want to wait to implement to see what the assessments will look like in 2014 or if the federal government will change direction, says Douglas Reeves, founder of the Leadership and Learning Center. He observes that there's also little assurance that states will continue the adoption if race to the top funds to do so are not provided. "This wait-and-see attitude is delaying districts from making some necessary changes," he says.

"I wouldn't wait because the last several administrations have all been concerned about the need for standards that truly prepare students for college and careers," says Gene Wilhoit, executive director of the council of Chief State School Officers, which partnered with the National Governors Association to develop the common standards.

To reduce CCSS woes and, according to Reeves, "lower blood pressures of teachers and administrators," members of the Leadership and Learning center are touring the united states. "One thing I do is ask administrators to lay out what their current state standards are and then what is expected under the common core. They can visually start highlighting what they have in common."

Reeves believes it's important for school leaders to put the CCSS into operation in an effective manner. "Overall, I feel that the groups that worked on the standards did a good job and deserve support and encouragement," he says. "It's ok to say they're not perfect, but it's important to figure out how we can add value and become engaged, not just be recipients."

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