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Coaching Classroom Instruction

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A must-have resource for coaches, leaders, and teams, this book covers approaches for boosting professional growth and macrostrategies that are responsive to student needs. Learn how to offer targeted feedback to teachers, empowering them to identify how they can improve their knowledge and skill. Step-by-step guidelines will help teachers increase their performance on the 280 research-based strategies from Becoming a Reflective Teacher.

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Introduction: The History of Standards-Based Education in the United States

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The discussion of standards is not new. As explained by Robert Marzano and Mark Haystead (2008), awareness of the need for national standards in the United States dates back to 1989, when President George H. W. Bush met with governors at an Education Summit in Charlottesville, Virginia. The group adopted six education goals for the nation, one of which was that “all children will leave grades four, eight, and twelve having demonstrated competency in challenging subject matter” (Rothman, 2011, p. 30). Two groups were subsequently formed to facilitate the implementation of these goals: the National Education Goals Panel and the National Council on Education Standards and Testing.

Recognizing that the federal government did not have the expertise internally to identify what students needed to know and be able to do in each content area, the Bush administration issued grants to subject-matter organizations to develop standards in their content areas. The first organization to develop standards was the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), whose standards identified “what it means to be mathematically literate . . . in a world where mathematics is rapidly growing and is extensively being applied to diverse fields” (NCTM, 1989, p. 1). In 1989 (six months before President Bush’s Education Summit), NCTM published Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics, which specified the math knowledge and skills that students should know and be able to do by the end of grades 2, 5, 8, and 12. According to Robert Rothman (2011):

 

Part I: Applying the Common Core State Standards

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As the authors of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English language arts and mathematics sought to define what students needed to know and be able to do in the 21st century, they found themselves confronted with two broad categories of knowledge and skills. One of these categories (which we label content standards) involves relatively concrete knowledge and skills, such as “ask and answer questions about key details in a text” (NGA & CCSSO, 2010a, p. 11) or “solve word problems that call for addition of three whole numbers whose sum is less than or equal to 20” (NGA & CCSSO, 2010d, p. 15). The other category (which we label practice standards) involves relatively abstract skills, such as “students are engaged and open-minded—but discerning—readers and listeners” (NGA & CCSSO, 2010a, p. 7) or “students try to communicate precisely to others” (NGA & CCSSO, 2010d, p. 7). To their credit, the authors of the CCSS included both categories of knowledge and skills in their set of standards.

 

Part II: Scoring the Common Core State Standards

ePub

MRL’s scales for the Common Core State Standards were designed to include all of the ELA standards from the CCSS. Here we include several notes about MRL’s scales for the ELA CCSS that may interest teachers and readers.

In some cases, the CCSS present substandards for an overarching standard. For example, the overarching Writing standard W.6.1 has five substandards, labeled using a, b, c, d, and e. In cases like this, MRL used one of two approaches: we either included (1) both the overarching standard and the substandards (if the overarching standard contains additional information) or (2) the substandards but not the overarching standard (if the overarching standard does not contain additional information).

MRL created a single set of Reading measurement topics that includes standards from Reading Literature and Reading Informational Text.

Writing standards 9 and 10 are not included in MRL’s scales because our analysis found them to be more focused on instructional guidance rather than specific ELA content. In other words, Writing standards 9 and 10 give teachers guidance about how to structure lessons and combine content rather than specifying what students should know or be able to do as a result of instruction.

 

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