A quiet, sub-rosa fear is brewing among supporters of the Common Core State Standards Initiative: that the standards will die the slow death of poor implementation in K-12 classrooms.
"I predict the common-core standards will fail, unless we can do massive professional development for teachers," said Hung-Hsi Wu, a professor emeritus of mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, who has written extensively about the common-core math standards. "There's no fast track to this."
It's a Herculean task, given the size of the public school teaching force and the difficulty educators face in creating the sustained, intensive training that research indicates is necessary to change teachers' practices. ("Professional Development at a Crossroads," November 10, 2010.)
"It is a capacity-building process, without question," said Jim Rollins, the superintendent of the Springdale, Ark., school district. "We're not at square one, but we're not at the end of the path, either. And we don't want to just bring superficial understanding of these standards, but to deepen the understanding, so we have an opportunity to deliver instruction in a way we haven't before."
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