What We’re Watching: David Coleman on the Common Core Standards

By Education Next 07/11/2011

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In this video, David Coleman, a leader in the development of the Common Core Standards in literacy, sells the standards to principals at a conference in New York City last month.

HT: Gotham Schools

Comment on this article
  • Claudia Cornett says:

    Coleman gives 6-12 specifics that help, but k-5 teachers need examples, too.

  • Jennifer B says:

    @Claudia Cornett: Watch this presentation then: http://usny.nysed.gov/rttt/resources/bringing-the-common-core-to-life.html

  • Marilyn Kowalkowski says:

    David Coleman is an engaging speaker. His practical approach to the common core inspires teachers to be better. I’m excited to be a part of a new curriculum that emphasizes fewer but deeper math and ELA strands.

  • Dave Babich says:

    David Coleman gave a nice summary of the changes that will take place as we move towards the common core. I’m encouraged to hear that these focused standards will actually provide teachers with more time, as we plan fewer concepts but in more depth. I loved his summary of the changes in literacy as teaching students to “read like a detective and write like an investigative reporter”.

  • Julie colter says:

    David Coleman’s message of “less is more” in terms of curriculum is an important one, but certainly nothing that hasn’t been said already. Unfortunately, curriculum writers don’t seem to be listening. Coleman’s comparison of the U.S. curriculum which is in his words “a mile wide and an inch deep” is in stark contrast to the minimal requirements of our Asian counterparts. I wish I could implement Coleman’s opinion about implementing less curriculum, which would allow more depth of understanding, but my shelves are filled with large, curriculum binders for multiple subjects that I must teach. Finally, I have to disagree with Coleman’s belief that social studies and science are not taught at the elementary level. I have taught at the elementary level for 22 years, primarily at the lower grades, and have always implemented instruction in science and social studies that exposes students to informational texts and teaches them to extract learning from them. I did like his motto, “Read like a detective and write like an investigative reporter.” I will introduce these ideas to my students.

  • Beth Kuriluk says:

    My one “take away” from Mr. Coleman’s seminar is we need to focus on core content in order for the students to learn more. Teach less=learn more.

  • Donnie Durant says:

    Of course Common Core Standards would lead to education consistency. But wherein shall the consistency come from? The teachers? The administrators? Each State? And then what about the interpretation?

  • Jay Hillard says:

    How can we possibly argue against teaching students to think? teaching in more depth? I enjoyed David Coleman’s explanation of the “shifts”. It’s not what we’re doing now. It’s what we have to do differently in order to best prepare our children for college and the world of work. One impact this has had in my own classroom is that there is justification (nay ‘requirement’) for discussion so as to understand implied and deeper messages of the text. No more checking something off the list because curricular piece has been ‘covered’. I, too, really liked “Read like a detective; Write like an investigative Reporter.” We’ve got our work cut out for us but the ride’s going to be more fulfilling.

  • Brooke Baker says:

    Well said Beth! I am excited by this change. I am hoping that now I won’t feel like I am trying to get through curriculum but am able to give my students a strong foundation that can be built upon.

  • Erin B says:

    Great overview. Loved the ‘teach less-learn more’. Learning for greater and deeper understanding can help differentiate for all learners.

  • jeff says:

    I like the statement that we need to be focusing on fewer concepts, not expanding…

  • Joanne MInk says:

    I enjoyed listening to David Coleman’s presentation. The three core standards are principles that all educators need to enhance the future education of all our students.

  • Greg Bergin says:

    Coleman would have the listener believe that because NAEP scores over the last 40 years have flat-lined and education spending has doubled that this is evidence that the public schools are failing. Too many people put faith in his manipulative use of numbers. That it sounds plausible is, unfortunately, good enough for way too many.

    The evidence is stark: The number of years one stays in school, NOT grades (based on a given curriculum) and not scores on national/international tests, determines how well one does. Teachers and politicians, particularly those who are anti-public education, don’t want to hear this.

    By the way, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects job categories out only ten years at a time because of the rapid changes in jobs/employment. So by the time a given kindergartner graduates with her/his degree nearly TWO cycles of this process will have occurred. Where is the evidence that the Common Core can deal with this?

    Mr. Coleman would rather we not read so much fiction, perhaps he is right that we need a different balance; however, I suggest he read “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”

  • Kathryn Barcelona says:

    I agree that the common core makes more sense. By all teachers teaching the foundations and subsequent lessons that build upon these foundations in more complexity as the student grows, we are giving the students the tools to think in a more complex manner. They can build on a deeper understanding and apply it to future learning. I am excited for this change.

  • Deb Feeley says:

    I enjoyed Mr. Coleman’s presentation. The idea of teaching to the basics is so important. I also think that it is critical that students be prepared to read and write the way that they wil be expected to think when they enter college. All students should learn to “read like a detective” and “write like an ivestigative reporter.”

  • Cathy Shapero says:

    David Coleman comments about learning whole number mathematics thoroughly in elementary school as a foundation for future learning. He shares that learning key content vocabulary is important, but students also need to learn the complex words surrounding those content words. Reading non-fiction is a way to learn the technical words and other vocabulary needed later. Those specific topics can apply to the students I work with and will be useful in my planning.

  • Kurt Bartel says:

    David Coleman had a lot of interesting things to say about the Common Core. Most of them sounded “nice” or “good”. It would be nice and good if teachers taught less and students learned more. I have heard the comparison between Asian curriculum and US curriculum before and it makes sense. We do try to “cover” more and equiv elate “cover” with “teaching”. It was covered, therefore it was taught, therefore it was learned. I have always believed that practice is important to mastering a skill and if teachers can provide guided practice – great! Interesting how over 40 years reading scores have not changed much. I wonder if 40 years ago, the kids with mild challenges that are helped more today were tested along with everyone esle back then and if that might changed the results? Common core assumes everyone goes to college. Not everyone needs or should go to college. We need to do more for those who will join the work force right after high school. Just about everyone can go to college as long as they can finance it, whether they belong there or not.

  • Hubert Rast says:

    I am struck by the convergence of the Common Core and the philosophy of the International Baccalaureate Programme. The steady increase in complexity leads to the necessary requirements of higher level learning whereby the applications of knowledge to new circumstances is the goal.

  • Chris C. says:

    I found David Coleman’s speech to be interesting & refreshing. I particularly liked his thoughts about math and how learning less in more depth could produce better math students.

  • Melanie Korczyk says:

    I completely agree with the “deeper, not broader” approach. In Mike Schmoker’s book Focus, he discusses just that. We don’t need to cover more material, what we need is to focus on our few objectives and make sure that those lessons hit home for all students. It’s easy to make something like the common core sound good in a speech, especially when David Coleman is trying to “sell” the program, as the description says. But having changed my curriculum personally from the 91 HSCE’s to the common core, I think there is real value here.

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