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Teachers Bring the Common Core to Life

commoncoresummer.jpgAs I've traveled the state, teachers have told me that they are excited to tackle the challenges of implementing the Common Core State Standards. But they are concerned about having the time and resources to make it work. As a teacher, I know teachers need to be involved in shaping this opportunity to prepare our students for a successful future.

That's why the California Department of Education at my direction today brought together some of our state's top teachers to learn from each other about how best to make the Common Core work in our classrooms.

This Common Core Showcase was a day-long, hands-on seminar about how to bring the new Common Core State Standards to life in California's classrooms. It's just the start: County Offices of Education, school districts, and teachers working in small groups are coming together to learn, share ideas, and plan.

We're remodeling our education system, but the standards are just blueprints. The real work--this remodeling project's heavy lifting--will be done by teachers.

For teachers, this is California's Common Core Summer. They've just finished the school year, but teachers are already back in class because they see the opportunities presented by Common Core standards based on the practical, real-world skills our students need in the 21st century.

The Common Core State Standards will help build creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration, and communication. They also will help us fulfill our vision to ensure all students--no matter where they come from or what school they attend--graduate from our public schools with the skills and knowledge necessary to contribute to our global economy.

And I'm glad the new state budget passed by the Legislature makes a critical investment of $1.25 billion to Common Core implementation based on a proposal I made prior to the May revised budget release.

Today's Common Core Showcase focused on math. Next week another group will focus on English language arts. These are the latest in a series of initiatives the California Department of Education and State Board of Education have launched to prepare educators for the Common Core.

For the first time in years teachers will have a real chance to truly teach. That's why today's focus was on teachers. Because, as my Blueprint for Great Schools outlines (click here to download a pdf), our students' success depends on great teaching.


Tom Torlakson

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