Coherent and Sequenced Curriculum Key to Implementing Common Core Standards
In this EdSource article, Bill Honig, chairman of the Instructional Quality Commission and former California State Superintendent of Public Instruction, writes that there is a crucial middle step missing in many district’s implementation of the Common Core State Standards. What’s absent is the “more complex work of creating a local curricular framework for the district, which informs the sequence and breadth of instruction.” Honig gives examples using math and ELA standards to illustrate how standards cannot help teachers address such things as the amount of instructional time should be invested to help students with the standard, what strategies will be effective, and what are the progressions of learning and how instruction correlates with previous units. In the article, Honig provides links to resources he thinks are helpful in developing a coherent curriculum to implement the Common Core State Standards.
The title of the article “Coherent and Sequenced Curriculum Key to Implementing Common Core Standards” effectively states the purpose of this article, which is that mere adoption of the Common Core is not enough; it must be followed by an effective curriculum. While that may seem obvious, the author, former California Superintendent of Schools Bill Honig, effectively presents not just a helpful message but includes links to many useful resources throughout. The article and resources are of high quality, effectively integrated and communicated, and should be of high utility to many school districts and schools well beyond California borders. The Long Beach Unified School District “Scope and Sequence” resources, for example, could potentially save users from spending hundreds of hours trying to reinvent the curriculum wheel. While evidence of impact or effectiveness is not provided, the high quality nature of the article suggests a reasonable positive effect on learning. The article includes comments from others; however, a substantial number of those remarks tend to be from either people who dislike the Common Core for nearly any reason or those who think that the role of the teacher is once again being denigrated. Utility and quality of any resource are somewhat in the eye of the beholder, but this reviewer believes that this resource is an excellent one.