CLI and the Common Core

This newscast from a Denver television station describes how schools in Colorado and across the country are preparing to embrace the Common Core State Standards, a nationwide effort to align curriculum across state lines and focus more extensively on higher-order skills, such as critical thinking and communication. It’s an extensive undertaking that will demand much from states, districts, schools, and teachers, but if it’s implemented well, it will go a long way towards ensuring that all students graduate prepared for college and careers.

One of the biggest challenges of implementing the Common Core will be supporting educators as they make substantive changes in the way they teach in order to meet these new standards. As Stephanie Hirsh of the professional-learning nonprofit Learning Forward wrote in an Education Week op-ed, “the dramatic shift in teaching prompted by the Common Core will require practical, intensive, and ongoing professional learning.”

That’s why we see CLI’s professional development and the Common Core as a powerful combination. The new standards complement CLI’s professional development by providing clear objectives in reading, writing and language skills that mirror the goals of our CLI Model Classrooms and other programs. Additionally, CLI’s professional development and coaching in effective literacy practices can give teachers a deep understanding of the strategies that will help students meet those objectives.

At a broad level, both the Common Core and CLI’s professional development emphasize an integrated model of literacy in which students learn and apply skills through a range of activities. Looking more closely at the standards themselves, there’s consistent overlap between specific Common Core standards and CLI’s effective literacy practices, an array of strategies that drive our Model Classrooms and professional development.  


Implementing the Common Core may be challenging, but we believe that CLI has a powerful role to play by building on the strengths of teachers to create sustainable change. 

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