Dr. Bradley Scott

A Civil Rights Look at the Common Core – Podcast Episode 117 | Classnotes Podcast 117

Aurelio M. Montemayor, M.Ed.Classnotes Podcast (December 11, 2012) In many states across the country, school districts began implementing the Common Core State Standards developed through the work of the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers. With the goal of creating consistent standards for preparing students for college and tomorrow’s workplace, the initiative holds great promise. However, there are some critical elements that have not been addressed sufficiently.

The nation’s network of equity assistance centers are in the process of outlining several civil rights concerns with the Common Core State Standards and their implementation. Bradley Scott, Ph.D., director of the IDRA South Central Collaborative for Equity, gives you a preview of those concerns, including lack of support for English language learners and low performing students. Bradley is interviewed by Aurelio Montemayor, M.Ed., an IDRA senior education associate.

Show length: 14:33.

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Common Core State Standards Initiative

Common Core: Now What? 
Educational Leadership magazine by ASCD, December 2012/January 2013 | Volume 70 | Number 4

Council for Chief State School Officers

National Governors Association

IDRA South Central Collaborative for Equity

Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education

Courage to Connect: A Quality Schools Action Framework™ 
Edited by María “Cuca” Robledo Montecel, Ph.D., and Christie L. Goodman, APR

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Show Notes

  • Bradley describes what the Common Core is, and who is developing it. He notes that 47 of 50 U.S. states have adopted the standards.

  • Bradley talks about the role of the federal government, which doesn’t formally adopt the Common Core on its own but can affirm and support the standards through funding decisions.

  • Bradley and Aurelio discuss three key civil rights concerns that equity assistance centers are looking at as states begin to formally implement the Common Core standards:
    They don’t address interventions for students already performing below grade level.
    They don’t delineate a full range of support for English language learners.
    They don’t provide information on how teachers should teach the standards.

  • Bradley says that teachers are “crying for guidance and activities and professional development that will help them to implement the rigor of the [Common Core] standards with fidelity. That’s a difficult challenge, and many teachers find themselves unprepared.”

  • Bradley laments that the standards lack culturally relevant curricula that will meet the needs of a diverse student body.

  • Bradley recommends that administrators and teachers look more deeply at existing research on reaching students of various populations and consider how this research applies to the Common Core standards. He stresses the importance of engaging families throughout the educational process, and ensuring that teachers are getting professional development training in cultural competence.