Implementing the Common Core State Standards: The Role of the Secondary School Leader

The purpose of this Action Brief for secondary leaders is to help them implement the new standards in their schools. The brief is designed to increase awareness of the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS), create a sense of urgency around their implementation, and provide these stakeholders with a deeper understanding of the standards. The brief has introductory text on the standards, and the majority of the document about implementation of the CCSS. The text on implementing the CCSS is organized by 12 areas of school-wide change (e.g., culture, content instruction, instructional time, assessment, etc.).

Content Comments 

This brief, co-authored by four organizations, provides guidance to secondary school leaders on ways to effectively implement the CCSS in their schools. Secondary school leaders face particular challenges to implementing the CCSS in schools, especially with integrating English language arts/Literacy standards across the disciplines, and this report addresses these challenges. Although this brief makes similar points to other reports on the importance of the CCSS, such as the need for students who have the skills and knowledge to work in a 21st century economy, it cites relevant research to support its arguments. Each of the 12 areas of school-wide change range from ½ page to 2 pages in length, and helpful sections of the report include action steps for each of the 12 areas. The report makes a strong call for action by secondary school leaders to be the impetus for change in their schools, and it is useful to any secondary school at various levels of CCSS implementation. For school leaders who are at a beginning stage of implementation, this resource is a valuable primer. For those principals who have done more advanced work in school-wide implementation of the CCSS, this resource is a useful review on their implementation progress. (A similar brief for elementary school leaders is also available from the authors.)