Common Core and America's High-Achieving Students

From the author: "While the merit and politics of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) have been much debated and discussed, one topic has been virtually ignored: What do the standards portend for America’s high-ability students? This brief addresses that question and provides guidance for CCSS-implementing districts and schools as they seek to help these youngsters to reach their learning potential. Four key points emerge. 1) Common Core is no excuse to ditch gifted services. 2) State and local officials should get rid of policies that hurt gifted students and strengthen those that help them. 3) Schools should work harder to make differentiation real. 4) Schools should make use of existing high-quality materials that help teachers adapt the Common Core for gifted students."

Content Comments 

In this publication the author addresses an issue that is often missed among various Common Core topics: the instruction and learning of gifted students. Although the author often draws on anecdotal examples—"… the superintendent in one Illinois district justified elimination of gifted education programming by citing the rigorous standards of the Core"—his recommendations make reasonable sense. In essence, he argues that we should not let the focus on the CCSS decrease the already limited resources and professional development available to support gifted students. Communications quality is good, including concise length and a visually pleasing design. Utility should be reasonably high, especially because this is one of the few publications on this important topic. The overall quality suggests a positive impact on learning.