Message from Commissioner King
Last week, hundreds of educators from across the state convened in Albany as part of our Network Team Institutes (NTI). NTI was launched two years ago to facilitate the shifts in instruction necessary to fully implement the Common Core. Teams from districts and BOCES attend NTI and then return home to provide their colleagues with professional development in support of those shifts in instruction.
The focus is on instruction. The instruction provided day after day by classroom teachers is the gift that can help our students develop the knowledge and skills required by the Common Core in preparation for graduation, college, and a career. Assessments provide us with useful and actionable information regarding student progress toward college and career readiness, but it is rich, rigorous, and engaging instruction that ensures our students' success. In short, "Teaching is at the Core."
Since the Board of Regents adopted the Common Core in July 2010, the State Education Department has provided a broad array of resources on EngageNY.org, from curriculum modules to professional development tools to a video series on the Common Core shifts developed with PBS and the authors of the Common Core. Those resources are focused on instruction - helping bring the Common Core to life in the classroom. Among the recent additions to EngageNY.org are great videos of the Common Core in action, including one video focused on 5th grade English Language Arts in Ballston Spa and another focused on 2nd grade Math in Watervliet.
I know the end of the school year can be hectic, but it is important to pause to reflect on what you and your colleagues have accomplished in schools throughout the state. Thanks to you and your instruction, our students have an opportunity to head down an even better path to their futures. From our highest-performing districts to our most challenged, the Common Core lights the way along that path; the Common Core standards will help us to ensure that each of our students - regardless of zip code or family income - develops the skills and knowledge needed to graduate college- and career-ready.
Please visit EngageNY.org often to keep track of all the great resources we're putting on the site, including the following recent additions:
Common Core Instruction: Making a claim using two texts with similar themes
Common Core Instruction: Use modeling and tools to solve 3 digit subtraction problems
A video highlighting the Common Core implementation work in Webster Central School District
And please remember how valuable the work you do is for your students' - and our society's - future.
Dr. John B. King, Jr.
Follow me on Twitter @JohnKingNYSED
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