As of this year, 43 states have fully adopted the Common Core standards that were first issued in 2010.
Many states implemented the new standards right away. However, some waited until more recently (Minnesota and Colorado in particular). Schools in those states, as well as in several other states that adopted the standards earlier, are struggling with implementation, which can be taxing on schools’ budgets and on teachers’ valuable time.
Some of them have also encountered major technical difficulties with new required technology for testing. Schools have found that some of the more prominent online testing companies are not aimed at their market, or incompatible with ever-popular Apple computers.
On the other hand, in school districts where the implementation has been more successful, a major success factor appears to have been teacher-administration collaboration. In districts where teachers and administrators have joined together to develop curricula and teacher mentoring programs, students have benefited when it comes to the quality of their instructors and thus the success with which they are able to meet standards.
Fortunately, school administration software vendors have caught on to both problems of Common Core implementation. Here is a list of five common core software solutions that can help your school meet the requirements of the standard without too much fuss. These solutions were chosen for their stated focus on Common Core:
How it helps with Common Core: MMS’s web-based platform allows teachers to easily write assignments and build grading scales that correlate directly to Common Core-compliant assessments and standards.
For teachers: In its built-in progress reports, MMS includes analyses of how individual students and whole classes are performing with respect to the standards.
For administrators: MMS also has other capabilities that serve the administrative team more specifically, such as a payment portal and fundraising management.
For collaboration: The above-mentioned progress reports can be easily shared through a variety of portals with administrators, parents, and the students themselves, thereby fostering a culture of open communication among everyone involved in the education of a student.
How it helps with Common Core: Many of the fields in Alma come prepopulated with Common Core requirements such as the standards for pre-algebra.
For teachers: Teachers can easily write lessons that comply with Common Core standards, rearrange the sequence of completed lessons as they see fit, and keep track of how thoroughly they have addressed each Common Core standard.
For administrators: Administrators can import standards and goals that are separate from Common Core but equally important to the school, such as religious education requirements.
For collaboration: Through Alma’s curriculum management tools, the standards and goals set up by administrators can be accessed by teachers as well, allowing them to tailor their lesson plans more effectively.
How it helps with Common Core: CorePlanner was developed specifically to handle Common Core compliance and includes an accessible reference guide of standards.
For teachers: This system makes it quick and easy for teachers to organize a class and create lesson plans for that class. CorePlanner uses the chosen subject and topic of the lesson to display the standards that correspond to the content of the lesson.
For administrators: CorePlanner was really created with teachers in mind. However, as you can see below, it offers the opportunity for teachers to communicate more efficiently with administrators.
For collaboration: Once a teacher creates his or her lesson plan and has set up the applicable Common Core standards, he or she can then communicate the plan to other teachers and to administrators using CorePlanner’s file sharing feature.
How it helps with Common Core: edPlans includes an entire calendar of course guides and lessons pre-labeled with Common Core standards.
For teachers: Teachers can use the pre-written curricula provided by edPlans and tailor them to the needs of their particular classes, thereby simultaneously saving time, creating a more individualized education for their students, and complying with Common Core requirements.
For administrators: Administrators can use edPlans to deliver standards and curricula to teachers. They can also use the system to monitor teachers’ progress through a curriculum, making sure they are staying on track.
For collaboration: edPlans also provides information about best teaching practices, classroom management, and scheduling. Administrators can direct new teachers to these resources and use them to create a richer mentoring program.
How it helps with Common Core: The gradebook and lesson plan features allow teachers to attach the appropriate Common Core standard(s) to each assignment they upload.
For teachers: LearnBoost’s easy-to-use gradebook, attendance tracker, and lesson planner all save valuable time and allow teachers to track students’ progress through a course.
For administrators: The school administration team will be thrilled when they find out that LearnBoost is a free solution. Administrators can also be imported as users of many of the LearnBoost applications.
For collaboration: LearnBoost’s system allows administrators to help teachers set up schedules and can monitor teachers’ and students’ success, facilitating better communication and mentoring. If a school has learning goals beyond those included in the Common Core standards, administrators can import those as well and help keep teachers informed.
School Administration Software Can Help Your School, Too
I hope these five examples have shown you that implementing Common Core standards at your school doesn’t have to be insurmountably difficult. Each of these software solutions can help your school make the transition smoothly and stay on track throughout the year to meet learning goals without wasting time and money.
Did I miss one?
I’ve only listed some of the top five Common Core software solutions here, and I’m sure there are others. Let me know in the comments below if you’ve found any of these solutions helpful for your school or if you have another solution you can recommend in the comments below!