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Book Review                                                 Page 48

 

Making the Common Core

Standards Work 

Using Professional Development to Build World Class Schools

by Robert J. Manley and Richard J. Hawkins, Corwin, Thousand Oaks, Calif. 2012, 261 pp. with index, $38.95 softcover

BookMakingtheCommon

In their epic tour de force, Making the Common Core Standards Work, two long-serving superintendents, Robert J. Manley and Richard J. Hawkins, address the myriad of issues and conundrums associated with Common Core Standards.

Manley and Hawkins, now professors, view the common core as hastily developed and approved by the National Governors Association in 2010, and now, having been adopted by at least 45 states, it has morphed into Common Core State Standards. The authors have moved beyond the critical analyses of the Brookings Institution and the negative commentaries of Diane Ravitch and Linda Darling-Hammond, among others. They have accepted the challenge, complexities and opportunities in this most recent iteration of national reforms dating from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.

Written for school leaders and those who train them, the authors provide a jargon-free blueprint for implementing and exceeding the new standards, using targeted professional development; a focus on those who make it happen. Detailed and realistic strategies are supported by examples and anecdotes from a wide and diverse range of schools. Topics include adapting and aligning existing curricula to meet grade-level goals for language arts and mathematics; empowering administrators, teachers and support staff as active and participating partners in planning for and implementing the new and comprehensive standards; designing formative and summative assessments that monitor and measure mastery of the standards; ensuring all students, notwithstanding multicultural diversity, will benefit from the process.

This timely and terse text could and should be on the desk of any and all who would lead the nation’s schools in this second decade of the 21st century.

Reviewed by Charles Rudiger, professor, Dowling College, Oakdale, N.Y.

 

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