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What Is Common Core Spending Plan?
A common core spending plan is a document or worksheet that clearly presents the budget of the expenditure and the allocated budget of the expenses in the school and other related equipment utilized to reach the funds from the state government by a specific educational institution. Moreover, it is a program providing funds to support the integration of academic content standards in instruction for kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive for purposes of establishing high-quality instructional programs for all pupils.
When one examines the landscape concerning the education policy of common core state standards, it becomes clear that there are a number of implementation issues and obstacles that could potentially hinder the overall success of the effort to institute common core standards. The issue of policy implementation can create some practical problems that must be resolved if the effort to institute common core standards is to be a success. Some scholars within the field of education policy argue that in the case of common core state standards, there is substantial overlap between policy issues and implementation obstacles.
What Is Common Core?
State education chiefs and governors in 48 states came together to develop the Common Core, a set of clear college- and career-ready standards for kindergarten through 12th grade in English language arts or literacy and mathematics. Today, 41 states and the District of Columbia have voluntarily adopted and are working to implement the standards, which are designed to ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to take credit bearing introductory courses in two- or four-year college programs or enter the workforce.
States led the development of the Common Core State Standards. In 2009, state leaders, including governors and state commissioners of education from 48 states, two territories and the District of Columbia, came together and decided to develop common, college- and career-ready standards in mathematics and English language arts. They worked through their membership organizations – the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) – to accomplish this. The development process included defining expectations for what every child should know and be able to do when they graduate from high school and then creating content standards for grades K-12 aligned with these expectations. States relied on workgroups of educators, representatives of higher education and other experts to write the standards with significant input from the public in 2009 and 2010. States then appointed a validation committee to review the final standards. The federal government was not involved in the development of the standards. The final standards were published in June 2010 and available for each state to review, consider and voluntarily adopt.
What Is the Importance of Common Core Spending Plan?
High standards that are consistent across states provide teachers, parents, and students with a set of clear expectations to ensure that all students have the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college, career, and life upon graduation from high school, regardless of where they live. These standards are aligned to the expectations of colleges, workforce training programs, and employers. The standards promote equity by ensuring all students are well prepared to collaborate and compete with their peers in the United States and abroad. Unlike previous state standards, which varied widely from state to state, the Common Core enables collaboration among states on a range of tools and policies, including the:
What Is the Federal Government’s Role in Common Core?
The federal government did not write the standards, but it has promoted them. The stimulus bill included $4.4 billion in Education Department grants for states that adopted “college- and career-ready standards.”
States were not explicitly required to adopt the Common Core in order to compete for the federal money; they could have used their own standards if they proved to the Education Department that those standards prepared students for college. Nearly all of them adopted Common Core instead, and all of the states who eventually won the grants were Common Core states. Another grant program was created to help develop tests based on Common Core standards.
In addition, the federal government has other levers to promote Common Core, too. It waives some requirements of No Child Left Behind, the 2002 education reform law, for states that (among other things) adopt “college and career-ready standards” and assessments based on those standards. But Texas, Virginia, and Minnesota got waivers from the law without adopting the Common Core by proving that that their standards could prepare kids for college and careers.
How to Implement Common Core Spending Plan:
Getting started on common core state standards implementation needs the following:
Step 1: Create a Strategic Implementation Team
The first order of business for states is to put together a team that will be tasked with implementation planning, including setting a timeline for full implementation and the transition from getting where your state is today to where it needs to go. This will require a team that knows your current state standards well, has the capacity to consider and make recommendations about each of the elements that should be in a state’s plan and can execute such a plan. The team should be cross-cutting with representatives from the state department of education, higher education and the Governor’s office. The team should include policy, budget and communications experts. The team should also include representation from districts and schools, including teachers, administrators and content area experts. Your strategic implementation team should have responsibility for creating an overall vision, timeline, phase in strategy and work plan for implementation.
Step 2: Build a Supportive Environment
Whether they are part of your strategic team or not, be sure to consider the important role of other key stakeholders in your process. Consider up front who needs to be engaged in the work, who needs to be kept informed and how you are going to interact with the various stakeholders. Having a plan from the beginning on when and how to engage stakeholders is critical to building support for full implementation of the Common Core State Standards – as well as the rest of your college- and career-ready agenda. It is critical to inform and involve key state board of education members and legislators in discussions around implementation. They are critical partners and must be engaged from the beginning.
Step 3: Make a Plan, a Timeline, and a Budget
What is the date when you want the new common standards to be fully operational in your state? Is that the same date that new assessments will be in place? Working backwards, what are the elements that must be addressed in your plan and when? What expertise do you have in your team? What expertise do you need to find? Who is responsible for what elements of your plan and how will team members – and the team – be held accountable? How will you know whether or not your state is on track? If full implementation takes years, how will you sustain your efforts over time? How will you fund implementation? What funding streams are currently available to fund these efforts? How might funding streams and other reform priorities be leveraged so that the budget implications of implementation are minimized? How might Race to the Top funds impact your plans and timeline?
What Caused Opposition to the Common Core?
Some educators and activists objected to the standards’ stepped-up focus on nonfiction reading, saying it would downgrade the place of good literature in the classroom. Others said the standards harped too much on “cold readings” of complex text without any background preparation. Some early-childhood educators argued that 1st and 2nd graders were expected to tackle skills they weren’t developmentally ready for. Some math educators contended that the standards were particularly weak in preparing students for college majors in math or science. The involvement of the federal government. And to a much lesser degree, the content of the standards themselves.
What Guidance Do the Common Core State Standards Provide to Teachers?
The standards establish what students need to learn, but they do not dictate how teachers should teach. The Common Core State Standards are a clear set of shared goals and expectations for the knowledge and skills students need in English language arts and mathematics at each grade level so they can be prepared to succeed in college, career, and life. Teachers will devise their own lesson plans and curriculum, and tailor their instruction to the individual needs of the students in their classrooms.
What Grade Levels Are Included in the Common Core State Standards?
Research from the early childhood and higher education communities also informed the development of the standards. The English language arts and math standards are for grades K-12.
What Are Educational Standards?
The Common Core State Standards are educational standards for English language arts or literacy and mathematics in grades K-12. Educational standards are the learning goals for what students should know and be able to do at each grade level. Education standards, like Common Core are not a curriculum. Local communities and educators choose their own curriculum, which is a detailed plan for day-to-day teaching. In other words, the Common Core is what students need to know and be able to do, and curriculum is how students will learn it.
What Funds to Local Systems Can Be Directed to Support CCSS Implementation?
States can take leadership roles in providing guidance to districts regarding allowable expenditures of state and federal dollars. States can provide districts targeted guidance with regard to specific, research proven methods to implementing the new standards change. In addition, schools in corrective action receiving state or federal funds can be required to provide services to those teachers that will lead to higher quality instruction. Finally, federal School Improvement Grant (SIG) funds can be withheld by the state for statewide work with the written agreement of local superintendents.
Which Of the Concepts and Skills Required in the Common Core State Standards Are Not Included in the State’s Standards?
It is important to look closely at the common core content that is not matched by your state standards. In some cases, level of specificity and grain size will be important points of departure for the CCSS. Consider what the implications are for transitioning to the common standards and the impact on teacher training and professional development.
Communications and implementation must go hand in hand. Often the best communications strategy is simply having a clear and easily articulated implementation strategy that ensures an open dialog with critical stakeholders and transparency of intentions on the part of the state.
The standards are designed to build upon the most advanced current thinking about preparing all students for success in college, career, and life. This will result in moving even the best state standards to the next level. In fact, since this work began, there has been an explicit agreement that no state would lower its standards. The standards were informed by the best in the country, the highest international standards, and evidence and expertise about educational outcomes. We need college- and career-ready standards because even in high?performing states, students are graduating and passing all the required tests but still need remediation in their postsecondary work. The Common Core drafting process relied on teachers and standards experts from across the country. In addition, many state experts came together to create the most thoughtful and transparent process of standard setting. This was only made possible by many states working together.