NASSP Recommendations for Implementing College and Career Ready Standards

June 3, 2014

Bob Farrace, NASSP

NASSP Releases Recommendations for
Successful Implementation of College and Career Ready Standards

Reston, VA–As the leading organization representing the nation’s secondary school principals, NASSP calls upon federal, state, and district policymakers to help principals in ensuring effective implementation of the new college and career ready standards required as a condition for receiving a flexibility waiver under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

“NASSP has long supported the adoption and successful implementation of college and career ready standards that are designed to prepare all students for success in postsecondary education and training,” said NASSP Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti. “Strong school leadership is pivotal to creating a culture of high expectations for each student, but principals across the nation report concerns about the implementation of the new standards in their states and the inadequate training they have received to help them ensure that their teachers are able to change instructional practices.”

Success of the new standards is dependent upon well-thought-out and long-term implementation efforts in states and districts that set reasonable expectations for educators and build the capacity of school leaders and teachers to implement college and career ready standards and administer assessments aligned with those standards.

Federal, state, and district policymakers all play a role in ensuring these new standards are given the time and opportunity to be successful and better prepare all students for life after college.

The policy brief includes these highlighted recommendations, as well as a more comprehensive list.

Recommendations for Federal Policymakers:

  • Abandon the punitive provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and provide significant financial resources for states to implement college and career ready standards and the related assessments with fidelity.
  • Delay penalties and sanctions related to test scores on schools, principals, and teachers by two years to allow for a sufficient transition period.
  • Encourage states to eliminate outdated state assessments and provide incentives for them to participate in field tests of new college and career ready assessments.

Recommendations for State Policymakers:

  • Adopt a 5–10 year plan to appropriately implement the new, higher standards along with a plan to sustain the changes wrought by their adoption.
  • Eliminate outdated state assessments that are not aligned with college and career ready standards and collaborate with principals and teachers to field test new assessments and a process for perfecting them.
  • In collaboration with local education authorities, designed appropriately aligned curricula to meet college and career ready standards and provide funding for updated instructional material.

Recommendations for District Policymakers:

  • Focus principal training on instructional leadership to help school leaders become well-versed in college and career ready standards so they can coach their teaching staff on them.
  • Support ongoing professional development to build the capacity of all teachers to teach to the higher standards and provide students with the support they need to achieve them.
  • Assess and align all schools’ technology capacity to accommodate the required computer-based assessments and allow students to have multiple opportunities to practice with new hardware and software being state assessments are administered.

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The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is the leading organization of and national voice for middle level and high school principals, assistant principals, and all school leaders from across the United States and more than 36 countries around the world. The association connects and engages school leaders through advocacy, research, education, and student programs. NASSP advocates on behalf of all school leaders to ensure the success of each student and strengthens school leadership practices through the design and delivery of high quality professional learning experiences. Reflecting its long-standing commitment to student leadership development, NASSP administers the National Honor SocietyNational Junior Honor SocietyNational Elementary Honor Society, and National Association of Student Councils.