The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) hold the promise to improve the achievement of Wisconsin’s students and better prepare them for ongoing education, careers, and effective citizenship. The CCSS also provide an opportunity to examine and improve the education system to ensure every child is a graduate. Implementing the CCSS will lead to changes in how we develop and implement curriculum, assessment, and instruction. These should be undertaken as a means to implement a multi-level system of support that emphasizes high quality instructional practices, continuous review of student progress, and collaboration as defined by Wisconsin’s vision for RtI. The CCSS provide the opportunity to improve access to academic content for all students, including instruction that incorporates appropriate supports and accommodations to meet the unique needs of English language learners and students with disabilities.
Wisconsin has an opportunity to jump start the CCSS-driven digital learning goals by leveraging the work of the 2009-10 statewide School Library Summit. The result of the Summit was a vision that articulates outcomes for students, the program, and the library media specialist. Action teams created a model program description, library media specialist position description, and a program evaluation tool. Combined, these are designed to promote a collaborative model within schools that promotes effective digital learning and leads to student success.
Technology and digital tools can help meet the dual needs of both curriculum content development and sharing, and the collaboration needed in professional development learning. The integration of the Instructional Media and Technology Standards (which are based on the AASL and ISTE NETS National Standards) with the CCSS provide the direct connection between digital learning and the curriculum. Common statewide repositories can be places where educators share the products of their best practices. Web 2.0 tools can be used to provide virtual methods of creating and maintaining professional learning communities and networks.