By Bill Honig
The Common Core State Standards state what students should master, but they are not a curriculum.
Jumping from the standards to create lesson plans misses a crucial middle step of developing a coherent curriculum. The absence of this more complex work of creating a local curricular framework for the district, which informs the sequence and breadth of instruction (usually referred to as “scope and sequence”), will result in weak implementation of Common Core. For example, one of the math standards for seventh grade is to use proportional thinking and percentage to solve problems such as: “If $50 is 20 percent of your total funds, how much do you have?” That standard doesn’t answer the question of how much instructional time should be invested in helping students master this standard (actually quite a lot), what strategies will be effective, what should be the progression of learning and how does instruction correlate with previous units.