The Common Core Curriculum Mapping Project: Bill Gates' Victory, part 1
The comments and sample maps appear in Part 2. Here, I just highlighted a few items of interest in the participant bios.
Contact: Jessica Schwartz Hahn
571-970-6440 / 571-239-3260
CURRICULUM MAPS BASED ON COMMON CORE STANDARDS
RELEASED FOR PUBLIC FEEDBACK
Free English Language Arts Curriculum Maps Written by Teachers for Teachers
August 19, 2010 - Washington, DC - As 35 states have signed on to adopt the Common
Core State Standards (CCSS) released in June, the need for curriculum guides to assist
teachers in helping students meet these standards has become imperative. That need was
met today by the Common Core Curriculum Mapping Project.
Today, Common Core releases for public comment free English Language Arts (ELA)
Curriculum Maps written by public school teachers and designed for grades K-12. Public
comment will be accepted through September 17 at www.commoncore.org/maps.
A project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the research-based Curriculum
Maps present a comprehensive, coherent sequence of thematic curriculum units
connecting the skills outlined in the CCSS with suggested student objectives, texts,
activities, and much more. More information about the Curriculum Maps is available at
http://commoncore.org/maps/index.php/faqs/. JPGs of Curriculum Maps are available
Map contents are driven by and shaped around the Common Core Standards in ELA.
Every standard is covered in the maps, many more than once. "Any teacher who chooses
to follow these maps would not have to worry about whether they were addressing all of
the standards that apply to their grade," said Lynne Munson, President and Executive
Director of Common Core. "These maps transform the standards into teaching tools that
will be both convenient and compelling for teachers, and engaging for students."
The maps will be revised in response to the public comment period and released later in
2010. However, the maps will remain open for input indefinitely, allowing educators and
curriculum experts, and anyone else, to comment, to rate the maps and their elements,
and to share their own lesson plans and ideas. "The maps will be living documents,"
explained Munson, "expanding and improving over time."
The Curriculum Maps were written by public school teachers for public school teachers.
More than three dozen educators, with decades of teaching experience among them,
drafted, wrote, reviewed, and revised the maps.
Reviewers included Milken Educator
Award winners and members of the American Federation of Teachers and National
Alliance of Black School Educators. Several of the educators who wrote or reviewed the
maps also worked on the CCSS. Model curricula and other materials, including the
International Baccalaureate curricula and the Massachusetts state standards, were
examined during development of the maps.
"Embracing high academic standards is just the first step in improving education," said
current National Assessment Governing Board chairman and former Massachusetts
education commissioner David P. Driscoll, who served as an expert advisor to the
Mapping Project. "Teachers must be provided with usable, adaptable curriculum tools
that can help them move the standards into practice in classrooms, and these maps do just
that. And because they are free, they will save states and districts the significant dollars
typically dedicated to curriculum development."
Most grades contain six unit maps. Each of these free Curriculum Maps contains a list of
focus standards taken from the CCSS, specific student objectives, an overview of skills
and content the unit will cover, and sample student activities and assessments. Each also
contains an essential question that frames the unit, suggested texts (including CCSS
exemplar texts), a list of key terminology, and links to additional instructional resources
from the National Endowment for the Humanities and other organizations.
And because the CCSS invite the arts into the teaching of ELA, the Curriculum Maps
highlight places where the arts, music, and media could be well integrated into
The Common Core Curriculum Mapping Project plans for future iterations of the maps to
include sample student work and scoring rubrics, to assist teachers who would like to use the sample activities as formative assessment tools.
The maps do not prescribe how teachers should teach reading or any of the other material
presented in the maps, nor do they comprise a complete curriculum. They provide
educators with a roadmap for translating the Common Core State Standards into
instruction, and a resource for developing a more detailed curricula and lesson plans. The
maps empower teachers to be creative, and to adapt the maps to meet their specific
classroom and student needs for effective reading instruction and learning.
A team of experts advised the development of the maps, including Driscoll, Antonia
Cortese, secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of Teachers; Diane Ravitch,
research professor of education at New York University and former U.S. assistant
secretary of education; and Grover J. (Russ) Whitehurst, director of the Brown Center of
Education Policy at the Brookings Institution and the first director of the Institute of
Common Core (http://www.commoncore.org/) is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization
formed in 2007 to advocate for a content-rich liberal arts education in America's K -- 12
schools. We believe that a child who graduates from high school without an understanding of culture, the arts, history, literature, civics, and language has in fact been left behind. To improve education in America, we promote programs, policies, and initiatives at the local, state, and federal levels that provide students with challenging, rigorous instruction in the full range of liberal arts and sciences.
Common Core's trustees are Erik Berg, a second grade public school teacher in Boston; Barbara Byrd-Bennett, chief academic and accountability officer of the Detroit Public Schools; Antonia Cortese, secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of Teachers; Pascal Forgione, Jr., executive director of the Educational Testing Service's Center on K--12 Assessment and Performance Management; Lorraine Griffith, a fifth grade public school teacher in Asheville, North Carolina; Jason Griffiths, headmaster of the Brooklyn Latin School; Joy Hakim, author of A History of Us and The Story of Science; Bill Honig, former superintendent of public instruction for the state of California; Richard Kessler, executive director of The Center of Arts Education; Lynne Munson, president and executive director of Common Core; Juan Rangel, CEO of Chicago-based United
Neighborhood Organization; and Diane Ravitch, research professor of education at New York University and former U.S. assistant secretary of education.
From the Common Core website:
Common Core's Curriculum Maps in English Language Arts were written by public school teachers for public school teachers. The maps translate the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Kindergarten through 12th grade into unit maps that teachers can use to plan their year, craft their own more detailed curriculum, and create lesson plans. The maps are flexible and adaptable, yet they address every standard in the CCSS. Any teacher, school, or district that chooses to follow the Common Core maps can be confident that they are adhering to the standards. Even the topics the maps introduce grow out of and expand upon the "exemplar" texts recommended in the CCSS. And because they are free, the maps will save school districts millions in curriculum development costs. The draft maps are available for public comment until September 17. Please tell us what you think!
The Common Core Curriculum Mapping Project, created and operated by Common Core, is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Common Core Staff
Lynne Munson has served as president and executive director of Common Core since the organization's founding. From 2001 to 2005, Ms. Munson was deputy chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. In that post, Ms. Munson conceived of "Picturing America." The most successful public humanities project in NEH history, it put more than 75,000 sets of fine art images and teaching guides into libraries, K-12 classrooms, and Head Start centers. In 2005, she led the first post-conflict United States government delegation to Afghanistan to deal with issues of cultural reconstruction. In September 2007, Ms. Munson testified before the Senate Finance Committee on college and university endowment spending, a topic she writes on as a research fellow at the Institute for Jewish and Community Research. From 1993 to 2001, Ms. Munson was a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where she wrote Exhibitionism: Art in an Era of Intolerance (2000), which examines the evolution of art institutions and art education. Ms. Munson also has written on contemporary cultural and educational issues for numerous national publications, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Inside Higher Education, and National Review Online's "The Corner." She has appeared on CNN, Fox News, CNBC, C-SPAN, and NPR and speaks regularly to scholarly and public audiences. She serves on the advisory board for the Pioneer Institute's Center for School Reform. Her degree in art history is from Northwestern University.
James Elias is a research assistant at Common Core. Prior to joining Common Core, he was a staff assistant in the office of Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM). Mr. Elias holds degrees in philosophy and political science from George Washington University.
Antonia Cortese is the secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of Teachers. Ms. Cortese served as AFT executive vice president from 2004 to 2008 and as an AFT vice president from 1974 to 2004. As AFT executive vice president, Ms. Cortese oversaw the union's education policy, which included chairing the AFT task force on the No Child Left Behind Act. She also co-chaired the task force that produced "Building a Profession: Strengthening Teacher Preparation and Induction," a report of the K--16 Teacher Education Task Force. From 1973 to 2004, Ms. Cortese was a leader of the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), which now represents more than 600,000 people in New York's public schools, colleges, universities, and health facilities. Currently, Ms. Cortese is co-chair of the Child Labor Coalition and serves on the board of trustees of Freedom House, an international nonprofit that conducts research on and advocates for democracy, political freedom, and human rights.
David P. Driscoll
David P. Driscoll served as the twenty-second commissioner of education for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from March 1999 to August 2007. In that post, Mr. Driscoll oversaw the development of the state's curriculum frameworks, implementation and expansion of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS), the development of the state's School and District Accountability System, and the development and administration of the Educator Certification Test and new licensure regulations. Mr. Driscoll earned his bachelor's degree in mathematics at Boston College, his master's degree in educational administration from Salem State College, and his doctorate in education administration from Boston College. Mr. Driscoll, a former president of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), was recently named as chair of the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
Diane Ravitch is co-chair of Common Core's board of trustees and research professor of education at New York University. She is also a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. From 1991 to 1993, Ms. Ravitch was assistant secretary of education and counselor to Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander in the administration of President George H. W. Bush. She was responsible for the Office of Educational Research and Improvement in the U.S. Department of Education. As assistant secretary, she led the federal effort to promote the creation of state and national academic standards. Ms. Ravitch was appointed to the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) by Secretary of Education Richard Riley in 1997 and reappointed in 2001. From 1995 until 2005, she held the Brown Chair in Education Studies at the Brookings Institution and edited Brookings Papers on Education Policy. Before entering government service, she was adjunct professor of history and education at Teachers College, Columbia University. She is the author of many books, including The Death and Life of the Great American School System (2010), The Language Police: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn (2003), Left Back: A Century of Battles Over School Reform (2000), National Standards in American Education: A Citizen's Guide (1995), The Troubled Crusade: American Education, 1945--1980 (1983), What Do Our 17-Year-Olds Know? (with Chester Finn, Jr., 1987), and The Schools We Deserve (1985). In addition, she has edited fourteen books, including The English Reader (2006) and The American Reader (1990), written more than 400 articles and reviews, and has lectured throughout the United States and the world on democracy and civic education.
Grover J. (Russ) Whitehurst
Grover J. (Russ) Whitehurst is director of the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution. He was the inaugural director of the Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education. In that post, Whitehurst administered the Institute, including the activities of the National Center for Education Statistics, the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, and the National Center for Education Research, and advised the secretary on research, evaluation, and statistics relevant to the work of the department. Whitehurst previously served as assistant secretary for the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, the predecessor to the Institute. In that role, he established the What Works Clearinghouse, initiated new programs of research in reading comprehension and preschool curriculum, upgraded the rigor of scientific peer review, promoted the use of scientific evidence throughout the Department of Education, and spearheaded a historically unprecedented increase in the presidential budget request for education research. Prior to beginning federal service, he was leading professor of psychology and pediatrics and chairman of the Department of Psychology at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook. He also served on the faculty of the University of New South Wales in Australia and was academic vice president of the Merrill-Palmer Institute in Detroit. He was also editor-in-chief of two leading scientific journals in his field: The Merrill-Palmer Quarterly of Behavior and Development and Developmental Review. Whitehurst is the author or editor of five books and more than 100 scholarly papers on language and pre-reading development in children.
Sheila Byrd Carmichael
Project Coordinator; Curriculum Writer, Grades 9 and 11
Sheila Byrd Carmichael was a high school English teacher in D.C. Public Schools, in Japanese public schools, and in an International Baccalaureate Programme in Italy. She is currently an education policy consultant and assists local, national, and international organizations with education policy research and reform initiatives. She has worked with over a dozen states on the development, review, and implementation of their K-12 academic standards, curricula, and assessments. In 2000, Ms. Carmichael helped launch the American Diploma Project (ADP) under the sponsorship of Achieve, Inc., The Education Trust, and The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation. The ADP established college- and career-ready benchmarks that were used in over thirty states to align K-12 expectations with those of employers and postsecondary institutions. From 1996 to 1998, Ms. Carmichael was the deputy director of California's Academic Standards Commission, established to develop academic standards for the state's K-12 public schools. She is a coauthor of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute's 2009 report, Stars by Which to Navigate?, its 2007 report, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate: Do They Deserve Gold Star Status?, and numerous other policy research reports. She was a member the English Language Arts Feedback Group for the Common Core State Standards Initiative. She is a trustee of the Capital City Public Charter School in Washington, D.C.. Ms. Carmichael holds a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College and a master's degree from St. John's College, Annapolis.
Rebecca Cohen taught English language arts in Baltimore as a Teach For America corps member. She later taught in south Texas, where she was honored with the distinction of 2005 Secondary Teacher of the Year for her school and district. While teaching in Texas, she served as a literacy consultant for Region I Educational Center; a Teach For America corps member advisor to first-year teachers at Teach For America's Houston Summer Institute; and a learning team leader for Teach For America teachers in the Rio Grande Valley region. More recently, Ms. Cohen taught fifth grade at Achievement First Crown Heights Charter School. She currently serves as a senior curriculum and professional development associate at Achievement First, where she analyzes student achievement data and partners with school leaders in order to develop targeted, high-quality English language arts curriculum, assessments, and professional development for teachers. In addition to her focus on schools and academic achievement, Ms. Cohen recently ran the NYC marathon. She holds a bachelor's degree in literature from Brandeis University and a master's in secondary teaching from Johns Hopkins University.
Romain Dallemand has served public education as a teacher; counselor; assistant principal; principal; director of pupil personnel; assistant superintendent with Hartford Public Schools in Connecticut; and as superintendent of Rochester Public Schools in Minnesota. In addition, he holds a doctorate in educational leadership from Argosy University in Sarasota, Florida; a master's degree in learning disabilities and emotional disorders from the University of Miami in Miami, Florida; a master's degree in mental health counseling from the Carlos Albizu University in Miami, Florida; and a bachelor's degree in psychology from Mid-America Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas.
Kenyatta Graves is president of Conscious Vigilance Education Consulting LLC. A former teacher in Baltimore County, Maryland, and a teacher and administrator in D.C. Public Schools, Mr. Graves also has taught courses at George Mason University and the University of Maryland, College Park. As a district and school improvement consultant, Mr. Graves provides couture services to institutions addressing needs in curriculum, instruction, administrative coaching, professional development, and education policy. He is the author of standards-based, student-centered, and learning-focused curriculum resources that emphasize vigilance about all students receiving a rich and rigorous education. He is a principal writer for the College Board's SpringBoard English language arts curriculum framework and the sole author of "Animating Student Writing," the College Board's only professional development workshop to support teaching in preparation for the Writing Exam of the SAT. He has written language arts curriculum for multiple districts in several states, many under the explicit charge to ensure that reform efforts extend to the daily classroom experience. Mr. Grave's workshops for teachers and school administrators have been presented to urban and suburban school districts in more than twenty-five states. Recently, he consulted on the revision of English language arts standards for the state of Texas and Achieve, Inc.'s American Diploma Project (ADP) benchmarks, drafting specific standards.
Laruth Gray dedicates herself to improving the equality of education and the quality of life for children, and addressing social issues surrounding equity and opportunity. A retired superintendent of schools for Abbott Union Free School District in Irvington, New York, Dr. Gray is jointly appointed at New York University's School of Education as director of external relations of the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education (Metro Center) and as an affiliate professor in the Administration, Leadership and Technology Program. Until recently, she served as deputy director of the Center before she reduced her time at the university. Dr. Gray began her career in education as a teacher in the Language Arts Department. From there, she was named first as principal, then as director of instruction, and finally, assistant superintendent. She joined the Abbott Union Free District in 1982 as a superintendent, retiring from that post in 1989. Dr. Gray designed and developed a plan for the reorganization of the nearby New Rochelle Public Schools in 1980 to address the twin problems of minority isolation and declining enrollment. During her administrative tenure, Dr. Gray was honored by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Alliance for Arts Education as an outstanding educator contributing to and supporting the arts in education. In addition, she has been recognized by the Dean of the School of Education at New York University with a Faculty Award for Outstanding Service, the Executive Educator of the National School Boards Association as one of the "100 Outstanding Educators in Small School Districts in North America," and the Congressional Black Caucus Education Braintrust for her Excellence and Equity in Education. Her growing list of publications includes "White and Black Females in the Classroom," American Educational Journal (1998); "The Best For Our Children: The Sherburne-Earlville Story," Metro Center, New York University (1993); a book, The Urban Nomad: A Study of the Abused and Neglected Paradigm for the African-American Teenager (forthcoming); and many more. Dr. Gray maintains membership in numerous professional and community organizations that reflect her intense devotion to quality of life improvement, including the Westchester Library System (as past president) and the Westchester Arts Council (as current president emeritus). She is a member of the Board of Directors of both the Katonah Art Museum and the New Rochelle Public Library Foundation.
Curriculum Writer, Grades K-8
Lorraine Griffith is a fifth-grade teacher at West Buncombe Elementary School in Asheville, North Carolina. Early in Ms. Griffith's twenty-one year career, she realized she wanted to teach more than colors and transportation to Kindergarteners, so she attended the first Core Knowledge National Conference and was driven to make her school one of the first Core Knowledge schools in North Carolina. Ms. Griffith worked with others to blend the content-specific knowledge in the Core Knowledge Sequence with the broad North Carolina Standard Course of Study. Enveloped by the excitement of learning, Ms. Griffith became a National Core Knowledge consultant. During her summers away from the classroom, she traveled to schools across the country leading workshops that taught teachers how to write creative units that merge rich content with literature. Ms. Griffith has written reader's theater scripts for the Core Knowledge Foundation, taught workshops at Core Knowledge conventions, and co-created "Toolkit Workshops" for teachers of Core Knowledge in Atlanta, Georgia. She is the coauthor (with Dr. Tim Rasinski) of eleven books that encourage children to voice the words of famous speeches, song lyrics, and poetry.
Deborah Hunter-Harvill is a professional service oriented educator that advocates excellence for children, teachers, administrators, support staff and parents. She is a visionary leader and enjoys teaching writing and reading. She currently mentors high school students and has spoken across the country about education as a civil right. Dr. Harvill is very engaged with language arts studies, data, leadership, mentoring teachers and innovative parental involvement academy planning. She is respected by many as a turnaround specialist in achievement, and focuses her consultant practice around reading, technology, data audits, leadership, curriculum and instruction. Dr. Harvill has served as a general education teacher, a special education teacher, a resource teacher, a middle school principal, a K-12 superintendent, and president of the National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE). She currently serves on the Public Education Advisory Council for the American Association of School Administrators (AASA).
Carol Jago has taught English in middle and high school for thirty-two years and directs the California Reading and Literature Project at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She is currently president of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). She served as Advanced Placement Literature content advisor for the College Board and now serves on their English Academic Advisory committee. She has published six books, including With Rigor for All (2000) and Papers, Papers, Papers (2005). Ms. Jago has also published four books on contemporary multicultural authors for NCTE's High School Literature series. She was an education columnist for the Los Angeles Times, and her essays have appeared in English Journal, Language Arts, NEA Today, as well as in other newspapers across the United States. She edits the journal of the California Association of Teachers of English, California English, and served on the planning committee for the 2009 NAEP Reading Framework and the 2011 NAEP Writing Framework.
Erin Johnson is an early-literacy consultant for the development and implementation of content-rich reading programs. She has provided guidance on the development of the Core Knowledge Foundation's Language Arts Program, translating program principles into usable classroom materials and ensuring the program's alignment with state standards. Dr. Johnson has authored a series of beginning reading stories that enable students to decode fluently while concurrently building vocabulary and knowledge of story grammar. For more than a decade, she has used her series of materials, Fast Start Stories and Writing, to enable struggling students to build quickly the foundational skills and knowledge needed to become fluent readers. She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Davis, as well as a masterâ's and a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Denise M. Lowe
Denise M. Lowe is superintendent and chief school administrator of the Asbury Park School District in Asbury, NJ. Dr. Lowe is known for her strong focus on student achievement, teacher quality, and curriculum management among other things. With more than thirty-two years of experience as an educator, she has taught at the elementary and secondary levels. Under Dr. Lowe's leadership, the Asbury Park School District is on its way to becoming the high-performing district for which it was once known. Formerly the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction for the Central Islip School District, in Islip, NY, Dr. Lowe pioneered policies that led to successful implementation of programs such as Reading First, Read 180, and ReadAbout that have helped struggling readers to increase their literacy skills. She has been instrumental in making state targets for students in English language arts and mathematics. Dr. Lowe was also influential in leading three of Central Islip's schools off of the "needs improvement" list during her time there; the fourth school was noted for making "adequate yearly progress" (AYP) this year. She has received many awards for her visionary leadership, including the Achievement Award by the Governor's Office for Voluntary Service for Coordination of the New York State Mentoring Program. She was the recipient of the prestigious Town of Islip Women's History Award in the year of 2000. In 2002 she received the Martin Luther King Jr. Meritorious Award by a prominent religious entity. Columbia University also honored her as the Project Minority Women Forward Fellowship recipient. Dr. Lowe serves on the boards of several community and educational organizations, including the North Shore LIJ-Southside Hospital. She is currently the education chair for the Islip NAACP Branch and vice president for the Suffolk County Chapter of Jack and Jill. Dr. Lowe received her bachelor's degree from Northeastern University, her master's degree from C.W. Post College, and her doctorate from Columbia University in educational administration.
Melissa J. Mejias
Melissa J. Mejias is the English department chair at a New York City specialized high school, the Brooklyn Latin School. In this role, Ms. Mejias must prepare all students to receive the mandatory International Baccalaureate diploma. She has also pioneered the school's widely recognized and emulated Declamation Program. As a secondary English teacher for thirteen years, Ms. Mejias has taught in both private and public high schools throughout New York City; Scottsdale, Arizona; the Australian outback; and Melbourne, Australia. She is the author of the published curriculum for Art Speigleman's graphic novel MAUS. Ms. Mejias holds a bachelor's in literature from Binghamton University, a master's in English education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a master's in educational administration from Baruch College.
Curriculum Writer, Reading Foundations
Louisa Moats has been a teacher, psychologist, researcher, graduate school faculty member, and author of many influential scientific journal articles, books, and policy papers on the topics of reading, spelling, language, and teacher preparation. She is currently a consultant, advising Sopris Learning part-time; a writer for the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI); and an advisor on several other projects. She serves as vice president of the International Dyslexia Association. After earning a master's degree at Peabody College of Vanderbilt, Dr. Moats became a teacher of students with reading difficulties and learning disabilities. She then earned her doctorate in Reading and Human Development from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dr. Moats spent the next fifteen years in private practice as a licensed psychologist in Vermont, specializing in evaluation and consultation with individuals of all ages that experience learning problems in reading and language. During those years, she served as Adjunct Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, training psychologists to understand and assess learning differences. Dr. Moats served as visiting scholar in support of the California Reading Initiative from 1996-97, obtaining a one-million-dollar state grant to write professional development materials for teachers of reading. Subsequently, Dr. Moats spent four years as site director of the National Institutes of Health's Early Interventions Project in Washington, D.C., investigating the causes and remedies for reading failure in high-poverty urban schools. Dr. Moats' books include Speech to Print: Language Essentials for Teachers (2000); Spelling: Development, Disability, and Instruction (1995); Straight Talk About Reading (with Susan Hall, 1999), and Basic Facts About Dyslexia (with Karen Dakin, 2007). She also developed LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling), a professional development program. She is well known for authoring the American Federation of Teachers' "Teaching Reading Is Rocket Science" and numerous papers on the need to improve teacher preparation.
Kathleen Porter-Magee began her career as a classroom teacher at both the middle and high school levels and served as a department chair at a high school in Prince George's County, Maryland. Currently, she is the senior director of the High Quality Standards Program at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, where she leads the Institute's work on state, national, and international standards evaluation and analysis. Previously, Ms. Porter-Magee served as the senior director of curriculum and professional development for Achievement First, where she led the team's expansion from one to a team of more than sixteen achievement directors, content-area leads, and curriculum and professional development associates. She also oversaw the development of AF's nationally recognized system of interim assessments and managed professional development for the more than 500 teachers across two states. Ms. Porter-Magee also served as the director of professional development and recruitment for the 115 Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., Catholic schools, as the associate research director of the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, and as a research fellow at both Stanford University's Hoover Institution and at the Progressive Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. She holds a bachelor's from the College of the Holy Cross in political science and French and a master's in education policy and leadership from the George Washington University.
Project Writer; Curriculum Drafter, Grades 10 and 12
Diana Senechal taught English and theater for four years in the New York City public schools. She holds a Ph.D. in Slavic languages and literatures from Yale, with a dissertation on Nikolai Gogol. Her translations of the Lithuanian poetry of Tomas Venclova have been published in two books, Winter Dialogue and The Junction, as well as numerous literary journals. Her education writing has appeared in Education Week, American Educator, and various education blogs; she is currently writing a book on the loss of solitude in schools and culture. In 2009, she served on the English Language Arts Work Team for the Common Core State Standards Initiative.
Curriculum Writer, Mini-Maps
Ruth Stern is a veteran teacher in New York City's public schools. Currently she is the coordinator of the English department and Lead Teacher at The High School for Math Science and Engineering (HS MSE). The founding principal of HS MSE recruited Dr. Stern in 2003 to create the school's English curriculum. She successfully designed a sequence of courses that received the praise of New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein. An overview of her four-year English curriculum was published in Chancellor Klein's weekly newsletter to the city's principals. She was awarded an Ed.D. in English education by Teachers College in 2008. Dr. Stern served as instructor at Teachers College from 2000 to 2009, teaching courses both in the methodology of teaching and literature. On six occasions, she was the recipient of Teachers College's "Outstanding Teaching Award." Dr. Stern is regarded as an expert in the field of curriculum design, and has consulted for the Common Core State Standards in English language arts. She lives in Manhattan with her husband, education writer Sol Stern. [Manhattan Institute senior fellow] Her two sons attended the New York City public schools.
Sandra Toth is a part-time high school English teacher for K12, an online public and private school. She is currently teaching American, British, and world literature. She is also an evaluator for the Citrus County Florida Home School Education Program. Previously, Ms. Toth spent fourteen years successfully homeschooling her four daughters. She started and ran her own homeschool support group, which served over 100 Citrus County families. Before this, she taught high school English for two years in Lancaster, Missouri. She holds a bachelor's of science in English with a minor in education from the University of South Florida.
Art Educator, Curriculum Advisor
Tenesh Webber, artist and educator, has been working in the field of art education since 1989. Through her work at Lincoln Center Institute as a teaching artist, Ms. Webber has partnered with K-12 teachers and college professors to design and teach workshops for their students around works of art in New York City museums. In addition, Ms. Webber has taught in many museum programs, including at The Brooklyn Museum of Art and The Bronx Museum, and in the Access and Community programs at The Museum of Modern Art. Ms. Webber has led professional development workshops, focused on aesthetic education and arts integration, nationally and internationally, most recently in Seoul, Korea.
Cynthia Hartman Wells
Curriculum Writer, Grades K-8
Cynthia Hartman Wells has been a teacher and administrator in San Antonio, Texas and Charlottesville, Virginia. She is currently a Lead Coach and Fine Arts Facilitator for the Albemarle County Public Schools in the Charlottesville area. She was the Title I and Preschool Coordinator for Albemarle County Public Schools from 2006 to 2009. From 1998 to 2006, she worked for the Core Knowledge Foundation: first, as the Director of the Texas Core Knowledge (regional support) Center, and later as the Director of Professional Development. During her time at the Foundation, she facilitated development of the Core Knowledge K-8 professional development program and oversaw the development of a complete set of teacher-friendly workbooks and CD-ROMs to assist in the implementation of the Core Knowledge Sequence. She has also written a yet-to-be-published book, Sing to Learn, which includes content-based songs and hints for incorporating music in the regular classroom. She holds a bachelor's in humanities, a master's in teaching, and a M.Ed. in administration and supervision from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.
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