Shanahan on CCSS Policy (Webinar)

Text Project has posted a free webinar on the Common Core with CCSS Work Team member Dr. Timothy Shanahan (here).  Shanahan moves viewers through some familiar stuff including the genesis of CCSS and the “Big Changes to ELA.” The changes include: using more challenging text, greater use of informational text, greater attention to evidence, increased emphasis on disciplinary literacy and increased emphasis on close reading.

Of particular interest, to many readers of this blog, is what Shanahan has to say about professional development (minute 24:25). He notes that a “tremendous” amount of energy has been spent making sure students are reading in instructional level text. Consequently, many educators may not be prepared to have struggling students working with grade level text. Without strong and consistent PD to address this outcome, he outlines three likely scenarios. That is, 1) teachers will assign grade level text but children will not read it 2) teachers will read the text to the students and/or 3) teachers will simply tell students what the text says. Shanahan makes it clear that a “real investment” will have to be made so that educators are adequately prepared to make this shift in instruction; but he worries that states are not doing this.

About Aaron Grossman

I am a 5th grade teacher at Roy Gomm Elementary in Reno, Nevada. I started working with elementary students as part of the Montana Reads program and AmeriCorps. In 2001, after graduating from the University of Montana and moving to Reno, Nevada, I student taught at Rita Cannan Elementary before receiving a 6th grade position at Veterans Elementary. I moved out of the classroom to be a Literacy Coordinator, then an Instructional Coach, and finally a School Improvement Program Coordinator. In 2011, I began working on the Nevada Academic Content Standards in the district’s Curriculum & Instruction Department. I returned to the classroom for the 2015-2016 school year to teach 4th grade at Huffaker Elementary. Before returning to the classroom, I helped develop the Core Task Project that has been featured by National Public Radio, the Gates Foundation, American Radio Works, Eduwonk, the Fordham Institute, Vox, and the Center for American Progress. In 2014, I received the Leader to Learn From Award for my teacher-centered initiative and work to bring college, career, and civics ready outcomes into Northern Nevada classrooms (here). In 2015, I was appointed by Governor Sandoval serve on the Statewide RPDP Council. The same year, Nevada’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction Steve Canavero placed me on the state’s State Improvement Team. This year I will be part of the National Council on Teacher Quality’s Teacher Advisory Group. I am Google Certified Educator and a Nevada Teacher Ambassador. I believe strongly that teaching content is teaching reading and I make sure my students have ample opportunities to work with social studies, history, science and art outcomes. I do what I can to blend the learning for my students and this blog is part of that effort. You can contact me at
This entry was posted in CCSS, Close Reading, Common Core State Standards, Complex Text, Instructional Shifts, text complexity and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s