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.