Common Core & Curriculum Controversies

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute hosted a webinar on Common Core and the Curriculum Controversies associated with their adoption. Moderator Mike Petrilli’s first hour was spent with Common Core math author Jason Zimba addressing myths and rumors surrounding the implementation of the CCSS. Some highlights below.

11:07 Jason Zimba reviews the process of creating the standards. This includes the research on which they were based and how they led to the instructional shifts.

17:15 The moderator, Mike Petrilli, asks the question about how to mitigate for the fact that organizations doing workshops and publishing materials might be promoting agendas antithetical to the standards. Zimba answers part of this by directing educators to the Publishers Criteria which Nevada has posted here.

Zimba: “It’s better to cite the standards rather than assail them.”

28:18: Zimba describes those items that might give us pause if materials and practices are described as Common Core aligned. He references several documents at  and reminds viewers that the most appropriate lens to evaluate content remains the instructional shifts.

Zimba: It takes time to move the “instructional-industrial complex”

You can find access to the video here.

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 Common Core State Standards 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