Middle College National Consortium Schools Out Front in New York City’s Common Core Standards Initiative

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The New York City Department of Education has taken a lead in implementing the Common Core State Standards in its schools. Middle College National Consortium Schools have been out front in embracing the Common Core Standards with professional development and an emphasis on aligning CCSS with the college and career ready work already being done.

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Dr. Cecilia L. Cunningham, Director-Middle College National Consortium

MCNC's four NYC member schools have made this amazing commitment to iensure that their students will become proficient in the ability to comprehend informational text-something that both colleges and employers are looking for.

Middle College National Consortium (MCNC) schools have taken a leadership role in implementing the NYC Department of Education’s Common Core Standards initiative according to Dr. Cecilia Cunningham, founder and director of the Middle College National Consortium. Dr. Cunningham stated that the four MCNC schools, Middle College HS at LaGuardia Community College, International HS at LaGuardia Community College, Robert F. Wagner, Jr. Secondary School for Arts and Technology at LaGuardia Community College, and Brooklyn College Academy at Brooklyn College “have made this amazing commitment to ensure that their students will become proficient in the ability to comprehend informational text--something that both colleges and employers are looking for.”

Josh Thomases, the deputy chief academic officer for instruction at the NYC DOE, was quoted in the March 13, 2012 online edition of Education Week as saying “The immediate challenge of the informational-text emphasis, however, lies more in training than in materials.” Dr. Cunningham noted that the Middle College National Consortium had just finished their annual Winter Principals’ Leadership Conference where the theme was Using Common Core Standards to Improve College Readiness. During the conference there was a strong focus on how to align the college and career ready work that the schools were already doing with the Common Core Standards.

Linda Siegmund, principal of Middle College HS, indicated that for the past two years MCHS has been involved in a NYC Department of Education pilot program that looks at text complexity and literacy in science, social studies and English. John Starkey, principal of International HS, said that his school trained teachers by hiring a literacy consultant to work with teachers, had teachers run professional development, sent teachers outside the school to receive professional development, and had teachers work together, using protocols, to look at student work.

Brooklyn College Academy and Robert F. Wagner also received accolades from Dr. Cunningham for the work that they have been doing to implement the Common Core Standards. Annie Seifullah, principal of Robert F. Wagner, noted that her teachers were asked to familiarize themselves with the Standards over the summer of 2011. During the school year the English Language Arts and math departments worked to implement a Common Core aligned task with every student in the school and then share the results with their department teams. According to Nick Mazzarella, principal of Brooklyn College Academy, his school used multiple ways of implementing the Common Core Standards. Teachers included the Common Core Standards in their lessons for the year, the Common Core Standards became part of the peer review process, and the Instructional Rounds model was utilized to find the best practices for achieving college readiness and implementing the Common Core framework.

Dr. Cunningham finished her remarks by reminding everybody that there will be a series of workshops on the Common Core Standards at MCNC ‘s Summer Professional Development Institute that will be held at the Jersey City Hyatt from June 29th- July 2nd. All high schools, whether a member of MCNC or not, are invited.

Middle College National Consortium is a pioneer in developing small schools on college campuses where high school students, especially those who have been previously underserved by their former schools, can earn both a high school diploma and either an Associate’s degree or transferable college credits upon graduation. MCNC, headquartered in New York City, is a leader in the movement to establish and sustain dual enrollment, in high school, as a viable and necessary college readiness educational model.

To get a comprehensive overview of the history, design principles, current work and achievements of the Middle College National Consortium, please visit us at http://www.mcnc.us.

Contact information
Tony Hoffmann
Middle College National Consortium
O. 718-361-1981 X6
THoffmann (at) mcnc (dot) us

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