Common Core State Standards (CCSS)
If you’re looking for a deeper understanding of the CCSS and the strongest alignment possible, our experienced standards consultants offer a variety of services, including conducting curriculum audits, assisting with CCSS implementation, analyzing gaps in teacher knowledge and skills, identifying opportunities to embed CCSS content into existing courses, and ensuring instruction and assessment support the standards. We can also help you integrate the language demands of CCSS in the content areas for English-language learners.
A curriculum audit can help your school, district, or state evaluate the effectiveness, depth, and alignment of curriculum to ensure curricular pathways to success for all students. We’ll identify areas of effectiveness and help you set priorities for areas that most need improvement, while keeping in mind the critical importance of developing curricula that can be reasonably taught in the time allotted, allowing teachers to help students develop deep knowledge of what they’re learning.
Developing a Guaranteed & Viable Curriculum (GVC)
A quality curriculum review and design helps your school or district refine areas of effectiveness and identify opportunities for improvement. Our GVC consultants ensure teachers are teaching essential content and skills, using instructional strategies effectively, and sequencing the curriculum to give students multiple opportunities to learn the content.
Education & Public Outreach
We work with private-sector companies, media organizations, and federal agencies like NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the National Science Foundation to create research- and standards-based, media-rich materials that bring the outside world into the classroom and ignite students’ imaginations. Our consultants provide in-depth professional development, training, and technical assistance to teams of practitioners and administrators in any subject area to cultivate a shared vision, an understanding of the value of data, stronger community partnerships, effective leadership, and program sustainability. We can also design enhanced DVDs, newsletters, interactive computer games, and websites to support learning.
We work with schools, districts, states, and other education agencies to develop, review, improve, and implement academic and career technical standards, as well as principal and teacher performance standards. Through a process of qualitative and comparative analysis, we determine how well your curriculum materials align with state standards, identify opportunities for improving rigor, and ensure your standards reflect a research-based scope and sequence. We can also facilitate the implementation of standards, create aligned instructional materials, and develop “crosswalks” between content areas.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)
In the best science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs, students engage in real-world problem-solving and design tangible solutions, creating a purpose and motivation to learn. Our consultants collaborate with schools and districts to design and implement culturally relevant, project-based STEM programs. We can also provide technical support, from frameworks to class lessons across multiple subject areas. We’ll help you identify and develop the best STEM model to meet your needs and provide training that gets your teachers excited about effective STEM teaching practices and lesson design.
GreenSTEM is an engaging project-based model that uses science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) content and practices to investigate local environmental problems, and design and implement solutions. We work with schools and districts to create place-based GreenSTEM programs that are engaging, standards-based, and empowering because of their direct and visible effect on students and the community. Our consultants can partner with you to customize and integrate a GreenSTEM model, develop curriculum materials, and provide training that builds teachers’ confidence in designing and teaching GreenSTEM lessons.
Next Generation Science Standards
Changing or integrating new academic standards is a complex process that requires significant investments of time, money, and human resources. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) establish performance expectations for K–12 students across science disciplines including, for the first time, engineering. Our consultants can provide guidance for states, districts, and schools on translating the NGSS into classroom practice, developing assessments aligned to the NGSS, analyzing gaps in knowledge and skills, and identifying opportunities to embed NGSS into existing courses to support student learning.
Career Technical Education (CTE)
Do you need help bridging your academic and technical programs? Our experienced consultants can help ensure that your students are engaged in real-world problems and tasks, while still meeting the demands of rigorous academic standards. We offer crosswalks and alignment studies—which identify the academic skills required by and embedded within various CTE pathways and courses—and develop curriculum frameworks for CTE that incorporate research-based instructional strategies.
Based on the research-based strategies in Classroom Instruction That Works with English Language Learners (2nd Ed.), our consulting services, technical assistance, and professional development show educators how to better support culturally and linguistically diverse students. Emphasizing the acquisition of academic language for ALL™ students, or Academic Language Learners, we help teachers align content with the vocabulary, syntax, and discourse students need to “sound like a book” while presenting ideas, and use targeted academic language that supports the subject matter and helps students explain their reasoning, arguing from evidence, and asking questions. We can also help you integrate the language demands of CCSS in the content areas for English-language learners.
McREL’s Compendium of Standards
Our online Compendium synthesizes significant standards and benchmark documents across every subject area, including Career Technical Education topics and Life Skills. Presented on its own website in a handy, searchable format, this valuable resource for schools, districts, and states includes the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), links from CCSS to our Compendium languages arts and math benchmarks, and early childhood standards (birth to 36 months). Visit the McREL Online Standards Compendium.