Game Changers: The Common Core State Standards—How to Lead with Strategy, Strength, and Coherence

December 8-9, 2011

The University Club • 123 University Place • Pittsburgh, PA 15260 • 412-648-8213

Recently American education has undergone "game changing" events that will compel innovation. Among them are the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and their accompanying assessments.

It is critical that the time before the official implementation of these new standards and assessments be used to ensure their optimal enactment on behalf of students. As you may already know, the IFL has a deep commitment and a successful record of performance in this field.

Without a doubt, preparation will require development of a core group of leaders who can facilitate change in some very challenging areas. The IFL's Leadership Meeting, Game Changers: The Common Core State Standards—How to Lead with Strategy, Strength, and Coherence will begin the evening of Thursday, December 8 and will run until 3:30 PM, Friday, December 9.

This meeting will focus on these areas of importance to the future of education through facilitated small-group discussions, networking sessions, and speakers—all providing time for sharing knowledge, raising questions, and offering solutions in preparation for these national "game changers." David Coleman, a leading author and architect of the CCSS, will address the challenges district leaders face. The IFL team and our partner districts will share tools, plans, and protocols developed for use with the CCSS implementation.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

6:00-6:30 PMWelcome Reception
6:30-8:30 PMDinner
What Must Be Done In the Next Two Years

David Coleman
David Coleman
Founder and CEO of Student Achievement Partners, LLC

Friday, December 9, 2011

8:00-9:00 AMBreakfast
9:00-11:00 AMCCSS Game Changer: Texts and Tasks in ELA — Are You Resource-Ready?
11:00-1:00 PMCCSS Game Changer: A Coherent Implementation — What's your strategy?
1:00-2:00 PMLunch
2:00-3:15 PMDistrict Poster Presentations
Using the CCSS to change the game: District strategies

Guilford Public Schools
New York City Department of Education
Prince George’s County Public Schools
3:15-3:30 PMReflection and Summary

Keynote Address: What Must Be Done in the Next Two Years

David Coleman is founder and CEO of Student Achievement Partners, LLC, an organization that assembles leading thinkers and researchers to design actions to substantially improve student achievement. Most recently, David and Jason Zimba of Student Achievement Partners played a lead role in developing the Common Core State Standards in math and literacy. David and Jason also founded the Grow Network—acquired by McGraw-Hill in 2005—with the mission of making assessment results truly useful to teachers, school leaders, parents, and students.

David spent 5 years at McKinsey & Company, where his work focused on health care, financial institutions, and pro bono service to education. He is a Rhodes Scholar and a graduate of Yale University, Oxford University, and Cambridge University.

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IFL Poster Presentations are similar to traditional poster presentations, but are presented using a computer laptop. The presentations include using a PowerPoint or video or both. The IFL Poster sessions are 20 minutes in length, with 10 minutes used to present and 10 minutes to discuss idea described.

Special Focus: Implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)

We invite you to share your school district's plan for implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The implementation of the CCSS provides opportunities and challenges for states and districts. We want to learn from the ways districts are planning, executing, and monitoring the implementation of the CCSS. Determine the one essential concept you would like to get across to the audience. Perhaps you will discuss the professional development you are providing for teachers or the changes you have made to teaching and learning conditions to make the expectations of those standards a reality. Because of the format of the poster sessions, it will be more fruitful to examine a single area in a specific grade configuration or a specific aspect of the implementation. The questions to be answered are: How do you ensure that the CCSS are available to every student? How did you plan for it? How did you implement? How will you know if a desirable quality level is in place?

Please respond to this invitation by contacting Rosita Apodaca at The overarching idea is to share practices, problems, challenges, and to learn from one another. Keep it small and invite feedback. We all will learn.


Electronic submission of a one-page abstract is required, and all abstracts must adhere to formatting guidelines. Abstracts will be distributed to the participants. All accepted abstracts will be published on the IFL website

Please limit your abstract to one page and 350 words. Clearly state the purpose of the presentation and link it to the focus being addressed—implementing the CCSS. Provide a clear description of the practice/program and its context (e.g., goals, where it takes place, who is involved, etc.). Be sure to outline the steps taken in planning for CCSS, implementing the CCSS, or monitoring the CCSS. Provide the ways that progress is being measured and the lessons learned from the way you selected to get the job done.

Obviously, the story to be told should be interesting and your plan to implement the CCSS should be sound. However, the ideas need not be uncontroversial. Work that encompasses or might assist the participants in their work, or has broad application and/or implications, is the type most likely to be of interest in a poster session and is likely to receive considerable feedback.

A common criticism of poster sessions is that the presenter attempts to tell the entire trajectory of the aspect being presented. Present only enough information or data to support the effectiveness of the implementation. However, modesty is not a particular virtue; you should make its effectiveness, significance and originality of the practice very clear because viewers may not immediately capture its importance. Posters should represent a focused piece of the implementation. Rather than trying to depict every component of the CCSS implementation, choose one element and highlight it.

Poster Tips

A poster does not have to generate a lot of work. Imagine giving a 5-10-minute report to a peer. What would you say? Write down what you would say, and organize the key points in the following way:

  • Provide a statement of problem: What did you do to ensure all teachers were supported to implement the CCSS?
  • Give purpose of the poster (can also be clearly stated in title).
  • Identify Participant and Participant’s affiliation on the slides.
  • Provide a description of the practice you decided to take to scale and what aspect of the scale up process you are discussing—planning, implementation, or monitoring and evaluation.
  • Use at least one graphic (can be a photograph) illustrating the practice/program's progress.
  • Note who is involved, or how the practice/program works.
  • State the lessons learned so far (if the program is currently underway).
  • Provide implications for future action (where will this lead?).
  • Note the source of funding for the practice/project if relevant
  • Ask for feedback on a specific aspect of your project.
  • Limit the presentation to 5-10 minutes and leave 10 minutes for questions.

Once the PPT is prepared, place it on a flash drive and bring it to the conference. The IFL will provide a laptop, screen, sound, and microphone.

Format for Abstract

Below is a guide in preparing your abstract that will serve as a handout that the IFL will print. Additional handouts and other pertinent session information are always welcome, but please bring 50 copies. If you have any questions, please contact Rosita Apodaca at: or All abstracts must be submitted by: November 18, 2011.

  • Title of Poster Presentation
  • Name of Presenter(s) and organization
  • Goals of the Presentation
  • A 350-word summary of the CCSS planning, implementation, or monitoring/evaluation of a key aspect of your CCSS effort.
  • Contact information for further questions