Inspired by Michael Holquist’s challenge to the MLA to dialogue about the CCSI, what it means for us, and our relationship to secondary education, this is a space for discussion of standards, assessment, and our role in this process.

next steps?

4 replies, 4 voices Last updated by  Charlotte Pressler 7 years, 2 months ago
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    Margaret W. Ferguson

    Dear Colleagues,

    Several members of the MLA Executive Council are eager to strengthen our Association’s ties with K-12 teachers in order to  work collaboratively with other stakeholders to contribute to ongoing discussions about implementing (and assessing) the Common Core Standards in language arts during  the next stage of the Core’s existence.  Please join this discussion group if you have ideas about how the MLA could most effectively participate in this important arena of pedagogical debate.

    Yours cordially,

    Margaret Ferguson

    First Vice President, MLA, Professor of English, UC Davis, and  member of National Council of Teachers of English



    Stacey Lee Donohue

    Thank you for initiating this conversation.  Coordinated sessions at the national convention, with high school instructors, is a good first step, and one that the MLA has already planned, I believe.  Several goals come to mind: 1. educate college faculty, particularly those who teach Gen Ed courses, about the Common Core standards in general. 2. Alignment with the Common Core standards (for example, if students arrive in college having met the outcomes of what is currently our first year composition class, we need to change the outcomes of that course). 3. Collaboration between MLA members and NCTE members, perhaps outside of the individual conventions.

    The most obvious first step/challenge is to find ways for local collaborations between high school and college instructors: this is not always a priority, and one benefit that may come out of the Common Core standards is to make those conversations a priority.


    Margaret W. Ferguson

    Thanks, Stacey! There is going to be a MLA session at the NCTE Convention this coming November, too, with David Laurence and Paula Krebs.  I’ll ask them to put up more information, and also ask Michael Holquist to join our conversation.  The local collaboration issue is dear to my heart and I’m working on it in Davis CA where I have several  friends whose English classes have nearly doubled in size (and therefore grading work) in the last two years.  How can they reshape curricula for the CC standards? Margaret


    Kerry Hasler-Brooks

    I echo Stacey’s emphasis on collaboration between MLA and NCTE members and high school and college instructors.  There are people who are already doing this collaboration by the very nature of their research and teaching specialties and who I believe have so much to offer this kind of conversation: English Education faculty, particularly those who might still be housed in English departments in colleges and universities.  English Education faculty are likely the scholars who understand and work most with the CC Standards for language arts.  How might their perspectives help this discussion?

    I am also really invested in how the word “collaboration” actually plays out in these sorts of instances.  How can we plan so that local and institutional collaborative efforts, such as an MLA and NCTE  joint session, are equitable, or put more plainly so that power is distributed and shared and not tainted by intellectual hierarchies, or put even more plainly so that we don’t have a single direction of influence, either from high school educators to college educators or more likely from college educators to high school educators?


    Charlotte Pressler

    I am going to be participating in a local AVID program along with high school teachers, at the high schools and at our Career Academy. I’ll be reading this discussion group for directions and information.

    For AVID, see

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