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Committed to the Success of Every Educator and Student

For 25 years, CORE has worked as a trusted advisor to more than 100,000 educators at preK-12 schools and districts across the country. CORE’s customized, multi-year professional learning programs provide the knowledge and skills educators need to implement effective, evidence-based classroom practices in literacy and math that result in sustainable academic excellence.

In 1995, acclaimed author Linda Diamond and former California Superintendent Bill Honig founded CORE as a response to California’s crisis in reading achievement. Their goal was to share with educators evidence-based research on best ways to teach children to read and help them implement these instructional practices. CORE expanded their mission in 2009 to include math instruction. In 2017, CORE became a subsidiary of Pivot Learning, the largest and most experienced non-profit technical assistance provider for school districts in California. Together, CORE and Pivot Learning are committed to improving education for our nation’s most vulnerable students.

CORE’s team of expert and experienced preK-12 literacy and math consultants helps schools apply the 6 principles of effective professional learning that lead to school-wide academic improvement. Whether they’re working in a Yupiit school in a remote Alaska village or in a school in the heart of a bustling urban center, our consultants lay a foundation of evidence-based knowledge as they support schools in building their own capacity for effective high-leverage instruction.

From Training to Transformation

5 Principals of Changing Instructional Practices

Take a closer look at our infographic to learn CORE’s six key principles of effective professional learning that lead to instructional change.

CORE helps schools achieve
and maintain results

Working with CORE, Lincoln Elementary School in Delta County School District (CO) made extraordinary gains in literacy

Ensuring every classroom has a star
teacher in it

Eagle County School District, CO

CORE Leadership Team

As educators and business leaders, we put our skills and expertise to work to help educators perform at their highest levels.
Get to know our passionate, dedicated team.

  • Linda Diamond
    Linda Diamond
    President
Linda Diamond
President

Linda Diamond, CORE’s President, previously served as a public school teacher, principal, Director of Curriculum and Instruction for a K–12 school district, and Senior Policy Analyst with an emphasis on school to career, charter schools, and school reform. Mrs. Diamond is also the co-author of CORE’s professional books Teaching Reading Sourcebook, Assessing Reading: Multiple Measures and Vocabulary Handbook.

  • Mark Simmons
    Mark Simmons
    Chief Operating and Financial Officer
Mark Simmons
Chief Operating and Financial Officer

Mark Simmons, CORE’s Chief Operating and Financial Officer, brings more than 20 years experience building the financial management, administrative and accounting  functions in  small and large organizations. Prior to CORE, Mark held senior financial and accounting positions with firms in the service and manufacturing sectors including GEA, Guess? and Crimson Consulting Group. Mark is a specialist in strategic planning and partnerships, operations processes, ROI, internal control, cost management and margin improvement. Mark holds a Master’s Degree in Finance from the University of Colorado, Denver.

  • Dale W. Webster, Ph.D
    Dale W. Webster, Ph.D
    Chief Academic Officer
Dale W. Webster, Ph.D
Chief Academic Officer

Dale Webster is CORE’s Chief Academic Officer. He leads the Educational Services division and is responsible for the day-to-day operations, training, and quality control of CORE’s educational consulting and management staff. Dale brings 20 years of experience in teaching, professional development/technical assistance, research, state-level policy work and administration, and curriculum development to schools and districts across the country.

Dale earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies and a California Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential from San Diego State University, a master’s degree in educational psychology from the University of Houston, and a Ph.D. in education at the University of California, Irvine, where his research focused on vocabulary development for English learners. Dale has served on the California Curriculum Commission, an advisory body to the California State Board of Education on curriculum frameworks and textbook adoptions, as well as numerous other state and local educational panels. Dale is also president of Interactions for Peace, a nonprofit organization that teaches peaceful problem-solving skills to youth, and he is a board member of the San Diego branch of the International Dyslexia Association.

  • Dean Ballard
    Dean Ballard
    Director of Mathematics
Dean Ballard
Director of Mathematics

Dean Ballard is the Director of Mathematics for CORE. He holds a master’s degree in math education from Sonoma State University (SSU) and secondary teaching credentials for both mathematics and English. Dean has 18 years of experience in the classroom teaching all levels of math from 5th grade through AP Calculus. Additionally, he has 14 years’ experience as a math consultant providing professional development for both elementary and secondary math teachers, writing curricular and exam materials, directing programs, and speaking at local and national math events (NCTM, NCSM, NABE, and others). As CORE’s Director of Mathematics for the last six years Dean has developed CORE’s math trainings, overseen CORE’s expert math team and services, and worked extensively with schools, teachers, and consultants on effective instruction and implementation of rigorous standards including implementation of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. Dean is a member of NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics), NCSM (National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics), CMC (California Math Council), and TODOS: Mathematics for All.

  • Brian Blanning
    Brian Blanning
    Educational Services Resource Manager
Brian Blanning
Educational Services Resource Manager

Brian Blanning is CORE’s Educational Services Resource Manager. He has been with CORE for more than 17 years and is responsible for client scheduling, materials fulfillment, consultant logistical support, editorial project management and event management.

Prior to CORE, Brian was a project manager with the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and an event manager for a technology magazine.

Our Roots

CORE began its work in California in 1995 in response to the state’s crisis in reading achievement. At that time, a team of some of the most prominent researchers in the country worked with the small CORE start up team to design personalized professional learning to bring to practitioners the over 30 years of known research on high-leverage practices proven to teach children to read.

Beginning in 1997, CORE’s team developed expertise in curriculum implementation, recognizing that the specific program a school used had a huge impact on student outcomes. From that point on, CORE’s team of consultants began focusing on working with teachers and administrators to effectively learn and implement with fidelity the best evidence-based programs available while simultaneously equipping educators with high-leverage practices and strong pedagogical knowledge. In 2009, CORE added math to its literacy focus and today, CORE literacy and math consultants are among the strongest in the country.

With our National Advisory Board of experts in MTSS, English learners, curriculum-based assessments, instructional leadership, special education, reading, dyslexia, and math, CORE continues to forge successful collaborations with the nation’s most at-risk districts to help them realize sustained academic improvement.

CORE National Advisory Board

Our 2017-2018 National Advisory Board is composed of eight influential leaders in research-based strategies on literacy, mathematics, and professional learning. We are honored to have the benefit of these individuals’ experience and knowledge.

The Advisory Board meets annually to review current research and best practices on raising student achievement for a diverse set of learners.

  • Scott K. Baker, Ph.D.
    Scott K. Baker, Ph.D.
Scott K. Baker, Ph.D.

Scott K. Baker, Ph.D., joined the Center on Research and Evaluation at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in 2013. Prior to that he wasthe Associate Director of the Center on Teaching and Learning at the University of Oregon and the Director of Pacific Institutes for Research in Eugene, Oregon. Dr. Baker’s education interests focus on teaching and learning in literacy and mathematics, and the education needs of English learners. He is the Principal Investigator on a number of IES research grants to develop and test effective instructional approaches and interventions in early reading and mathematics.

  • David Chard, Ph.D.
    David Chard, Ph.D.
David Chard, Ph.D.

David J. Chard, the inaugural dean of SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, will become president of Wheelock College in Boston, Massachusetts, on July 1, 2016. Dr. Chard has been a research review panelist at both state and national levels, including panels of the National Science Foundation and U.S. Department of Education. His research emphasis includes reading and mathematics strategies for early grades, learning disabilities, special education, and reading instruction for students with disabilities. He has published more than 30 research articles; coauthored 12 books, including children’s textbooks in mathematics and literacy; contributed 12 book chapters; and either written or cowritten 18 technical reports, monographs, and training guides, most of which focus on reading and mathematics instruction for students at risk for school failure. He is a member of the International Academy for Research on Learning Disabilities.

  • Claude Goldenberg, Ph.D.
    Claude Goldenberg, Ph.D.
Claude Goldenberg, Ph.D.

Goldenberg is currently Professor of Education at Stanford University. His many publications have appeared in academic and professional journals, and he has been on the editorial boards of Language Arts, The Elementary School Journal, Reading Research Quarterly, American Educational Research Journal, and Literacy, Teaching and Learning. His current projects focus on improving literacy achievement among English learners in elementary and middle school, language and literacy development among Mexican children in Mexico, and development of a measure of classroom quality for English learners.

  • Michelle K. Hosp, Ph.D.
    Michelle K. Hosp, Ph.D.
Michelle K. Hosp, Ph.D.

Michelle K. Hosp, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Special Education at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. A nationally known trainer and speaker on problem solving and the use of progress monitoring data, she has worked as the Director of the Iowa Reading Research Center, a trainer with the National Center on Progress Monitoring and the National Center on Response to Intervention, and is currently on the technical review committee for the National Center on Intensive Intervention. Her research focus is on reading, and MTSS/RTI in relation to CBM and CBE. Dr. Hosp has published numerous articles, book chapters, and books related to reading and effective decision making practices.

  • Phyllis C. Hunter
    Phyllis C. Hunter
    In Memoriam
Phyllis C. Hunter
In Memoriam

On February 4 our long time beloved Advisory Board member, Phyllis C. Hunter, passed away. Phyllis was a warrior for reading and she gave of her knowledge and passion to countless educators throughout the world. Phyllis always gave CORE practical advice designed to ensure that every child became a reader and that every teacher became the best teacher possible.

Phyllis C. Hunter, coined the phrase, “Reading is the new civil right!” while managing the Pre-K-12 Reading Department for Houston I.S.D. As president of Phyllis C. Hunter Consulting, she spoke internationally on the topic, “What does it take to help all kids become successful readers?” Her Scholastic book, It’s Not Complicated! What I know For Sure About Helping Our Kids of Color Become Successful Readers, and the Phyllis C. Hunter Classroom Libraries are best sellers. Phyllis Hunter served students and teachers for 40 plus years as a Reading and Literacy expert, an elementary principal, middle school assistant principal, classroom teacher, speech therapist, district administrator and consultant to President George W. Bush. Helping to close the achievement gap was Mrs. Hunter’s passion! Mrs. Hunter obtained her master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin and her bachelor’s from Tennessee State University.

Phyllis Hunter is survived by her son Andrew De Leon Hunter II and grandson Andrew DeLeon Hunter III of Brooklyn, NY, and was preceded in death by her late husband Andrew De Leon Hunter Sr.

She will be missed and never forgotten.

  • Rick Miller, Ph.D.
    Rick Miller, Ph.D.
Rick Miller, Ph.D.

During his forty-year career in education, Dr. Rick Miller has been a teacher and principal at the elementary and secondary levels, instructed at the university level, and served as superintendent in six districts across two states, most recently Santa Ana Unified School District in California.

Over the course of his career, Dr. Miller has focused his efforts in school administration on school reform and improved student achievement in diverse settings. He has been at the forefront of 21st century learning, utilizing technology as a tool to provide students with equal access to education. During Dr. Miller’s five-year tenure in the Riverside Unified School District, he oversaw the deployment of 28,000 mobile computing devices to K-12 students for enhanced and personalized learning, in addition to the use of all-digital textbooks at the high school level. He has overseen the expansion of blended learning and virtual school programs, as well as nationally-recognized AVID programs and the creation of a STEM academy.

  • Louisa C. Moats, Ed.D.
    Louisa C. Moats, Ed.D.
Louisa C. Moats, Ed.D.

Dr. Moats has been a teacher, psychologist, researcher, graduate school faculty member, and author of many influential scientific journal articles, books, and policy papers on the topics of reading, spelling, language, and teacher preparation. She earned her master’s degree at Peabody College of Vanderbilt and a doctorate in Reading and Human Development from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dr. Moats spent fifteen years in private practice as a licensed psychologist in Vermont, specializing in evaluation and consultation with individuals of all ages and walks of life who experienced reading, writing, and language difficulties. Dr. Moats spent four years as site director of the NICHD Early Interventions Project in Washington, DC, where she testified to Congress three times on issues of teacher preparation and reading instruction in high poverty schools. Recently, she concluded ten years as research advisor and consultant with Voyager-Sopris Learning.

Dr. Moats was a contributing writer of the Common Core State Standards, Foundational Reading Skills for Grades K-5. In addition to the LETRS professional development series, Dr. Moats’ books include Speech to Print: Language Essentials for Teachers (Brookes Publishing); Spelling: Development, Disability, and Instruction (Pro-Ed); Straight Talk About Reading (with Susan Hall, Contemporary Books), and Basic Facts about Dyslexia. She is the lead author on a remedial program for adolescents called LANGUAGE! Live.

  • Mark Shinn, Ph.D.
    Mark Shinn, Ph.D.
Mark Shinn, Ph.D.

Dr. Shinn is a Professor of School Psychology at National-Louis University and a nationally recognized consultant to schools across the country, including state departments of education, on implementation of a problem-solving model including RtI. He is the recipient of the APA Division 16 2003 Jack Bardon Distinguished Service Award and is a member of the national Technical Review Panel for the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Progress Monitoring National Technical Assistance Center. Mark has edited two books on curriculum-based measurement and published more than 75 journal articles and book chapters on the topic. He also co-edited three editions of Interventions for Academic and Behavior Problems: Preventive and Remedial Approaches, published by NASP.

  • Shane Templeton, Ph.D.—Advisor Emeritus
    Shane Templeton, Ph.D.—Advisor Emeritus
    Board Member Emeritus
Shane Templeton, Ph.D.—Advisor Emeritus
Board Member Emeritus

Shane Templeton is Foundation Professor Emeritus of Literacy Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno. A former classroom teacher at the primary and secondary levels, Shane did his graduate work at the University of Virginia, receiving his M.Ed. and Ph.D. degrees in Education there. Shane’s research has focused on developmental word knowledge in elementary, middle, and high school students. He has published in a number of research and practitioner journals, and is co-author of Words Their Way; Vocabulary Their Way: Word Study for Middle and Secondary Students; Words Their Way with Struggling Readers, Grades 4-12; and Words Their Way with English Learners. His other books include Teaching the Integrated Language Arts, Children’s Literacy: Contexts for Meaningful Learning, and with Kristin Gehsmann, Teaching Reading and Writing: The Developmental Approach (K-8). Shane has contributed chapters to a number of research handbooks, including the Handbook of Reading Research (Vol. III), Handbook of Research on Teaching the English Language Arts, Handbook of Literacy and Technology, and The Encyclopedia of Education (2nd ed.).”

Since 1987, Shane has been a member of the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary. He is educational consultant on The American Heritage Children’s Dictionary. He is also consultant on and wrote the foreword to the recently published Curious George’s Dictionary.

Our Partners

We are proud to partner with other leading education companies to enhance and support our personalized professional learning services.

Pivot Learning
Center for the Collaborative Classroom
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