Eric Westendorf, last week's guest blogger at Rick Hess's and co-founder of LearnZillion, was a classmate of mine in the Brown MAT class of 1999. He was Social Studies and I was English, but it is a little boutique program, and we had an unusually close-knit group, so we got to know each other fairly well. Played some ultimate. We haven't kept in touch though.
And if you read his last post, a lot of it is in my wheelhouse: Open Source! Lesson Study! Yet... now that LearnZillion has some secondary ELA lessons, they're... kind of awful. I participated in enough discussions of educational philosophy, psychology and pedagogy to figure that Eric would on some level agree with that (although I certainly wouldn't expect him to admit it, maybe even to himself). If you saw, for example, the work the Arts/Literacy project at Brown did with Central Falls High School students and teachers working with professional actors to interpret Shakespeare... it isn't even a fair comparison to a straitjacketed CC textual analysis whiteboard video.
The thing is, this is one case where I could send Eric an email outlining the above, perhaps a bit more tactfully, and expect that at least he would respond with a "OK, so how should we be doing this?"
The entire "lesson sharing" problem is much, much harder than it appears to the surface, so there's no glib answer to that question, but I would be willing to have a crack at it circa 2013, if it wasn't for the Common Core situation. A central problem with LearnZillion's secondary ELA lessons is they're just too closely aligned with the CC, which makes them deadly dull. I don't know how to get around that.
When we organized a curriculum around performance standards (The New Standards) at FHS, it was fine because it was inherently a project-based interdisciplinary curriculum with standards that emphasized applied learning and authentic student work. The themes and questions driving the curriculum were external to English class, but that worked fine.
The same sort of thing would work -- less well -- with CC, but you can't assume a multidisciplinary context if you're just publishing ELA lessons on a website.
If you already have an ELA curriculum, you can modify it to hit the CC notes, while still having the big themes and context coming from whatever it is already drives things, but again, these lessons are probably not going to be useful out of context.
If you're just starting from scratch with nothing but the Common Core standards... I have no idea what to do. Anything other than "Read text X, perform textual analysis task Y," just seems arbitrary, and there is no reason to think anything else would be applicable to someone else's Common Core ELA class.
Obviously, in real life, teachers successfully muddle through these issues every day. I'm not even making a principled stand here... I just don't get it. What is the basis of the ELA curriculum outside of the skill and task-driven CC even supposed to be? What is the nature of this dark matter? I have no idea.