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http://textproject.org/assets/tds/text-complexity-and-the-ccss/module-5/Module%25205-Qualitative%2520Measures-Instructor.pdf

http://textproject.org/assets/tds/text-complexity-and-the-ccss/module-5/Module%25205-Qualitative%2520Measures-Instructor.pdf
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CCR tools, standards, perspectives, indicators, solutions, concerns
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Shanahan on Literacy: Snappy Responses on Challenging Text Debate

Shanahan on Literacy: Snappy Responses on Challenging Text Debate | college and career ready | Scoop.it

Last week, Valerie Strauss devoted her Washington Post space to an article challenging idea of teaching with challenging text, including my articles. The posting got lots of response showing fundamental misunderstandings of the issues on this. I am reprinting some of those responses along with my rejoinders to those. I will continue this over the next couple of entries since I think it will help teachers and parents to understand what this issue is about.

 

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New $15 million Global Learning XPRIZE wants to disrupt education as we know it

New $15 million Global Learning XPRIZE wants to disrupt education as we know it | college and career ready | Scoop.it
The competition envisions a new model for education that is cheap, abundant and scalable.
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NMSU hosts New Mexico Global Education Consortium 2014 Summit - KRWG News22

NMSU hosts New Mexico Global Education Consortium 2014 Summit - KRWG News22 | college and career ready | Scoop.it
NMSU hosts New Mexico Global Education Consortium 2014 Summit
KRWG News22
As the global marketplace for higher education continues to expand, new demands are facing universities worldwide.
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Six Critical Strategies for Increasing Retention and Graduation Rates

Six Critical Strategies for Increasing Retention and Graduation Rates | college and career ready | Scoop.it
What specifically are the most successful HBCUs doing, or what can they do to increase student retention and graduation? Drawing on a combination of personal education and leadership experiences, observations and research, what follows are a five pro...
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District studies roots of dropout crisis and promises it will work to fix it

District studies roots of dropout crisis and promises it will work to fix it | college and career ready | Scoop.it
Forty percent of D.C. ninth-graders will not graduate in four years. A report asks why that rate is so high. (Importance of Early Warning Systems: D.C.
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H.O.T. / D.O.K.: Teaching Higher Order Thinking and Depth of Knowledge: Truth, Justice, and American Education: How the Common Core Debate Is As Senseless As a Superhero Slugfest

H.O.T. / D.O.K.: Teaching Higher Order Thinking and Depth of Knowledge: Truth, Justice, and American Education: How the Common Core Debate Is As Senseless As a Superhero Slugfest | college and career ready | Scoop.it

How does this picture reflect the arguments over the Common Core State Standards?

Think about what the heroes in this picture stand for - truth, justice, and the American way.  However, it's that last idea - the American way - that caused the heroes in this picture to battle each other.  

The Justice League have a more idealistic view of the American way and hold not only the public but also themselves to such high standards.  The Avengers have a more practical view and realize that sometimes hard choices must be made and lines must be crossed in the name of truth and justice.  Though their meaning and methods differ, their intent and purpose are the same - protect the innocent and preserve the common good.

Doesn't that sound like the Common Core debate?  Both the supporters and detractors believe education needs to be "saved".  However, where they disagree is how education should be "saved" - or improved.

However, could it be possible that both sides are misinformed in their approach to supporting and detracting the standards?

The CCSS supporters claim that the standards address the cognitive rigor that will have our students demonstrating higher levels of thinking and communicating deeper knowledge, understanding, and awareness of what they are learning to prepare them for the demands, expectations, and responsibilities they will encounter after graduating from high school.  However, there is no scientifically-based research that proves these standards are effective in raising the rigor of student achievement, teacher effectiveness, and overall school performance.  To state that the curriculum offered by a school or through a publish company is misleading since there are no materials or strategies that have been proven to be effective - only hypotheses and theories.

The CCSS detractors claim that the adoption and implementation of the standards is an attempt for the federal government to have more of say in regards to decision-making with education right down to the school level.  However, the CCSS is not a federal mandate.  It was a state-led initiative that was supported by the current Presidential administration who offered states an administrative incentive to adopt these standards by offering to absolve them to the stringent requirements of No Child Left Behind and a fiscal incentive through the Race to the Top grant that would fund the implementation and professional development of these new standards and the instructional strategies to address them.  To state that President Obama and his administration are responsible for the development and implementation of these standards is misleading since the idea and proposal for the national standards can be traced back to President Bush Sr.'s administration in the late '80s and early '90s (and, interestingly, abandoned by President Bill Clinton - a democrat who advocated for the development of academic standards that were developed by the individual states).

However, both sides do have a valid point.  The CCSS supporters are correct in that the academic standards for student performance and progress should be strengthened and made more rigorous and relevant.  The CCSS detractors are correct in that these standards developed and implemented were thrust upon not only educators but the public as a whole without any opportunity for discussion or review.

So what is the truth about the Common Core State Standards?  

They will not make our students any smarter nor any more intelligent.  However, they hopefully will help our students think deeper about what they are learning and demonstrate and communicate the deeper knowledge, understanding, and awareness they develop using oral, written, creative, and technical expression to answer questions or come up with new ideas, knowledge, perspectives, and ways of thinking.

The curriculum materials offered by the education companies do not address the cognitive rigor of the Common Core State Standards.  They may be aligned to them in that they identify the standards that to be taught and learned with the materials they provide, but there is no scientifically-based research to prove one curriculum package is any better than another.  It's all speculation and theory at this point until our students' performance and proficiency are measured by the PARCC or Smarter Balanced exams.

Where's the justice behind the Common Core State Standards?

The implementation of the CCSS is also not a violation of the 10th Amendment, which delegates all powers and responsibilities not designated to the federal government to the states.  The states did not have to adopt or implement the CCSS.  Four states - Texas, Virginia, Alaska, and Nebraska - chose to establish their own college and career ready standards and assessments.  Indiana has backed out of implementing the CCSS but still maintained their NCLB waiver because their new plan met the requirements of the Race to the Top grant.  Other states such as Oklahoma are either repealing or exploring the possibility of abandoning the CCSS under the consequence of having their federally funding pulled unless they can develop a system of instruction, assessment, and evaluation that meets the criteria of the Race to the Top grant.  The states were not forced or even coerced to adopt the standards.  They were given incentives, but they could have chosen not to take the reprieve or the money.

What's the evil and injustice behind the Common Core State Standards?

The misconception of what the CCSS are and what their intent and purpose are has been so grossly distorted due to this debate.  It's become a Brave New World situation.  There is so much information and misinformation out there that it's difficult to discern what's fact or fiction.

The "bad guys" are those who have fueled this confusion about the CCSS and used them to advocate their personal or political agenda.  The concept and idea of rigorous standards is irrefutable.  Our students need to be challenged and engaged to know, understand, think about, and be aware of what they are learning and how these concepts and content can be used to address, handle, settle, or solve real world circumstances, issues, problems, and situations.  However, what's the best manner or method to do this should be an educational concern and issue, not a political problem or situation.

Who are the "heroes" in this battle over the Common Core State Standards?

That's the teachers - the Supermen and Wonder Women who will use their professional judgment and training to present the concepts and content addressed in these standards in new and novel ways and challenge and engage our students to think deeply beyond the data, details, elements, facts, and information as they are presented.  They are the ones who will take whatever standards are implemented and provide our students with deeper teaching and learning experiences they deserve.  They are the ones who should not depend on the curriculum packages offered by the publishing companies that provide "false promises" about alignment to the CCSS or the politicians who have made this more about their feelings about the current Presidential administration to provide them the support they need to teach.  They are the ones who will create the lessons, the units, and the scope and sequence of the courses that will provide our children with engaging and enriching education experiences.

Let the CCSS supporters and debaters continue to fight each other proclaiming they have the best interest of the community in their mind.  We teachers will be the X-Men and the Teen Titans, fighting the good fight to ensure the American way of equality and opportunity are preserved through our actions. 

- E.M.F.
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Leveled reading: The making of a literacy myth | The Thomas B. Fordham Institute

Leveled reading: The making of a literacy myth | The Thomas B. Fordham Institute | college and career ready | Scoop.it
Among opponents of the Common Core, one of the more popular targets of vitriol is the standards’ focus on improving literacy by introducing higher levels of textual complexity into the instructional mix.
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Among opponents of the Common Core, one of the more popular targets of vitriol is the standards’ focus on improving literacy by introducing higher levels of textual complexity into the instructional mix.

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10 Examples & Non-Examples Of Differentiated Instruction - TeachThought

10 Examples & Non-Examples Of Differentiated Instruction - TeachThought | college and career ready | Scoop.it
Differentiated instruction, the tailoring of educational experiences to meet individual learner needs, is nothing new. Hardworking teachers have always recognized the diverse needs of students and adjusted their instruction to account for them. Through one-on-one coaching sessions, small group activities, individualized course packets, reading assignments, and projects, teachers are addressing a range of student levels, interests, strengths, weaknesses, and goals in their classrooms today.

Via John Evans, Miloš Bajčetić
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Common Sense About the Common Core

Common Sense About the Common Core | college and career ready | Scoop.it
This is a guest post by Alan Schoenfeld, a professor of Mathematics Education at the University of California, Berkeley. Alan has been instrumental in many of the developments in mathematics educat...
Via Darren Burris
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Sue Thuma's curator insight, September 27, 7:42 AM

A good read and a link to  studies of teaching mathematics.

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Watch What's Working: Carol Dweck Talks Growth Mindset

Watch What's Working: Carol Dweck Talks Growth Mindset | college and career ready | Scoop.it
Watch Carol Dweck, Stanford University's growth mindset guru and researcher, talk about the winning combination of having high expectations of students and providing effective support.

Via Amy Burns
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How to Create a Positive School Climate. 3 research-based suggestions

Three practical, research-based suggestions for one of the most effective and important things school leaders can do.

 

 

If you’re a school leader, you have problems to solve: bullying, teacher burnout, disengaged students, casual vandalism and litter, and cultural and socio-economic differences, among others. Big issues that affect a lot of people.

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Researchers have found that a positive school climate can help solve a lot of those problems. Studies find that it decreases absenteeism, suspensions, substance abuse, and bullying, and increases students’ academic achievement, motivation to learn, and psychological well-being. It can even mitigate the negative effects of self-criticism and socioeconomic status on academic success. In addition, working in this kind of climate lessens teacher burnout while increasing retention. All really good stuff!

But here’s the catch: Creating a positive school climate is really, really hard to do, as any principal will tell you. People have minds of their own, and you can’t make them feel peppy and optimistic on command. It takes elbow grease and much care to implement, simply because human motivations and needs are so complex. Here are some research-tested tips to get you started.

What does it look like?

Let’s take a moment to paint a picture of positive school climate. When you walk onto a school campus, you can immediately get a sense of the school climate by watching the interactions between people and noticing the school’s physical environment.

Do the teachers, students, and school leaders seem happy to be there and are they treating each other with respect? Is the school clean and orderly? Are the bulletin board displays sending out positive messages? Are students engaged in their learning?

In 2007, the National School Climate Council spelled out specific criteria for what defines a positive school climate, including:

Norms, values, and expectations that support social, emotional, and physical safety.People are engaged and respected.Students, families, and educators work together to develop and live a shared school vision.Educators model and nurture attitudes that emphasize the benefits gained from learning.Each person contributes to the operations of the school and the care of the physical environment.

So while creating a positive school climate is not easy, it’s also not impossible.

Three steps to a positive climate

When building a positive school climate, it’s important to remember that there is no magic formula—much will depend on the leaders’ values and vision and how much everyone else gets on board with those things.

It starts with trust, which researchers say is an essential prerequisite to a more positive climate. The following steps are in part designed to build trust, mainly by giving teachers, staff, and students some say in the process—and leaders who guide the process must never miss an opportunity to prove themselves trustworthy and to facilitate trust-building between stakeholders.

Here are some research-based suggestions for school leaders on how to start cultivating a positive school climate:

1) Assess the current climate. You have to know where you’re starting from in order to know where to go. And for those on your staff who might be less-than-enthusiastic about creating a positive school climate, asking them about their current experience will help get them on board because they’ll feel like their voice is being heard. Also be sure to include everyone’s voices: teachers, other school staff, students, parents—and your own.

There are a number of ways to assess your school climate. The Safe and Supportive Schools website provides a list of validated survey instruments—some of which are free. However, I would caution against relying on just a survey.

According to Edgar Schein, one of the foremost organizational psychology experts, a survey will not reveal people’s underlying assumptions and beliefs which have a profound effect on the school climate—and those are what you need to understand in order to effect real change. On surveys, people can interpret the questions differently. For example, the statement, “I believe this school is headed in the right direction” could be interpreted in a myriad of ways. Also, it is very difficult to know which questions to ask on a survey and how deeply a person feels about a particular area.

Schein suggests meeting in small groups to examine together the school’s climate. He outlines a simple method in his book The Corporate Culture Survival Guide that is easily adaptable to schools. (Note: researchers consider climate and culture to be two different constructs. However, the National School Climate Council’s definition above combines the two.)

Individual interviews are also another way to get a sense of the school climate, and should be conducted by someone outside the school to ensure honesty and impartiality, e.g., a consultant or local grad student in organizational psychology.

2) Create a shared vision—but start with personal visions. Research suggests that bringing everyone together to create a shared vision of the kind of climate they want increases the likelihood that the vision will actually be carried out. But according to Peter Senge, director of the Society for Organizational Learning that originated at MIT, a shared vision must emerge from our personal visions—otherwise people won’t be committed to the shared vision.

Senge defines personal vision as “a specific destination, a picture of a desired future” that is rooted in a person’s values, concerns, and aspirations. For example, part of my personal vision is wanting schools to be socially and emotionally healthy places for everyone which comes from my deeply held belief that human beings thrive in positive environments.

So before creating a shared vision together, ask everyone to write down his or her personal vision. You might even have them read the section on personal vision in Senge’s book, The Fifth Discipline. To ensure student participation, have teachers guide students through this process.

When you’re ready to create a shared vision, it’s important to create a safe space where people feel comfortable sharing their ideas. I highly recommend using a positive approach to discussion such as World Café or Appreciative Inquiry. That way, positive emotions are generated, which will help to cultivate trust amongst group members and also make everyone’s thinking more creative and flexible. Be sure to include the students in whatever way possible.

3) Work together to carry out the shared vision—and make it fun! Creating a positive school climate is an ongoing process that never really ends, but it’s a joyful one. However, if you find your school off to a slow start, you might try one of these simple motivating ideas that will give a quick boost of positive emotions:

“Behind Your Back.” Click here for this fun twist on gossiping that can easily be done at the start of class or before a staff meeting. One participant at the Greater Good Summer Institute for Educators told us that when her school did it at a staff meeting, some long-held grudges between staff members were healed.Gratitude Board. Provide places in the hallways and the teachers’ lounge where people can post notes expressing their gratitude for each others’ actions. Gratitude has the wonderful effect of helping us feel more connected to one another and also gives us a boost in our own self-worth—both important aspects of a positive school climate.

While it may seem like a lot of work, the tremendous benefits of a positive school climate far out-weigh the time and effort required. And, while researchers haven’t measured it yet, I would guess that a positive school climate can also bring the joy and fun back into teaching and learning. Who wouldn’t want to be part of a school like that?

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improve_child_life_chances_interventions_sawhill.pdf

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College and Career Readiness - Foundation for Excellence in Education

College and Career Readiness - Foundation for Excellence in Education | college and career ready | Scoop.it
Rigorous academic standards, such as the Common Core State Standards, will prepare students for college and careers. The Foundation supports policies that set high academic standards and provide rigorous preparatory courses and dual-enrollment options for students.
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Promoting Open Education to Help Teachers and Students Around the World | The White House

Promoting Open Education to Help Teachers and Students Around the World | The White House | college and career ready | Scoop.it
At a meeting of the Open Government Partnership at the United Nations, President Obama announced four new and expanded open government initiatives to promote open education, helping teachers and students across the world.
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UN Global Education First Initiative – United Nations Secretary General’s Global Initiative on Education – Global leaders show support and pledge their commitment to quality education

UN Global Education First Initiative – United Nations Secretary General’s Global Initiative on Education – Global leaders show support and pledge their commitment to quality education | college and career ready | Scoop.it
Global leaders show support and pledge their commitment to quality education
http://t.co/zVwBBSqeMn
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Increasing Graduation Rates

Increasing Graduation Rates | college and career ready | Scoop.it
The average national graduation rate has risen to 80% from 78%, which was the highest it had been since 1974!  However, the goal of this president is to have that increased to 90% by 2020.  This is...
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Watch LIVE: American Graduate Day 2014 to highlight efforts to boost graduation rates | The Rundown | PBS NewsHour

Watch LIVE: American Graduate Day 2014 to highlight efforts to boost graduation rates | The Rundown | PBS NewsHour | college and career ready | Scoop.it
On Saturday, PBS is dedicating "American Graduate Day" to telling the stories of local leaders, teachers, students and others who are finding those answers in schools across the country everyday.
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Can We Ensure Success for At-Risk Students?

Can We Ensure Success for At-Risk Students? | college and career ready | Scoop.it
Title: Can We Ensure Success for At-Risk Students?
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