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PARCC Releases More Sample Items | PARCC

PARCC Releases More Sample Items | PARCC | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

Although the November 6, 2013  news release from PARCC states, "The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers released new sample test items today. With this release, PARCC has now made public exemplar test items across the grades in both mathematics and English language arts/literacy" there still remain gaps in samples at several grades. Just sayin'....if one is going to publish a news release stating test items are available across the grades, shouldn't they be?

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Making sense of the ed-reform backlash | The Thomas B. Fordham Institute

Making sense of the ed-reform backlash | The Thomas B. Fordham Institute | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it

"Should our schools be drudgery? Of course not. They need to be places of intellectual discovery, excitement, and enthusiasm. Why is it that we believe only in challenging our kids to do their very best when it comes to athletics, or music, or the arts—domains where the American school system excels? Kids want to be challenged; they want to be pushed to excellence. We do that in football. We could do it with fractions, too.

I believe that reforms like the Common Core can help schools in the suburbs immensely. High standards—and rigorous, aligned tests—can tell children and their families the truth about whether students are “on track” for college or a meaningful career. They also indicate the essential knowledge and skills that kids need to master at each grade in order to be on the trajectory for success. And good suburban districts tend to have the capacity—the central office staff, the know-how, the resources—to rise to the challenge of higher standards.

Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

Petrellli speaks much truth here...our schools are not broken, but having had foreign exchange students, I can attest to their sense of ease the American system offers. And in my experience, parochial schools, though not the answer, surely do ramp up the rigor. They are in a competitive market; parents expect to get more for their children as the result of paying tuition. Public education in the United States is firmly founded and firmly grounded--but it needs to be ratteld about to loosen the complacency about closing my door and teaching what I like/want/feel comfortable with.

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Public Support Waning

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At last, accountability for textbook publishers? | The Thomas B. Fordham Institute

At last, accountability for textbook publishers? | The Thomas B. Fordham Institute | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it

Nearly all American K–12 students are exposed to it every day. It decides, in large part, what students will learn in school and how they will learn it. It is never evaluated for quality in any serious way, but when it is rigorously evaluated, its impact on student achievement is significant.

 

No, this isn’t another blog about teachers. I’m talking textbooks. We need good textbooks in front of kids just as badly as we need good teachers. However, from a research and policy perspective, improving textbook quality is a lot easier.

 

A little-noticed report last week in Education Week described a new initiative to be the Consumer Reports of textbooks. A new nonprofit called EdReports plans to post “free online reviews of major textbooks and curricula that purport to be aligned to the Common Core State Standards.” If they’re careful, credible, and diligent, this initiative could turn the lights up on a largely ignored factor in student outcomes that is ripe for analysis and improvement. And it could even blunt some of the more heated criticisms of the Common Core. Here’s why I think EdReports, and textbooks in general, matter:


Via Deb Gardner
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

The idea of a Consumer Reports slant to reviews of all material purported to be Common Core aligned could be a boon for schools and teachers: most importantly, for the teaching and learning of our children. It could also be beneficial to smaller publishers doing good work in developing Common Core materials but unknown because they are small and outspent by the large educational publishing companies.

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Introducing Close Reading Strategies to Your Students

Introducing Close Reading Strategies to Your Students | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it
I want a way to introduce Close Reading to my students that will help them understand both the Why and the How behind the strategy.  I am a big fan of David Therialt's blog, "The Readiness is All" and his approach the analyzing a text or piece of artwork through the  S.C.O.U.T. and T3 design.…

Via Mel Riddile
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

Close reading is nothing new. As a matter of fact, close reading began with New Criticism of the 1950s. Close reading was the not the name of the approach readers were taught by which to approach text; that nomenclature has come upon us since the publication and adoption of the Common Core. If you were a student of English in the 60s through the late 70s and early 80s, you were probably doing close reading because that was how teachers of the era were taught to break down texts in the process of analysis. Seems new to many, but that is only because reading made a U-turn somewhere in the 1980s towards whole language and responsive reading and away from analytical, academic reading.

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Cindy Riley Klages's curator insight, August 15, 6:54 PM

Powerpoint has two approaches for close reading.  I love the way the second was initially designed for artwork.

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Annotated 3-8 ELA and Mathematics State Test Questions | EngageNY

Annotated 3-8 ELA and Mathematics State Test Questions | EngageNY | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

These assessment samples were released recently and as they presented, do not offer themselves as mini-tests but as examples for how New York is currently progressing in this Common Core journey. If your school is working on Common Core aligned assessment pieces, either as pre, interim or post assessments, these are good samples to look at, evaluate, and consider.

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A Compendium of Research on the Common Core State Standards | The Thomas B. Fordham Institute

A Compendium of Research on the Common Core State Standards | The Thomas B. Fordham Institute | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it

"Can’t get enough Common Core? The Center on Education Policy’s got you covered with this hefty compendium of over sixty CCSS-focused studies, including several from Fordham. CEP summarizes each, providing brief overviews of the focus, the findings, and the methodology (only methodologically sound studies were chosen). It’s handy one-stop shopping, covering a wide range of Common Core–related topics. Want to know whether the standards are likely to be effective? William Schmidt and Richard Houang’s study concluded that states with math standards most similar to the Common Core made greater gains on NAEP, and the Brown Center for Education Policy’s follow-up, which saw “no clear trends” in student achievement with regard to the adoption of standards, still found that “states with the strongest implementation of the CCSS had the highest achievement gains on NAEP between 2009 and 2013.” Curious whether students were college-and-career-ready before the standards? Check out the 2010 ACT study, which found that a measly one-third of students were ready for life after high school. Other topics addressed by the studies include Core-related teacher training, state and district implementation, and assessment adoption. The biggest take-way is that, so far, the Common Core holds up remarkably well to rigorous academic research."

 

SOURCE: A Compendium of Research on the Common Core State Standards (Washington, D.C.: Center for Education Policy, August 2014).

Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

I haven't had time to read through the research, but looking forward to sifting through the data and drawing some of my own conclusions and forecasts.

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Common Core May Persist, Even in Opposition States

Common Core May Persist, Even in Opposition States | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it
Despite heated resistance and high-profile bills, states' academic guidelines may still look a lot like the Common Core State Standards.
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

Summarily put, most states rejecting the Common Core are coming back to the table with the Common Core renamed. And those states who continue to discuss replacing the Common Core will likely end up with the same package wrapped in a different bow. The point is...for the most part, the Common Core outlines what most people want kids to know and be able to do. The issue is one of power and authority in making the final call. As Shakespeare so eloquently put it: "That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet"

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Can special education students keep up with the Common Core?

Can special education students keep up with the Common Core? | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it

“A couple of years ago, I would never have tried such a difficult passage with these kids,” said Papa, reflecting on her lesson. “My students are stepping it up and showing some unexpected successes. I see the light bulbs go on and I see a lot of growth in their comprehension, in their vocabulary and in their confidence. They know they’re doing exactly what their peers are doing right across the hallway.”


Via Deb Gardner
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

Oftentimes, we underestimate the abilities of our kids...special education and regular ed.

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Educators Evaluating Quality Instructional Products | Achieve

Educators Evaluating Quality Instructional Products | Achieve | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

You may want to consider submitting teacher designed lessons and units for review by the EQuIP team. But before submitting, be sure to evaluate your work against the rubrics they provide on their website: http://www.achieve.org/files/EQuIP-ELArubric-06-24-13-FINAL.pdf ;

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The Many Faces Of The Common Core Debate: Karen Hitchcock

Over the last several months, discussions of the Common Core State Standards have been eclipsed by the public’s reaction to major issues which have arisen
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

Another voice of balance in the battle of the Common Core. Yes, the standards are new, so rather than make the assessment of these standards high stakes for kids and teachers, let's be prudent in our analysis of the data we acquire. But prudence does not indicate abdication of the standards. Stay strong defenders of change and proponents of rigor. We must remain firm in our demands for higher standards and prudent in the wisdom to evaluate their effects.

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Don't waste Common Core effort

Don't waste Common Core effort | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it
Gov. Scott Walker wrong to badmouth higher standards for Wisconsin students.
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

I was visiting veteran educator-friends in Wisconsin last week and they were appalled by their governor's comments. They are firm believers in the Common Core and the hope it provides for the student population in terms of consistent educational goals and quality teaching and learning. Indeed, they acknowledged that change is difficult but were disappointed in the governor's words, dismissive of the time, effort, and money that have gone into implementation thus far.

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Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's curator insight, July 29, 8:55 AM

I was visiting veteran educator-friends in Wisconsin last week and they were appalled by their governor's comments. They are firm believers in the Common Core and the hope it provides for the student population in terms of consistent educational goals and quality teaching and learning. Indeed, they acknowledged that change is difficult but were disappointed in the governor's words, dismissive of the time, effort, and money that have gone into implementation thus far.

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More states are taking middle-of-the-road approaches toward the #CommonCore

More states are taking middle-of-the-road approaches toward the #CommonCore | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it
Revising Common Core could calm many concerns and still lead to high standards, one expert says.

 

"These types of bills, Smarick says, could lead to the best outcome for the Common Core initiative in the long-run."


Via Mel Riddile
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

Reviewing the Common Core Standards and making edits or additions as necessary based on the input of a knowledgeable citizenry is prudent, but is that the process or are the changes being made as knee-jerk reactions to political pressure and election fear? I don't really know...but from the headlines, the latter seems to be playing a hefty role in Common Core backlash.

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Mel Riddile's curator insight, July 25, 7:43 AM

States always had the option of adding up to 15% to the Standards, but many chose to adopt the CCSS as is. Now, they are doing the right thing by personalizing the Standards to the needs of students in their states.

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#TCRWP: Informational Writing Goals

#TCRWP:   Informational Writing Goals | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it
The Teachers College Reading and Writing Project's Units of Study have been in K-5 classrooms for over a year and the grades 6-8 units were published about six weeks ago.  The range of resources fo...
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

My comment echoes the closing of Fran's post: How can writing like a reader and reading like a writer support student growth in writing style and completeness? Use mentor texts to teach the style and find success.

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A Back-to-School Conversation with Teachers and School Leaders | ED.gov Blog

A Back-to-School Conversation with Teachers and School Leaders | ED.gov Blog | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:
Pleased to see a shift in government thinking. Teachers need to be part of evaluation conversations not victims of top-down reform. Without their input, our system will suffer an assessment malaise.
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What's behind the declining support for the Common Core?

What's behind the declining support for the Common Core? | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it

What's behind the declining support for the Common Core?Results from the annual Education Next poll are out today, and the news is not good for us proponents of the Common Core.


Via Darren Burris
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

Based on Michael Petrelli's concluding paragraphs, perhaps I am now more open to referring to the standards by the state name--if that makes people feel better. I have felt strongly about referring to the standards as what they are, but if the name is the issue for most citizens, then I can move:  "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" (Shakespeare).

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Technology for the Core – Apps and Tools for the Literacy Curriculum’s Reading Strand, Part 2

Technology for the Core – Apps and Tools for the Literacy Curriculum’s Reading Strand, Part 2 | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it

Dr. Leslie Suter and Dr. Melissa Comer are faculty members in the College of Education’s Curriculum & Instruction Department at Tennessee Tech University. They will be co-presenting the session “Common Core Literacy Integration with App Flows” at the 2014 Teaching and Learning with the iPad Conference this November in Raleigh, NC.


Via Deb Gardner
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

As more and more teachers and schools begin to realize their students will be assessed over these standards later this school year, this type of information, though not new, will grow in practical need and importance.

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With Common Core Coming to the Plate, How Prepared Do Teachers Feel?

With Common Core Coming to the Plate, How Prepared Do Teachers Feel? | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it

According to Catherine Gewertz at Education Week, "teachers are getting an increasing amount of training to prepare for the common core, but that doesn't always make them feel ready to teach the standards.

 

According to the article, a recently released study, "From Adoption to Practice: Teacher Perspectives on the Common Core," shows that while far more teachers are attending common-core training, they are giving those sessions low marks for quality.

Professional Development and Training. In last year's report, 71 percent of teachers said they had attended professional development or training for the common core. This year, that figure rose to 87 percent.Teachers were far more critical of their training sessions in 2013 than they were in 2012, however. Two-thirds felt they were of high quality in 2012, but barely half said so in 2013.Only 23 percent reported that the assessments had been a topic of professional development.Far more common is training on the English/language arts standards; training on the math standards runs a distant second.Their sense of preparedness, ranked on a scale from 1 ("not at all prepared") to 5 ("very prepared"), was about the same in this year's report as it was the previous year: just under half gave themselves 4s or 5s on that preparedness scale.Only one-quarter said in this year's report that their students were well prepared to master the standards, and 14 percent said their students were well prepared for the tests.Teachers are unhappy with the lack of alignment between their instructional materials and the common core, a situation that's stubbornly unchanged from the year before. Nearly six in 10 said their main curricular materials were not aligned to the new standards.Teachers are pretty cynical about publishers' claims that their materials are "common-core-aligned." Fewer than four in 10 said they'd trust curriculum providers' claims of alignment.Only 18 percent classified themselves as "very familiar" with the math standards in the fall of 2012, but that number rose to 31 percent in the fall 2013 survey.
Via Mel Riddile
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

As a facilitator of learning about the Common Core, none of this surprises me. Much of the PD I see offered by states and many of the professional development companies are worn out and outdated PP slides initially developed by testing consortia. Much of the training I see offered should have been happening two years ago, not now...after implementation has begun and testing is upon us.

Unfortunately, when teachers attend trainings that offer weak support in knowledge about and application of the standards, their time is wasted and their proficiencies are not increased. Implementing the Common Core is work, hard work. To entertain teachers for a day or make the material seem easily understood does a disservice to teachers, students, schools, and communities.

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Mel Riddile's curator insight, August 14, 7:45 AM

Why was there "far more training on the English/language arts standards; training on the math standards runs a distant second?"


Literacy is now a "shared responsibility" across all content areas. This means that all secondary teachers are expected to integrate purposeful reading, writing, and discussion of complex text into their lessons. In reality, few teachers have received the training or support to carry out this formidable task, which will take several years of focused practice to reach an acceptable level of proficiency. 

Although elementary teachers are much better prepared to teach literacy skills, they must increase the amount of informational text and do more argumentative/persuasive writing, which are significant changes.

Ann Francis's curator insight, August 16, 6:57 PM

#commoncore, #ccss

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Lessons Learned from the 2012 Grade 4 Writing Computer-Based Assessment (WCBA) Study | The Thomas B. Fordham Institute

Common Core–aligned testing will start this spring, and the majority of students will take the new exams on computers. But are younger children ready for this change? This study from NCES—two studies really—waded into the topic, but ended up staying in the shallow end of the pool. First, the researchers conducted a usability study, which evaluated how sixty fourth-grade students handled computer tools and features (using a writing-test platform administered to eighth and twelfth graders as part of NAEP 2011) and surveyed the students’ prior experiences and perceptions of using computers.
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

As I've  noted before, I took the GRE the first year of its online appearance and felt I would have done better with pen and paper. But I'm definitely not a digital native. However, now that I am much more immersed in technology, I'm not sure it would make a difference. The take away from my personal experience: the more we allow and encourage kids to use technology to read and write, the better they will become at thinking and producing with digital tools.

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Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's curator insight, August 13, 2:42 PM

As I've  noted before, I took the GRE the first year of its online appearance and felt I would have done better with pen and paper. But I'm definitely not a digital native. However, now that I am much more immersed in technology, I'm not sure it would make a difference. The take away from my personal experience: the more we allow and encourage kids to use technology to read and write, the better they will become at thinking and producing with digital tools.

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Amid Criticism, States Gear Up For Common Core - NPR

Amid Criticism, States Gear Up For Common Core - NPR | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it
Amid Criticism, States Gear Up For Common Core
NPR
Delaware Gov. Jack Markell co-chaired the Common Core State Standards Initiative. He speaks with NPR's Scott Simon about the set of standards, and responds to its critics.
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Please Review this Common Core Lesson Planner Prototype | Partner in Education

Please Review this Common Core Lesson Planner Prototype | Partner in Education | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it

I’ve been working on a lesson planner based in a backwards design format that also aligns with the Common Core. Today, I finished with a prototype I think is worth sharing. As a template model, I have designed the lesson planner for grade 2, but based on feedback from my readers, I plan to make appropriate edits and create a similar format for each grade, K-12. I will offer the resultant planners on my website at no cost through the start of school, just as I am doing right now with thePARCC Aligned Writing Rubrics.

 

So please, download this WordForm and take a look. I’m really looking forward to hearing what you think!  Interactive CCSS Lesson Planner_Grade 2_Form

Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

Doing a little self-promoting here...but really, I would like your feedback on this backward design Common Core ELA lesson planner prototype.

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Lesson Planning Guide: (Beta)

Lesson Planning Guide: (Beta) | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it
The Instructional Practice Guide: Lesson Planning tool helps teachers prepare Common Core State Standard (CCSS)-aligned lessons.
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

I took a walk through the beta digital planning guide and appreciated the depth of reflection required in both justifying text selection and planning for instruction. As with the other EQuIP materials, in reality, I don't see teachers going through this process for every unit, though it would be valuable. I can foresee a time when every unit could be represented through this format as part of fully developed curriculum.

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Assessment Diaries: Aligning Classwork to the New Assessments

Assessment Diaries: Aligning Classwork to the New Assessments | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it
What are you doing in your classroom to prepare your students for the Common Core aligned assessments? Learn what these four teachers are doing.
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

The entries and links in these reflections about past practice and instructional change are straightforward and helpful to teachers wondering where to begin.

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Letter: Let’s set record straight about Common Core

Letter: Let’s set record straight about Common Core | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it
FSSD board member Robin Newman says schools have bigger concerns than state standards
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

When making decisions to rescind the Common Core, why not look to what change has already come about rather than wrangle with the fear of what might happen?

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Federal Study Probes Readiness of 4th Graders for Computer-Based Writing Tests

Federal Study Probes Readiness of 4th Graders for Computer-Based Writing Tests | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it

Fourth graders are capable of using a computer to type, organize, and write well enough to be assessed, a federal pilot study finds. But whether a computer-based test can effectively measure their abilities remains to be determined.


Via Darren Burris
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

Have you taken an online assessment? I have. I was among the first group of GRE test takers to take that online assessment. I have no doubt I would have scored higher had parts of that test been paper and pencil. This report indicates the same for fourth graders. Among other assessment aspects, they need simple instructions with a voice-over capacity to hear the instructions read to them. Electronic assessment is relatively new in the history of assessment; let's be prudent in the value we place on the results offered.

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Get Politics Out of the Common Core: The Chronicle of Higher Education

Get Politics Out of the Common Core: The Chronicle of Higher Education | Common Core ELA_Literacy | Scoop.it

There can be no significant reform of higher education without a major overhaul of primary education and extensive changes in secondary education. One of the reasons students are graduating without being prepared to compete in today’s workplace is that far too many arrive at college without the knowledge and background to do college-level work. They have to spend their time catching up rather than taking the courses they need for their degree programs.


Via Deb Gardner
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

Yes...get politics out of education reform. This has been the mantra of my voice for months. As the author Mark Taylor states, "educational reform has, until recently, been a bipartisan issue. In the current climate, however, the facts in a crucial national debate are being—intentionally or unintentionally—distorted." The Presidential election is causing some governors who previously supported the CCSS to feel squeamish--worried about how their constituency views what is a good decision. Please, leaders of states, don't let education revert to bad policy for lack of your courage.

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Deb Gardner's curator insight, July 29, 2:51 AM

What do effective people in colleges/careers need to know and be able to do? Start there. Work backward. Changes are needed. Simple as that.