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Gates Foundation Places Big Bet on Teacher Agenda - Education Week News

Gates Foundation Places Big Bet on Teacher Agenda - Education Week News | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it
Education Week News
Gates Foundation Places Big Bet on Teacher Agenda
Education Week News
based RAND Corp.
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

Although this article has quite a long series of critical comments pointed at Gates and teacher evaluation suggesting the author does not recognize the chasm between educational camps, the text itself reveals that Gates involvement in education is divisive and controversial.

 

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Does Disciplinary Literacy Have a Place in Elementary School?

Does Disciplinary Literacy Have a Place in Elementary School? | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it
Few issues are hotter now than disciplinary literacy. The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) established disciplinary reading goals for grades 6–12, and most of the research on that topic has been done at those grades, too. That means elementary teachers can breathe a sigh of relief, right? Not really. There might not be specific disciplinary goals set for the young'uns, but elementary teachers still have an important role to play if their students are to eventually reach college- and career-readiness.
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Common Core survey responses put focus on standards for youngest grades

Common Core survey responses put focus on standards for youngest grades | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it
Seventy-one percent of responses were positive in an online survey completed by more than 10,500 people.
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SAT attempting to regain the spotlight with new version

SAT attempting to regain the spotlight with new version | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it
Local high-school students who take the SAT on March 5 will be part of the first nationwide group to take a brand-new version, the first major revision since 2005. But few central Ohio students are likely to note the difference, as the SAT’s competitor, the ACT, has blown past the SAT in popularity.
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

No surprise that the SAT is aligning itself to the Common Core. With David Coleman at the helm of the College Board and the competition between ACT and SAT going strong, Common Core alignment is a must!

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Will States Swap Standards-Based Tests for SAT, ACT?

Will States Swap Standards-Based Tests for SAT, ACT? | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it
An ESSA provision that lets states use college-entrance exams to measure student achievement could spur a profound shift in high school testing.

"The questions are hanging over a provision of the Every Student Succeeds Act that lets states measure high school achievement with college-entrance exams instead of standards-based assessments.

"If many states make that change, it would represent an important national shift in the meaning of high school testing, assessment experts say.

"That's because most states' current tests are based on their academic standards and are built to measure mastery of those standards. Moving to a college-entrance exam such as the SAT or ACT, which are designed to predict the likelihood of students' success in college, would mean that states had chosen instead to measure college readiness."

Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

At an Illinois school on Monday, the first day back from holiday break, I was asked by teachers this very same question. Was our state now going to SAT testing for annual achievement assessment. I hadn't heard any such thing...in the past we've been an ACT state, something I have never agreed with in the practice of NCLB compliance. As this article says, these college entrance tests do not asses what high school considers important. Of course, now that ACT and SAT have revamped their own college readiness standards to reflect the Common Core, there may be more validity in their use, but that remains to be determined through years of outcome analysis. Personally and professionally, I believe we need to assess kids on what we teach and what we teach should be standards based. National assessments have a place but not in local evaluation of school success.

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Education myth: American students are over-tested - The Hechinger Report

Education myth: American students are over-tested - The Hechinger Report | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it
Andreas Schleicher, an international education expert based in Paris, attended a summit at the White House last month, and left feeling frustrated by the anti-testing backlash in this country. “I listened to several presentations. You got this impression, if they would only get rid of tests, everything would improve,” said Schleicher, who oversees the education and skills …
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

I've been around education for many years--as a student (always), as the parent of three children who all graduated from high school and college, and as an educator (for nearly thirty years). There are no more tests in my local school or the schools I've worked with today than there were when I was in school. What has changed is how the assessments are used--and maybe that hasn't changed as much as we think. I remember reading SRA cards and answer questions that I think isn't much different than the AR programs many schools have in place. I will admit, I have been in some schools where testing is over the top--with NWEA and Study Island and all other kinds of monthly assessments to monitor learning. But those schools, in my experience are in the minority--most schools that I spend time with don't have the money to throw at the computer screen. Instead, they use real humans, caring teachers to assess student progress.

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Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's curator insight, December 11, 2015 5:01 PM

I've been around education for many years--as a student (always), as the parent of three children who all graduated from high school and college, and as an educator (for nearly thirty years). There are no more tests in my local school or the schools I've worked with today than there were when I was in school. What has changed is how the assessments are used--and maybe that hasn't changed as much as we think. I remember reading SRA cards and answer questions that I think isn't much different than the AR programs many schools have in place. I will admit, I have been in some schools where testing is over the top--with NWEA and Study Island and all other kinds of monthly assessments to monitor learning. But those schools, in my experience are in the minority--most schools that I spend time with don't have the money to throw at the computer screen. Instead, they use real humans, caring teachers to assess student progress. 

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Common Core Standards Adoption by State

Common Core Standards Adoption by State | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it

"States highlighted in green have adopted the Common Core State Standards. 


"States highlighted in blue only adopted the Common Core State Standards for English language arts.

"For additional details, click on the name of the state in the listing below..."

Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

With media coverage of standards' reviews and test unrest, many people seem to have become confused about which states have adopted and adhered to the Common Core Standards. ASCD provides a handy map and links for state-by-state details.

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California Set to Adopt Literacy Materials Tied to Common Core - Education Week

California Set to Adopt Literacy Materials Tied to Common Core - Education Week | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it

"The largest of the common-core adoption states is poised to approve 25 of the 29 materials submitted by publishers.


"California, the largest common-core-adoption state, is on the verge of adopting new K-8 English/language arts instructional materials for the first time since it put the Common Core State Standards in place—and nearly all the textbooks that were submitted for review are likely to be approved.

"Materials adoptions in the Golden State have historically been influential in defining the publishing market and other states' curricular choices, but many say this year's board vote will make less of a splash nationally. For one, California has changed a policy that once required districts to choose from the state-approved list. And states and districts now have access to more materials—including free digital resources—that meet their needs.

Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

As one who served on this review committee and the supplemental review committee of 2012, I noted the process was smoother. Even with the added standards for English Language Learners, the process moved more quickly. However, I would add that the facilitation of discussion in this review process did not lend itself to the rich conversations of the previous review. Rather, the review guidance tended to support the approval standards alignment in light of weaker evidences than were accepted in the ELA review of supplemental materials. 

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Tennessee Pre-K: A Lesson on Why the Early Grades Matter Too | EdCentral

Tennessee Pre-K: A Lesson on Why the Early Grades Matter Too | EdCentral | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it

"This week, the Peabody Research Institute at Vanderbilt University released findings from a study of Tennessee’s Voluntary Prekindergarten Program (TN-VPK) that has created some unrest in the early education community. In A Randomized Control Trial of a Statewide Voluntary Prekindergarten Program on Children’s Skills and Behaviors through Third Grade, researchers Mark Lipsey, Dale Farran, and Kerry Hofer found that children who attended TN-VPK, a full-day pre-K program serving approximately 20 percent of the state’s highest need four-year-olds, are performing no better in third grade than their counterparts.


"The researchers conducted a randomized control trial, following a group of approximately 1,000 Tennessee children over five years. The report states that, “At the end of pre‐k, the TN‐VPK children had significantly higher achievement scores on all 6 of the [literacy, language, and math] subtests, with the largest effects on the two literacy outcomes.” Kindergarten teachers also reported positive non-cognitive gains at the beginning of the year: “the teachers rated the TN‐VPK children as being better prepared for kindergarten work, as having better behaviors related to learning in the classroom and as having more positive peer relations.” The pre-K program had a particularly strong and positive impact on dual-language learners."

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SAT Essay Losing Steam Among Admissions Officers -- THE Journal

SAT Essay Losing Steam Among Admissions Officers -- THE Journal | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it
University admissions officers are ho-hum about the essay question. According to a survey of 300 colleges and universities, only a handful of them will expect applicants to submit their score from the new SAT's essay section.
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

We have talked about the portfolio system in college application for years...is this really going to happen?

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Test Scores Under Common Core Show That ‘Proficient’ Varies by State - The New York Times

Test Scores Under Common Core Show That ‘Proficient’ Varies by State - The New York Times | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it
For tests given last spring under the new Common Core requirements, the description of the results comes down to the different labels each state uses to describe the exact same scores on the same tests.
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The Common Core test wake-up call is here | The Thomas B. Fordham Institute

The Common Core test wake-up call is here | The Thomas B. Fordham Institute | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it
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Think you know a lot about Common Core? A new poll finds you’re probably wrong - The Hechinger Report

Think you know a lot about Common Core? A new poll finds you’re probably wrong - The Hechinger Report | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it
As kids across the country return to school, the results of a new poll suggest it’s adults who need a lesson on the Common Core State Standards, a set of end-of-grade expectations in math and English adopted by 44 states and the District of Columbia. The poll – a survey of 2,411 registered California voters …
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

I would be interested in a similar poll being conducted among teachers. Maybe I should run one myself. I find that teachers who claim to know much about the standards in fact have only superficial knowledge and/or interpret the standards through their own lens of past experience rather than interpret the standards through the close reading lens that has become the educator's mantra in relation to the standards.

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The idea vs. the on-the-ground reality of Common Core standards

The idea vs. the on-the-ground reality of Common Core standards | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it

"A new report finds that teachers are often assigning work that doesn’t meet new standards

"Teachers are often assigning work that asks far less of students than theCommon Core standards require, according to the organization. Children are rarely asked to write more than a few sentences at a time, for example, and are seldom asked to grapple with complex ideas and arguments.

"Those conclusions are based upon an analysis of more than 1,500 language arts, humanities and social studies assignments that teachers gave middle-school students in two unnamed urban school districts during a two-week period last school year."

Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

As an EQuIP peer reviewer, I find that many of the units submitted for our perusal are not of the depth the standards and the shifts related to the standards require. So this report does not surprise me. Yes, schools have had five years to do the work of teaching their educators about the standards and the degree of complexity the standards address both in the rigor expected of teachers and the rigor expected of student performance. But the fact is...for three years, schools , states, and political bodies have been fighting the change. In their fight, they ignored the professional development teachers needed in order to raise the bar and learn about content that had not fallen in their grade or expectations that had never been held in the past. 

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Here's what will change with the new SAT

Here's what will change with the new SAT | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it

SAT prep is a multi-billion dollar industry today. Will the redesigned SAT restore its original goal of providing greater access to higher education for a diverse population?


"The revisions to the SAT to begin in March 2016 include a return to the original scoring system of 1,600 for combined math and the newly named “evidenced-based reading” subtests.

Writing an essay will now be optional. The current version (in use since 2004) requires the essay for a three-part test, with a maximum score of 2,400. This optional essay provides greater flexibility for students, particularly for those whose math skills may be much stronger than their writing skills. Such students will not be penalized for a lower writing score.


"Importantly, there will be no penalty for guessing on questions – previously a wrong answer got a penalty of a quarter-point. The critical reading section, renamed evidenced-based reading and writing, will use historical documents that have inspired individuals. Examples of this would be speeches by India’s leader of independence movement Mohandas Gandhi, American women’s rights' activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton and civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.


"The math revisions are said to be aligned with the Common Core. This section will have less computation and more real-world problems."

Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

SAT's redesign makes the assessment more aligned to Common Core Standards in ELA, literacy, and math. Although many people still think the Common Core is going away, the reality is that Common Core Standards have become embedded in national testing, among state's standards (though often renamed), and in the manner by which public discussions and debates are being held. 

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What happened when one state tried to rewrite the Common Core - The Hechinger Report

What happened when one state tried to rewrite the Common Core - The Hechinger Report | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it

CROWLEY, La. — "...with nearly two dozen states revising the Common Core standards, policymakers are grappling with what role, if any, parents should have in tweaking those standards.  Can teams of educators in states like Louisiana improve standards that were years in the making? And can the revision process serve both an educational and a political purpose — generating more buy-in for the standards while simultaneously improving them?

"As in many states, Louisiana’s Common Core review is the result of years of pressure from parents and politicians. Last year, lawmakers — in an effort to neutralize the issue in the months leading up to this November’s gubernatorial election — charged a committee with coming up with “Louisiana standards” to take effect next August. But, as in other states, opponents say the process has been too rushed and unsuited to accepting parental input, and amounts to little more than a political show."


Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

As this story goes on to tell, although public opinion polls show a dislike of Common Core State Standards, actual online surveys tell a different story. Nationwide, through online surveys, the public has an 80% confidence rating in the Common Core and of those surveyed more than 25% report as parents. Indeed, the CCSS are not perfect but what set of standards is perfect? Review the standards if need be, but only after devising a plan for the review that is followed fidelity and integrity, and include teachers and parents as well as other stakholders.

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Can parents help with math homework? YES | The Thomas B. Fordham Institute

Can parents help with math homework? YES | The Thomas B. Fordham Institute | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it

"My wife and I both spend time working with our kids on their homework. We have also made a family tradition of “Saturday School,” a routine that my wife and I instituted a couple of years ago because our kids’ school was using a pre-Common Core math curriculum that wasn’t keeping pace with the standards. It has become a weekly exercise for the whole family’s brain. On my personal blog, I’ve shared some of the math problems that I’d written for Saturday School so that other parents could use the problems at home if they wished.

"On busy nights, most parents (including me) are hard-pressed to find time to help with daily homework. That’s why my first piece of advice for parents is that they help strengthen their children’s work ethic and accountability by ensuring that homework is completed. My kids have their own dedicated space at home for schoolwork. When they get home from school, the next day’s homework has to be complete and correct before there is any screen time or other activities.

"Parents can also help at home with skill building and fluency practice—things like memorizing basic math facts. When it comes to skills, practice is essential. It helps students to have someone to flash the cards or pose calculations to them. I have made flashcards that we use at home, and my kids sometimes use digital apps like Math Drills."

Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

Jason Zimba makes a clear statement here: the responsibility for your children's learning of math is not one held solely by the teacher. Just as parents need to read to their youngsters, they also need to show a value for math by engaging their children with mathematical practices and valuing the homework teachers provide.

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Common Core's Big Test: Tracking 2014-15 Results

Common Core's Big Test: Tracking 2014-15 Results | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it
The 2014-15 school year marked a big change for many states because they switched to tests that for the first time reflect the Common Core State Standards.
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

I have long been a supporter of Common Core and PARCC assessment. I am hopeful but not confident that ESSA will cause our schools to once again be thrown into curricular chaos. But that is another story. What I am disappointed with is the delay in publicizing our schools' scores. I want "things" done right but when so many other states have let their results be known, why are we lagging behind?

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ACT Writing Test Scoring Rubric.pdf

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Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's curator insight, October 23, 2015 10:11 AM

Interested in ACT's new analytic writing rubric? Since the beginning of ACT's writing assessment, student compositions have been scored holistically using a six-point guide. This year, ACT has adopted an analytic rubric which will be much more helpful as a tool for teachers and students in understanding where the writing succeeds and/or misses the mark.

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States Debate Cut Scores

States Debate Cut Scores | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it
Arkansas has reversed course after becoming the second state, following Ohio, to forgo the recommended score rating levels set by Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) states. After facing public backlash for declaring students who are “nearing expectations” according to PARCC to be considered “on track (PDF),” Arkansas state chief Johnny Key has since declared the previous phrasing an error (PDF) and announced that the state will now use PARCC’s established performance descriptions. Ohio, however, has not backtracked its scoring decisions. Neither state plans to use the PARCC assessments next year—Arkansas will administer an ACT suite of tests while Ohio plans to use tests developed by the American Institutes for Research.
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

Unfortunately, some students will be seeing the third high stakes assessment in as many years while political leadership decides how to test students for NCLB compliance.

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Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's curator insight, October 22, 2015 6:08 PM

Unfortunately, some students will be seeing the third high stakes assessment in as many years while political leadership decides how to test students for NCLB compliance.

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How Common Core quietly won the war - POLITICO

How Common Core quietly won the war - POLITICO | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it

"The standards that naysayers love to call “Obamacore” have become the reality for roughly 40 million students.


"After years of hand-wringing, very few of the 45 states that fully adopted the standards have attempted a clean break — and those that did found it wasn’t easy to do. In Indiana, where Republican Gov. Mike Pence signed a bill last year to ditch the standards, even Common Core haters have said the new ones are just the same standards by a different name.


"As Common Core becomes more commonplace in public schools (and in many Roman Catholic schools), some prominent Republicans concede they've lost their battle. Take former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. As governor, she signed an executive order banning the use of the words Common Core by state agencies, though the standards themselves were still firmly in place. She wrote in a recent column on the Fox News website that implementation of the standards is “succeeding.”

Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

The Common Core State Standards never set their sights on war--the goal was to make consistent the expectations of learning across geographies, incomes, and cultures. Unfortunately, political groups and pundits used the standards as a means to stir divisiveness. The reason states cannot design a unique set of standards is because the existing CCSS is a well-written and well-meaning document. Good triumphs.

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Governor Cuomo Announces Launch of Common Core Task Force | Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today launched the Common Core Task Force – a diverse and highly-qualified group of education officials, teachers, parents, and state representatives from across New York that is charged with comprehensively reviewing and making recommendations to overhaul the current Common Core system and the way we test our students. The Task Force will complete its review and deliver its final recommendations by the end of this year.

Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

Local review is a positive step forward. For the most part, New York is strongly behind the Common Core. As a state, they have designed curricula in math and ELA (available at Engage NY) that have been downloaded by thousands of teachers across the nation with meaningful results.

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Teacher Leadership | Center for American Progress

This report describes districts throughout the country that have taken collaborative approaches between management and unions to ensure that teachers have significant voice and leadership in implementation of the Common Core. In many cases, these collaborative approaches are not new. Districts and unions across the country—many of them profiled in this report—have been working together to involve teachers in meaningful ways for decades, but these systems have taken on new importance with the rollout of the Common Core.

The districts in this report vary in size, location, student demographics, socioeconomic status, and student academic performance, but all have worked to give teachers a meaningful voice in decision making during the implementation of the Common Core. The districts include: Baltimore City Public Schools in Baltimore, Maryland; Georgetown Exempted Village Schools in Georgetown, Ohio; Marquardt School District 15 in Glendale Heights, Illinois; Poway Unified School District in San Diego, California; San Juan Unified School District in Carmichael, California; and Washoe County School District in Reno, Nevada.

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Shelly Reckow VanVoorst's curator insight, October 25, 2015 3:42 PM

I scooped this article because it speaks about the common core implementation and how groups both administration and teachers need to work together to role it out in the most effective way.  This could be true for almost any initiative that a school takes on.  I hope that when teachers and administrators at my district read this article they take notes on how to work together collaboratively and how to institute leaders within the classroom to be the most effective.  

Jamie Dammann's curator insight, October 25, 2015 9:54 PM

Local, State, Federal

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A shocking college-readiness gap in the suburbs | The Thomas B. Fordham Institute

A shocking college-readiness gap in the suburbs | The Thomas B. Fordham Institute | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) outside of Washington, D.C. is a system that’s long been publicly committed to equity. throughout the 2000s, the district, its schools, and its board were obsessed with addressing achievement gaps. It poured additional resources into its poorest schools—aimed particularly at pre-school programs and smaller classes—earning it plaudits from reform organizations and equity hawks alike. Yet beyond these targeted investments, the MCPS strategy has been one of Deweyesque sameness. Schools throughout the County use the same curriculum and enjoy the same quality of teachers—teachers who participate in the same professional development experiences. What’s not the same, however, are the outcomes.

Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

Just because most schools across most states share the same set of standards does NOT mean there is one way to teach in order to provide equity in education. Equity means reaching over and across the diverse contexts within the classroom to provide learning opportunities from the place where each student stands in that moment. 

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It's Time to Get Rid of Education's Sacred Cows

It's Time to Get Rid of Education's Sacred Cows | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it

The education field has too many unquestioned assumptions that persist even as the world changes, writes Angela Minnici

  • Education is Local
  • Anyone Can Become A Good Teacher
  • American Schools have Traditionally Done a Great Job of Educating All Kids
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

Minnici brings up an essential point being argued by the anti-Common Core wing: education is and should continue to be local. Education hasn't been local since the 1965 passage of Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Through ESEA and later, No Child Left Behind, school have come to depend on the Federal government for flow-through funds that support programs that squeeze local dollars, e.g., special education and English Language Learners (read more here: 10 Facts About K-12 Education Funding. The Federal government does leverage law through funding, but who in their right mind would say IDEA isn't a good law? I have a special needs sister and remember our years in school, pre IDEA. They were absolute HELL!


Give the Common Core a chance...like IDEA many may look back and agree implementation was a challenge but the payoff was worth the work.

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Interactive Video: Rewind, Remix & Replay Conversations with All 6 GOP Leaders at the 2015 NH Education Summit

Interactive Video: Rewind, Remix & Replay Conversations with All 6 GOP Leaders at the 2015 NH Education Summit | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it
Six Republican leaders sat down with Editor-in-Chief Campbell Brown on Wednesday, Aug. 19 in Manchester, New Hampshire to talk in-depth about the future of K-12 education.
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