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Common Core Instructional Practice Guides: Grades K-2

Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

I've been working with K-2 teachers all week, observing lessons, leading reflections on their application of the standards, facilitating discussions on how to better engage students in peer interaction while challenging thinking and ensuring independent accountability. Our time was productive and teachers appreciated the input and opportunity to reflect and share. These guides are a good tool for grounding reflective thinking that leads to lesson enhancements.

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Popular K-6 Math Curriculum Deemed Unaligned to Common Core

Popular K-6 Math Curriculum Deemed Unaligned to Common Core | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it
The most recent round of textbook reviews from EdReports.org show that Everyday Math, which is used in about 200,000 classrooms around the country, does not meet the expectations of the Common Core State Standards.
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How shifting to a UDL mindset enhances Common Core

How shifting to a UDL mindset enhances Common Core | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it
Cultivating the right mindset is of the utmost importance before any change can result in positive outcomes. The type of mindset a district strives to develop is dependent on their goals.
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How ‘Productive Failure’ In Math Class Helps Make Lessons Stick

How ‘Productive Failure’ In Math Class Helps Make Lessons Stick | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it

"Building struggle into lessons can help students learn better than using direct instruction, according to research, and although Singapore’s education system is very test-based, its Ministry of Education is interested in research-proven pedagogical approaches that lead to lasting learning beyond the test.

 

"The general idea is to develop tasks that students will not be able to solve, but require them to call upon their preexisting knowledge to try to solve the problem. That knowledge can be of the subject itself, as well as the informal insights students bring from their lives. The students will inevitably fail — as the teacher expects them to — but that failure is framed as part of learning and so is not seen as shameful. This process primes students’ brains to learn the new concept from their instructor after the initial failure."

Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

Although this article purports to be focused on mathematics, productive struggle is beneficial and really, imperative across all disciplinesn. No where but in a sitcom and too often, in a classroom, can tidy resolutions be reached in  thrity to forty-five minutes or an hour.

 

Summarily put, this article shares five Principles of Productive Failure Lesson Design

    1. Tasks must be challenging enough to engage learners, but not so challenging they give up.
    2. Tasks must have multiple ideas, solutions or ways to solve so that students generate a multitude of ideas. 
    3. The task must activate prior knowledge, and not just formal learning from a previous lesson. 
    4. While the task should activate knowledge, it should be designed so that the knowledge students have is not sufficient to solve the problem. 
    5. It helps if that task as an “affective draw,” in that it’s related to something students care about or is concerns something with which they identify.
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Common Core’s major political challenges for the remainder of 2016

Common Core’s major political challenges for the remainder of 2016 | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it

"The Brown Center Report study produced two major findings.  First, several changes that CCSS promotes in curriculum and instruction appear to be taking place at the school level.  Second, states that adopted CCSS and have been implementing the standards have registered about the same gains and losses on NAEP as states that either adopted and rescinded CCSS or never adopted CCSS in the first place.  These are merely associations and cannot be interpreted as saying anything about CCSS’s causal impact.  Politically, that doesn’t really matter. The big story is that NAEP scores have been flat for six years, an unprecedented stagnation in national achievement that states have experienced regardless of their stance on CCSS.  Yes, it’s unfair, but CCSS is paying a political price for those disappointing NAEP scores.  No clear NAEP differences have emerged between CCSS adopters and non-adopters to reverse that political dynamic."

Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

Should NAEP be updated to reflect Common Core State Standards? Of course! Why are we even asking that question. Most all but four states in the nation have either fully or dominantly adopted these standards so these are the standards our students and our schools should be assessed through!

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Let’s Commit to Giving CTE Students the Opportunity They Demand and Deserve | ED.gov Blog

Let’s Commit to Giving CTE Students the Opportunity They Demand and Deserve | ED.gov Blog | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it

"Career and technical education (CTE) has changed a lot from the “old vocational education” that many of us know from our school days. For the better part of this century, States and local communities have worked steadily to build high-quality CTE programs that are academically rigorous and aligned with labor market demands. The whole idea of the artificial separation between academic and technical pathways is passé. Most professions and careers in the 2016 and future economies require strong academic foundation skills, considerable technical knowledge and skills, and well-developed employability skills and attributes. There is nothing about CTE today that is not rigorous, relevant, and worth it.

"And, CTE programs work. Recent research shows that secondary CTE students are more likely to graduate from high school compared to non-CTE students. CTE graduates land great jobs that pay well for both men and women in all kinds of careers, including emerging fields like cybersecurity and advanced manufacturing. Perhaps most importantly, CTE puts students on a direct path to the middle class by giving them the academic, technical, and employability skills they need to enter and advance in the world of work."

Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

I taught CTE students for several years, a technical writing course designed to support specific CTE fields. I also taught alongside CTE educators for several years as we designed a curriculum that college and career knowledge and stamina. These programs are valuable for more kids than most imagine. Many of the taught ad practiced skills not only are needed for well-paying jobs but are also practical life-skills most people don't  wish they possessed.

And FYI, Common Core Standards (reading and writing) apply as equally to CTE as they do to conventional "core" classes!

 

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Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's curator insight, March 9, 9:49 AM

I taught CTE students for several years, a technical writing course designed to support specific CTE fields. I also taught alongside CTE educators for several years as we designed a curriculum that college and career knowledge and stamina. These programs are valuable for more kids than most imagine. Many of the taught ad practiced skills not only are needed for well-paying jobs but are also practical life-skills most people don't  wish they possessed.

And FYI, Common Core Standards (reading and writing) apply as equally to CTE as they do to conventional "core" classes!

 

juandoming's curator insight, March 9, 11:45 AM

I taught CTE students for several years, a technical writing course designed to support specific CTE fields. I also taught alongside CTE educators for several years as we designed a curriculum that college and career knowledge and stamina. These programs are valuable for more kids than most imagine. Many of the taught ad practiced skills not only are needed for well-paying jobs but are also practical life-skills most people don't  wish they possessed.

And FYI, Common Core Standards (reading and writing) apply as equally to CTE as they do to conventional "core" classes!

 

Fernando de la Cruz Naranjo Grisales's curator insight, March 14, 7:27 AM

I taught CTE students for several years, a technical writing course designed to support specific CTE fields. I also taught alongside CTE educators for several years as we designed a curriculum that college and career knowledge and stamina. These programs are valuable for more kids than most imagine. Many of the taught ad practiced skills not only are needed for well-paying jobs but are also practical life-skills most people don't  wish they possessed.

And FYI, Common Core Standards (reading and writing) apply as equally to CTE as they do to conventional "core" classes!

 

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Teaching Higher: Educators' Perspectives on Common Core Implementation

"We matched each teacher to the students they were teaching and assembled data on students’ demographic characteristics, performance on prior state tests, and the averages of such characteristics for the peers in their classroom. We also estimated each teacher’s impact on student performance in the prior school year (2013-14) to use as a control. (We wanted to account for the fact that more effective teachers may choose to use particular textbooks.) After controlling for the measures of student, peer, and teacher influences above, we estimated the variance in student outcomes on the new assessments associated with the textbook used.[ii]

"The textbook effects were substantial, especially in math. In 4th and 5th grade math classrooms, we estimated that a standard deviation in textbook effectiveness was equivalent to .10 standard deviations in achievement at the student level.[iii] That means that if all schools could be persuaded to switch to one of the top quartile textbooks, student achievement would rise overall by roughly .127 student-level standard deviations or an average of 3.6 percentile points. Although it might sound small, such a boost in the average teacher’s effectiveness would be larger than the improvement the typical teacher experiences in their first three years on the job, as they are just learning to teach."

Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

An important study showing reall statistical effect sizes related to quality textbooks and quality teaching. Read on...

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Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's curator insight, March 3, 12:30 PM

An important study showing reall statistical effect sizes related to quality textbooks and quality teaching. Read on...

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Strategies to Improve Low-Performing Schools Under the Every Student Succeeds Act

Five practices that explain student achievment gains in previously low-performing schools:

  1. Data-driven instruction
  2. Excellence in teaching and leadership
  3. Culture of high expectations
  4. Frequent and intensive tutoring, or so-called high-dosage tutoring
  5. Extended school day and year
Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

It's not hard to see the relatioship among these five practices: excellent teaching needs data to focus instruction and identify the types of tutoring needed by students alongside a belief in students' abilities to do great things. And all of this takes time!

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trina hill's curator insight, March 7, 11:17 PM

It's not hard to see the relatioship among these five practices: excellent teaching needs data to focus instruction and identify the types of tutoring needed by students alongside a belief in students' abilities to do great things. And all of this takes time!

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Many who pass state high school graduation tests show up to college unprepared - The Hechinger Report

Many who pass state high school graduation tests show up to college unprepared - The Hechinger Report | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it
Looking back on her junior year at Saint Agnes Academic High School in the College Point neighborhood of Queens, Viktoria Mertiri admits that trigonometry “was the death of me. I never understood it.” But Mertiri scored a 70 on the New York Regents Examination, a state standardized test of core high school subjects. It was …
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ACT essay scores are inexplicably low, causing uproar among college-bound students

ACT essay scores are inexplicably low, causing uproar among college-bound students | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it

"The ACT essay is an optional 40-minute writing exercise offered after 2 hours and 55 minutes of multiple-choice assessment in English, reading, math and science. Before September, the ACT gave students 30 minutes to compose an essay taking a position on a given issue, with the writing graded on a scale of 2 to 12. The new essay requires students to “develop an argument that puts their own perspective in dialogue with others” in response to a contemporary issue. A sample topic on the ACT website is the influence of 'intelligent machines.'


"Many colleges don’t require the essay for students who take the ACT. But a number of selective schools, from Harvard and Princeton to the University of California, do require it. Typically, more than half of all ACT test-takers answer the essay question. The essay score doesn’t factor into the overall composite score, which is often considered the most crucial takeaway from an admissions test."


Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

To some degree, this is no surprise. As an English teacher of 20 years as well as a writer and teacher of writing, many of my students were disappointed in the writing scores they earned compared to the content knowledge and reading skill grades they scored through in-class testing. Generally speaking, students neither today or yesterday write enough to be a 36 on the ACT scale, even our brightest students. I always offered students descriptive feedback and revision opportunities throughout the writing process before submitting for a grade and I offered them the same opportunities with a rewrite and rescore after grading. As with ACT, few took me up on it...but some did. 


Writing is just not composed of the same thought and skill processes as answering multiple choice questions. Because it is much deeper and richer and in both process and skills, scores will reflect the variety of abilities that take on the challenge. 

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Evaluating the Content and Quality of Next Generation Assessments | The Thomas B. Fordham Institute

Evaluating the Content and Quality of Next Generation Assessments | The Thomas B. Fordham Institute | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it

"Evaluating the Content and Quality of Next Generation Assessments examines previously unreleased items from three multi-state tests (ACT Aspire, PARCC, and Smarter Balanced) and one best-in-class state assessment, Massachusetts’ state exam (MCAS), to answer policymakers’ most pressing questions: Do these tests reflect strong content? Are they rigorous? What are their strengths and areas for improvement? No one has ever gotten under the hood of these tests and published an objective third-party review of their content, quality, and rigor. Until now.

"Over the last two years, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, along with two rock-star principal investigators and almost forty equally stellar reviewers used a new methodology designed to answer policymakers’ most pressing questions: Do these tests reflect strong content? Are they rigorous? What are their strengths and areas for improvement?

"As our benchmark, we used the Council of Chief State School Officers’ Criteria for Procuring and Evaluating High-Quality Assessments. We evaluated the summative (end-of-year) assessments in the capstone grades for elementary and middle school (grades 5 and 8). (The Human Resources Research Organization evaluated high-school assessments.)"

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Where Are Teachers Getting Their Common-Core Instructional Materials?

"A new study found that teachers are mainly relying on homegrown instructional materials, created either by themselves or their district colleagues, to meet the Common Core State Standards. But as many as a third of the 4th-8th grade teachers surveyed also said they've turned to free online platforms such as EngageNY and LearnZillion to implement the new benchmarks. 

"The study, conducted by the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University, overall confirmed that the Common Core State Standards really are changing classroom instruction. As my colleague Ross Brenneman wrote, the report includes a series of interesting findings about what teachers are doing differently (they're putting more emphasis on nonfiction in ELA and conceptual understanding in math, for instance) and strategies that help improve instruction (collaboration is NOT the key, it turns out). Head to his post for more on the study in its entirety."

Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

Teachers went without vendor textbooks for such a long time that they turned to one another for resources...and that, IMHO is a good move.

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High-Quality Preschool Why We Need It and What it Looks Like

"Research has consistently shown that 3- and 4-year-olds who attend a high-quality preschool are more successful in kindergarten and beyond—both academically and socially. But the majority of preschool programs in the United States are not judged as good, with many rated far below that. Many of our most vulnerable children attend the lowest quality programs, and children who are at risk for school failure are more strongly influenced by the quality of preschool. Many children from middle-class families also attend preschools that are not of good quality. Momentum is building across the country to develop more preschool programs. Therefore, it’s crucial to have a clear vision of what high-quality preschool programs look like."

Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

Our tiniest citizens are entitled to the best teachers education can offer to support the growth of their minds and hears. They cannot do this alone. Today, for many preschoolers, interactive play means pointing and clicking on a digital screen not pretending, imagining, communicating with other children.  Quality teachers can offer the kinds of intellectual stimulation little ones deserve to become the adults our world needs.

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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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How shifting to a UDL mindset enhances Common Core

How shifting to a UDL mindset enhances Common Core | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it
Cultivating the right mindset is of the utmost importance before any change can result in positive outcomes. The type of mindset a district strives to develop is dependent on their goals.
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Maybe Testing Isn't The Problem After All -

Maybe Testing Isn't The Problem After All - | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it

"After four years and hundreds of millions of federal Race to the Top dollars spent creating the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test—an assessment of the extent to which students are mastering the knowledge and skills necessary for life after high school—it’s disappointing to hear that an increasing number of states, including my home state of Colorado, are already thinking of scrapping it.

 

"Now, it’s not hard to understand why everyone wasn’t happy with the first round of results, released in the fall of 2015. There were technological glitches and scores were consistently lower than they had been with previous state tests.

 

"Was PARCC too long or too difficult, as some critics have claimed? Or do these results perhaps call into question the validity of those previous scores and the tests used to arrive at them?"

Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

Like the author of this post from TeachThought, I support the Common Core Standards and associated testing. We have spent more than enought time and money designing, field-testing, and tweaking the standards-aligned assessments. To start anew with testing companies who place "hot-off-the press" assessments in our classrooms is to bow to political sway and use less than valid and reliable assesments as a lens to the work done in classrooms over the last four to six years. Let's stop looking for the next great thing and make the thing we have built the greatest thing!

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Is Common Core's Effect on Achievement Fading?

Is Common Core's Effect on Achievement Fading? | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it

"Most states adopted the common standards in 2010, although they may not have fully implemented them in classrooms for some time after. According to this year’s Brown Center Report on American Education, 4th and 8th grade students in states that adopted the Common Core State Standards outperformed their peers on the National Assessment of Educational Progress between 2009 and 2013. But between 2013 and 2015, students in non-adoption states made larger gains than those in common-core states."

 

"This means that 'common core may have already had its biggest impact,' said Loveless.

 

"The common core's impact on student achievement in states may have peaked early and now appears to be tapering off, argues a new analysis of NAEP scores."

Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

To assume Common Core has topped out in this, the sixth year of of public mandate is ridiculous. As an educator, an Achieve consultant, a California adoption reviwer, and a national professional development provider I can attest to the lack of implementation of Core standards across the country. I fully agree with California's Mike Kerst cited in the EdWeek article: nationwide, we are in a "primitive stage of implementation."

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Lynnette Van Dyke's curator insight, April 2, 7:21 AM

To assume Common Core has topped out in this, the sixth year of of public mandate is ridiculous. As an educator, an Achieve consultant, a California adoption reviwer, and a national professional development provider I can attest to the lack of implementation of Core standards across the country. I fully agree with California's Mike Kerst cited in the EdWeek article: nationwide, we are in a "primitive stage of implementation."

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Reading and math in the Common Core era

Reading and math in the Common Core era | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it

"Common Core State Standards (CCSS) have been adopted as the reading and math standards of more than 40 states. All but a few states scheduled full implementation of the standards, including assessments, by the end of the 2014-15 school year. Three states (Indiana, Oklahoma, and South Carolina) have rescinded previous adoptions of the Common Core,  and others have made minor revisions. This section of the Brown Center Report (BCR) will exploit the variation in state implementation of CCSS to look at the association of the standards with reading and mathematics performance in grades four and eight, the two grades tested by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

 

"Please note that the following analysis does not investigate whether changes in particular practices have caused gains or losses in student achievement. The practices examined here are simply being used as markers for indicating the degree to which CCSS recommendations have penetrated schools and classrooms. The 2011 and 2013 implementation indexes are based on information provided by state policymakers as to the breadth and ambitiousness of state implementation plans. The objective now is to see whether those indexes correspond with reports from practitioners on how CCSS implementation is actually proceeding in schools and classrooms. Scholars of public policy have long known that frontline implementers (sometimes referred to as “street level bureaucrats”) can profoundly shape the end results of top-down initiatives.2 In the following analysis, responses of teachers and principals to NAEP questionnaires are aggregated to the state level to measure each state’s implementation of CCSS."

Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

Some national trends reported in this document:

Fourth and Eighth Grade Reading: The Dominance of Fiction WanesFourth Grade Math: Less Emphasis on Data Analysis and GeometryEighth Grade Math: A Shift in Course Taking
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The difference between being eligible for college and ready for college - The Hechinger Report

The difference between being eligible for college and ready for college - The Hechinger Report | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it

"For years, scores on standardized math and reading tests have dominated how schools and states measure student success. But Perspectives Charter has largely ignored test prep — and it shows. Only 8 percent of Perspectives’ students passed last year’s multistate Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) tests, which were designed to test the new, tougher Common Core standards. To Shulla-Cose, another set of statistics is much more important: 99 percent of Perspectives students are accepted to college, 93 percent attend college and 44 percent graduate from college in six years, according to the schools’ internal data. And although Perspectives loses about a quarter of its students between freshman and senior year, a lower amount than the rest of the district, about 24 percent of students who enroll freshman year graduate from college within six years of leaving high school, a figure that’s 10 percentage points above the citywide average.

"Ronald Brown, a senior at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, says Perspective’s focus on social-emotional skills set him up to tackle the demands of the selective, mostly white and affluent liberal arts college.

“'While the academic part was a struggle at first, Perspectives prepared me,' said Brown. 'Be open-minded, try new things, challenge each other and yourself intellectually, time management, all of that came easy. And when I hit academic barriers, I persisted and kept moving forward. I think Perspectives helped me with that, too. I took advantage of tutoring, the counseling center, the math center, the writing center, anything that could help.'

"This persistence is the difference between being college eligible and college ready, says Laura Jimenez, director of the American Institutes for Research’s college and career readiness and success center."

Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

As the article states, the ACT predicts the odds that a student will earn an A, B, or C in college work but does not predict whether a student will have the persistence to stay in school long enough to graduate college. It doesn't matter if you earn a 36 or a 12 if we can't get kids to persist through post-high school educations: college, service training, professional accredidation programs, etc.

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Never judge a book by its cover—use student achievement instead

Never judge a book by its cover—use student achievement instead | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it
Textbooks and instructional materials should be judged for their effectiveness using student achievement, says Thomas Kane. Measuring achievement gains using common assessments could be a much faster way to evaluate curricula than using randomized clinical trials.
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13 States Join Federal Open Resource Initiative

13 States Join Federal Open Resource Initiative | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it
Thirteen states and 40 districts are launching #GoOpen initiatives, focused on open resources and promoted by the federal education department.

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

I continue to be surprised at the number of educators that as what is OER? There is a wealth of easily accessed and free materials that are going underused!

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TIF Talks - A Liberal Arts Perspective on Common Core

A presentation by Jason Zimba, ’91, Founding Partner, Student Achievement Partners, speaking at The Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, CA on January 30...

Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

Thirteen minutes [of awesome] investigating the nature of liberal arts and math a member of the team...as well as a definition of the Common Core: a list of expectations; not a curriculum; not a test; not a way to teach. 

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New Studies Reaffirm PARCC as One of Nation’s Premier Tests

New Studies Reaffirm PARCC as One of Nation’s Premier Tests | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it

Two recently released independent studies found the PARCC assessment to be one of the strongest systems to assess student readiness for college and careers. The studies, conducted by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute (elementary and middle school) and the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO, high school) are just the latest in a string of independent studies that have found PARCC to be a national leader in quality assessments. PARCC received the highest marks possible for measuring of students’ mastery of English language arts, the highest ratings for measuring vocabulary skills, and highlighted PARCC’s use of evidence-based questions. PARCC also scored highly in many other areas.

“These reports definitively confirm what we’ve been saying for some time – PARCC is the highest-quality, best-in-class assessment available,” said Hanna Skandera, Secretary of Education for the New Mexico Public Education Department and Chair of the PARCC Governing Board. “Since the inception of PARCC, we’ve been committed to giving our parents and schools the information they deserve to help our kids reach their full potential.”

Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

I have been working with teachers to understand and use the PARCC Framework and PARCC released items as tools to strengthen curricular alignment to the Common Core Standards...and it works. Yes, PARCC is the most aligned to the content and depth, the spirit and letter of the standards. I celebrate the findings of the Fordham Institute with PARCC!!

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Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's curator insight, February 13, 5:29 PM

I have been working with teachers to understand and use the PARCC Framework and PARCC released items as tools to strengthen curricular alignment to the Common Core Standards...and it works. Yes, PARCC is the most aligned to the content and depth, the spirit and letter of the standards. I celebrate the findings of the Fordham Institute with PARCC!!

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TEACHING HIGHER Educators’ Perspectives on Common Core Implementation

"Now that the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) has resolved the struggle over the federal role in education, leaders in the remaining Common Core states can refocus attention on the standards, the assessments, and the supports teachers and students need to succeed on them. To inform those efforts, the Center for Education Policy Research (CEPR) at Harvard University surveyed a representative sample of teachers in five states (Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and Nevada) as they prepared their students to take the new Common Core-aligned assessments in the spring of 2015.


"We asked teachers and principals about the types and amounts of professional development they received, the textbooks they were using, the online resources they found most helpful, and the alignment between Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and teacher evaluations. We studied how each of the above was related to students’ performance on the new assessments, after controlling for students’ demographic characteristics and prior achievement on state assessments. We report four primary findings:

  1.  Teachers in the five study states have made major changes in their lesson plans and instructional materials to meet the CCSS.
  2.  Despite the additional work, teachers and principals in the five states have largely embraced the new standards.
  3. In mathematics, we identified three markers of successful implementation: more professional development days, more classroom observations with explicit feedback tied to the Common Core, and the inclusion of Common Core-aligned student outcomes in teacher evaluations. All were associated with statistically significantly higher student performance on the PARCC and Smarter Balanced assessments in mathematics.
  4. In English language arts, we did not find evidence for or against any particular implementation strategies. However, the new English assessments appear more sensitive to instructional differences between teachers, especially in middle school grades. The greater sensitivity seems to be due to the greater weight on student writing in the new assessments. Although prior research has found math achievement to be more sensitive to instructional differences between teachers than English, the new English assessments are nearly as sensitive to teacher effects as the math assessments have been.


Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

The greatest instruction differences identified in the assessment process related to Common Core Standards appears to result from the emphasis on writing and the place writing takes in the classrooms. No surprise. With next gen assessments valuing writing and too many teachers intimidated by both the instruction (which they shouldn't be...just write), and the grading, some students are having the opportunities to grow as thinkers and communicators in the domain of writing.

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Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's curator insight, February 12, 6:50 PM

The greatest instruction differences identified in the assessment process related to Common Core Standards appears to result from the emphasis on writing and the place writing takes in the classrooms. No surprise. With next gen assessments valuing writing and too many teachers intimidated by both the instruction (which they shouldn't be...just write), and the grading, some students are having the opportunities to grow as thinkers and communicators in the domain of writing.

Scooped by Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry
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New, Reading-Heavy SAT Has Students Worried

New, Reading-Heavy SAT Has Students Worried | Common Core ELA | Literacy & Math | Scoop.it

"BOSTON — For thousands of college hopefuls, the stressful college admissions season is about to become even more fraught. The College Board, which makes the SAT, is rolling out a new test — its biggest redesign in a decade, and one of the most substantial ever. Chief among the changes, experts say: longer and harder reading passages and more words in math problems. The shift is leading some educators and college admissions officers to fear that the revised test will penalize students who have not been exposed to a lot of reading, or who speak a different language at home — like immigrants and the poor. It has also led to a general sense that the new test is uncharted territory, leaving many students wondering whether they should take the SAT or its rival, the ACT. College admissions officers say they are waiting to see how the scores turn out before deciding how to weight the new test."

Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's insight:

The issue here is not the number of words. The article explains that SAT was careful to keep the number of words in texts similar to past counts; however, the complexity of the language, the contexts within which the language is used, and the content of the texts is where the challenge exists. Yes, SAT is taking text complexity seriously.

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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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