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TN Education official discusses new standards NWTNTODAY.COM

TN Education official discusses new standards NWTNTODAY.COM | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

Tennessee’s Education Commissioner, Kevin Huffman:

  • Once common core standards are put in place, problems with changing expectations will be addressed positively. 
  • Educators also expressed the hope that those responsible for training teachers in the common core program will be consistent in the information they provide.
  • Commissioner Huffman responded that he was aware of problems with training in the past and his department was attempting to address those issues by hiring and training the personnel instead of relying on contract employees.
  • He praised the Leadership Council for helping to create the standards and said more than 16,000 educators would be trained over the summer.
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College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders
The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) supporting school leaders in helping all students become college and career-ready and to succeed in post-secondary education and training
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Implementing the Common Core State Standards: The Role of the School Leader Action Brief | Achieve

Implementing the Common Core State Standards: The Role of the School Leader Action Brief | Achieve | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

These Action Briefs for school leaders are a starting point, designed to increase awareness of the standards, create a sense of urgency around their implementation, and provide these stakeholders — who are faced with dramatically increased expectations in the context of fewer resources — with a deeper understanding of the standards and their role in implementing the standards. Achieve, in partnership with College Summit, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and the National Association of Elementary School Principals, released this with support from MetLife Foundation.

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Common Core can help English learners in California, new study says

Common Core can help English learners in California, new study says | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

Report Shows Common Core Can Benefit English Learners.

The Hechinger Report (9/30, Wingert) that the Education Trust released a report showing that the new Common Core standards could help close the achievement gap for English Language Learners in American schools. The report spotlights how 11 districts have been successful in boosting achievement for English learners and describes how several Common Core-specific practices have had the most impact.

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10 Things Math Teachers Need to Know About the Common Core

10 Things Math Teachers Need to Know About the Common Core | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

1.  Problem Solving, Problem Solving, Problem Solving!!!-Children need to be daily problem solvers!  Their ability to do just that will be measured in our assessment system and is an essential life skill.  As a math consultant I believe nearly every math concept can be taught through problem solving with some "just-in-time" direct instruction.  Teachers need to be trained to facilitate learning through constructivist methods, schema based instruction (such as CGI), or inquiry based instruction (Dan Meyer model).   If Jordyn is to be prepared to live and work in the world beyond her formal education, she will need to be able to solve problems and apply mathematics.  

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How much time will new Common Core tests take kids to finish?

How much time will new Common Core tests take kids to finish? | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

"Common Core Exam Lengths, Limited Number Of School Computers Pose Problems.

In its Answer Sheet blog, the Washington Post (9/28, Strauss) reports on logistical issues expected with extensive computerized Common Core testing. PARCC has released its exam time guidelines, ranging from 9¾ to 11¼ hours per student, increasing with grade level. Despite these guidelines, one million students field-testing the exam took no more than 7½ hours, making it unclear if kids raced through knowing there were no consequences. PARCC tests will be given twice a year: three-quarters into the year and again near the end. Similarly, SBAC has said it estimates students will need between seven and 8½ hours to complete its exams. Because testing is computerized and must fit into pre-existing class day schedules, administrators are struggling to schedule testing of every student in every grade on a finite number of computers.

Mel Riddile's insight:
  • How much time are we currently spending on end-of-year tests compared to these estimated testing guidelines? In VA, which is not a Common Core state, high schools have had 11 end-of-course exams to administer for at least a dozen years.
  • Online testing, which is here to stay regardless of the Common Core, has been and will continue to be a logistical problem as long as schools have inadequate technology. The school system in WA with 750 students and 125 computers should be ashamed. Those sound like 1994 figures not 2014 computer-to-student ratios. After all, this is the second decade of the 21st Century.
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The Common Core: The Real Story in NJ

The Common Core: The Real Story in NJ | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
NJSBA provides training, advocacy and support to advance public education and promote the achievement of all New Jersey students through effective governance.


"NJSBA (New Jersey School Boards Association) has developed this web resource to help local school board members and administrators provide accurate information to their communities about the Common Core State Standards and what they will mean to our students and teachers. The webpage will be updated periodically."

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Common Sense About Common Core Math

Common Sense About Common Core Math | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
This is a guest post by Alan Schoenfeld, a professor of Mathematics Education at the University of California, Berkeley. Alan has been instrumental in many of the developments in mathematics educat...
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New Math and Science Assessments: What is giving students "the most trouble"?

Vermont Science Scores Drop.

The AP (9/26, Rathke) reports that Vermont Education Secretary Rebecca Holcombe announced on Thursday that “average science test scores of students in three grades have dropped slightly in Vermont from last year, with the greatest dip among eight-graders.” The article adds that Holcomb said that stagnant science scores suggest “that an emphasis on English language arts and math in the federal No Child Left Behind Act may be overshadowing science instruction.”

Vermont Public Radio (9/26) reports that Holcombe “says she is not satisfied with scores from standardized science tests given last spring.” The piece notes that “44 percent of fourth graders scored as proficient or higher, but only 25 percent of eighth graders and 30 percent of eleventh graders reached that mark.” Scores across all grades showed a decline. The piece notes that “a section that requires students not only to solve problems, but to explain their reasoning,” seems to be the part that gave students the most trouble.

WCAX-TV Burlington, VT (9/26) quotes Holcombe saying, “We’re concerned about the heavy emphasis on No Child Left Behind and whether it might be discouraging some districts from really investing in science from the earliest grades.”

        The Rutland (VT) Herald (9/26) also covers this story.

Mel Riddile's insight:

These new assessments require an additional component. Not only do students have to work problems, but they now have to explain their reasoning.


“a section that requires students not only to solve problems, but to explain their reasoning,” seems to be the part that gave students the most trouble.

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Leslie Minton's curator insight, September 26, 6:29 AM

As long as we value the "standard" procedure for math operations and neglect the exploration and sense making of what is happening, the ability to explain your thinking is about the steps in the procedure, not does the answer make sense.

 

Identifying common standards is not synonymous with teaching and learning mathematics.

Francisco Restivo's curator insight, September 28, 7:58 AM

É muito importante que os alunos tenham de explicar o seu raciocínio, para além de resolver o problema. A questão é como?

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Common Core losing support of Tennessee teachers, survey finds

Common Core losing support of Tennessee teachers, survey finds | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Most Tennessee teachers now oppose the academic standards, new statewide survey shows.


Survey: Fewer Tennessee Teachers Support Common Core.

The Tennessean (9/24) reports that according to a new survey released by the Tennessee Consortium on Research, Evaluation and Development, a majority of Tennessee teachers now opposes the Common Core Standards, noting that the survey “could provide more ammunition to those who want to roll back the standards.” The Tennessean reports that the number of teachers who said that the Common Core “will improve student learning” fell from 60% to 31% over the course of the past year. Meanwhile, 56% of respondents “want to abandon the standards, while 13 percent would prefer to delay their implementation.”

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'Cyber Days' replace 'Snow Days'

'Cyber Days' replace 'Snow Days' | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Pennsylvania Approves “Flexible Instructional Days” For Snow Day Classes.

The Philadelphia Inquirer (9/25, Boccella) reports Pennsylvania has announced schools can offer up to five “Flexible Instructional Days” annually, allowing teachers to employ nontraditional methods such as cyber education when students cannot attend school, for reasons such as snow days. For nontraditional learning to count toward the 180 school day count, plans must meet 22 state objectives and approval. If instruction requires public broadcast or Internet options, comparable alternatives must be offered to those without access. The decision follows unprecedented snowfalls. The remainder of the article cites the reactions of various school leaders.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) â€" Pennsylvania has redefined the concept of the snow day, announcing that schools can offer "cyber days" when kids can't make it into the classrooms. For up to five days a year, the "Flexible Instructional Days" pilot program will allow schools in all 501 school districts, including Philadelphia, to use nontraditional instruction methods, such as cyber school, when bad weather or other emergencies shut down school buildings. After last winter froze out schools for seven or
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Math and the Common Core: From a Principal's Perspective

Math and the Common Core: From a Principal's Perspective | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
In my experience in classrooms seeing the Common Core math shifts happen, my perspective as a principal has been very different.

I see our students and teachers:

  1. focusing on deeper levels of understanding rather than just covering a lot of content
  2. spending more time persevering on a concept rather than just memorizing a procedure to get through 1-31 odd on a homework assignment and forget it immediately after the test
  3. working very hard to ensure that students will go forward with a solid foundation of mastery in key concepts that will not have to be taught and reviewed again and again.
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3 Political Barriers the Common Core Tests Face

3 Political Barriers the Common Core Tests Face | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
The beginning of the Common Core story—the creation and deployment of the standards—has come to a close. In Act Two, states will start using new Common Core-aligned exams for accountability...
Mel Riddile's insight:
  1. Technology Problems
  2. Mid-Term Elections
  3. Lower Test Scores
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Math Teachers and Experts Defend Common Core Math Standards

Math Teachers and Experts Defend Common Core Math Standards | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

"Common Core has come under attack. Critics say the standards enlarge federal control of education -- and do a lousy job teaching math. 


Joseph Almeida has taught math for a decade, first in New York and currently in Massachusetts. In 2008, his students had the second-highest math test scores among charter school children in Manhattan. While he taught successfully even before Common Core came along, Almeida describes the standards as a positive development, primarily due to a winnowing in what teachers are expected to cover in a given year.

“They give the teacher a way to teach in-depth, and give a limit to what the teaching is,” Almeida told The Daily Caller News Foundation."

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Text Complexity: How Does ‘Lord of the Flies’ Fit Into Common Core?

Text Complexity: How Does ‘Lord of the Flies’ Fit Into Common Core? | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Many teachers have yet to begin assigning harder, Common Core-approved books. According to a recent Thomas B. Fordham Institute report, a survey of teachers shows that, while many are aware of Common Core’s requirement for assigning harder books, few have yet to implement the changes because they are more focused on reading skills.
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Shanahan - Debate on Challenging Text

Shanahan - Debate on Challenging Text | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

"Basically, many reading experts have claimed that it is necessary or optimum to teach students using texts that are at the students’ so-called “instructional levels.” A text would be said to be “instructional” if students could—on their own--recognize approximately 95% of the words and answer 75-90% of the questions about the passage. Texts harder than that were considered to be “frustration” level. Accordingly, most elementary teachers report trying to teach students at their instructional level rather than their grade level.

The controversy has been brought about by Common Core, since those standards are specific about the difficulty level of the texts that students need to learn to read. Unlike past standards that ignored what students could read. CCSS specifies particular levels of text difficulty for each grade two through twelve. They did this basically because if students were taught at their instructional levels all the time, how would they ever reach college or career readiness by the time they leave high school."
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High schools see the benefits of restorative justice discipline model

High schools see the benefits of restorative justice discipline model | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
High school officials in Merced County are taking a new approach at improving discipline policies on campuses, and that approach is showing a significant improvement in student participation and wellness, according to a new report.
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Top 12 Resources for Educators | PARCC

PARCC has created a list of valuable resources for educators. Be sure to download and share with your colleagues today.  


Professional Development Modules

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Oklahoma school officials frustrated with changes

Oklahoma School Officials Frustrated By Untimely Common Core Repeal.

The Houston Chronicle (9/29, Talley) reports Oklahoma school administrators have expressed frustration over the Legislature’s decision to Common Core weeks before being implemented. Furthermore, Oklahoma’s waiver denial has reduced the state’s financial sovereignty. State education officials are planning a series of town hall meetings to address subsequent concerns across the state. The article provides a history of Common Core and an overview of concerns from various school districts. Oklahoma lawmakers have employed 2010 standards until adopting new standards by 2016. The article closes with further complaints over the politicization of education.

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Politics Threaten Efforts to Improve K-12 Education

Politics Threaten Efforts to Improve K-12 Education | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

Increased interest in the Common Core

"General interest in the Common Core has gradually increased with large spikes around politically charged events and news coverage. As a proxy for the level of public interest in the standards, CAP used data from Google Trends, which measures a topic’s popularity by comparing the number of unique searches for that subject with the total number of searches overall. The graph below tracks the interest in the Common Core from January 2010 to August 2014. Google normalizes the data to range from 1 to 100, with the higher value corresponding with greater interest."

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PARCC Adjusts Testing Time for Common-Core Assessments

PARCC Adjusts Testing Time for Common-Core Assessments | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
New figures, based on field-testing data, show that schools will have to allot 10 to 11 hours to allow students enough time to finish the tests.


PARCC Bumps Up Recommended Testing Times.

Catherine Gewertz writes at the Education Week (9/26) “Curriculum Matters” blog that the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers announced on Thursday “that schools will need to schedule about 10 hours of testing time this spring for elementary school students, and nearly 11 hours or more for middle and high school students,” noting that this is “higher than the estimates that PARCC issued in March of 2013.” Gewertz explains that the new numbers reflect the results of the field testing of the assessments last spring.

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Common Core changes approach to teaching, learning

Common Core changes approach to teaching, learning | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Students, teachers in NFDL embrace education under Common Core Standards.


Wis. educators say common core has changed teaching, learning 
Some Wisconsin educators and students say Common Core State Standards have increased the rigor and depth of instruction. In writing, for example, sixth-grade teacher Lee Skaar said students must support the claims they make in their research, but he is responsible for choosing the reading materials. "There are times we struggle, but they are worthwhile goals so I can't think of any reason to complain," Skaar said. The Reporter (Fond Du Lac, Wis.) (9/20)

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Teacher Evaluation: GA seeks delay of new high-stakes system

Teacher Evaluation: GA seeks delay of new high-stakes system | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

Move Indicates Teacher Evaluations Weren’t “Doable.” 

Maureen Downey writes about the move at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (9/24) “Get Schooled” blog, suggesting that the request for a delay is an indication that the state promised to unattainable goals when it got its Race to the Top grant. Downey writes that she was “astounded” when the state revealed the list of promised reforms at the time, saying that they “did not seem doable, especially overhauling teacher evaluations by holding teachers accountable for student performance.”

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Will online assessments allow for open-ended math-performance tasks?

Will online assessments allow for open-ended math-performance tasks? | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Some mathematics experts worry the computer-based testing platforms will hamper a key element of the exams: open-ended math-performance tasks that test students' ability to apply their knowledge.
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Reading Like a Historian: Text and Textbooks

Reading Like a Historian: Text and Textbooks | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Reading Like a Historian: Text, (Math) Textbooks, and Ideology Textbooks as History As a historian, analyzing textbooks from different places and time periods is fascinating to me. I love being abl...
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Text Complexity: How do we measure it?

Text Complexity: How do we measure it? | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Common Core: 5 Technology Tools To Measure Text Complexity


"This post specifically addresses one aspect of text complexity — what the Common Core terms “quantitative evaluation.”  It’s important to recognize from the onset that other measures must be in place to adequately explore complexity.

Currently, there are many web-based tools that help with the quantitative evaluation of books (for example, you can use Barnes and Noble to search by Lexile measure); however, as our students will likely be reading a combination of print and digital materials (especially in states giving the PARCC test), tools that help identify scales for online or digital text are also necessary. Here are five (mostly free) web-based tools that might be helpful as we curate reading content for students."

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Jennifer Hurley-Coughlin's curator insight, September 26, 10:08 AM

Some interesting tools to use....

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After four years of preparation, "Let Common Core flourish"

After four years of preparation, "Let Common Core flourish" | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
BY MICHAEL J. PETRILLI AND MICHAEL BRICKMAN:


Educators throughout Illinois have spent the past four years preparing for the new Common Core learning standards by developing curricula, adopting new textbooks, and prepping themselves to teach challenging material. Yet just as Illinois is about to reap the rewards of this long planting season, some want to backpedal. This effort is led by the Chicago Teachers Union, which reversed its earlier support for these new standards.

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Field Tests spur optimism in states

Field Tests spur optimism in states | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

"At the local level, school districts are still working through a range of technical problems.

In Los Angeles, principals and test coordinators have identified problems such as not having enough iPads, laptops or desktop computers at some schools for students to take the test in a timely manner. In some instances, Lim said, the field tests were spread out over a six-week period so students could take the tests on a staggered schedule. School personnel said that lengthy period of time was too disruptive of school routines, and that the testing period should be shorter.  Officials also reported that students experienced “log-in issues” with Smarter Balanced software, and students “were regularly kicked off.”

Diane Hernandez, director of the Assessment Development and Administration Division at the California Department of Education, said that the report to be presented to the State Board of Education in November will give a fuller picture of problems at the school site level.  She said there were “some gaps” in broadband access at some schools, but mostly in small rural districts. To fill those gaps, the department last month announced a fund of $26.7 million, known as the Broadband Infrastructure Improvement Grant program. The state last week released a preliminary list of 300 schools – many in remote locations – that may be eligible to apply for the money."

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