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
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.
A poll shows that Republicans who hold more false beliefs about the standards are more likely to disapprove of the common core. But what about Democrats?
“False Beliefs” Could Increase Common Core Support
Andrew Ujifusa writes at the Education Week (2/25) “State EdWatch” blog that a new Fairleigh Dickinson University poll indicates that “a plurality of those surveyed don’t have an opinion about” the Common Core Standards, noting that the survey “reveals something else that may seem counterintuitive: the possibility that incorrect beliefs about the standards could actually increase support for them among some.” Ujifusa writes that Republican efforts to promote the false belief that the standards deal with such polarizing topics as evolution or global warming could prompt some Democrats who accept this narrative to support the standards.
NEW YORK – Prompted by the new Common Core standards and an increase in English Language Learners in public schools, New York State education officials are moving aggressively to provide better support for bilingual teachers and improve student achievement. Currently, there are more than 216,000 English Language Learners enrolled in New York State public schools, …
Ohio will be the first state in the country to do widespread Common Core testing when students start taking new tests from PARCC on Tuesday. Here's what you should know about the new tests.
Ohio To Become First State To Fully Roll Out PARCC Tests.
The AP (2/17, Hefling, Smyth) reports that Ohio will be the first state to administer “one of two tests in English language arts and math based on the Common Core standards developed by two separate groups of states.” By the end of this school year, “about 12 million children in 29 states and the District of Columbia will take them, using computers or electronic tablets.” The exams “are expected to be more difficult than the traditional spring standardized state exams they replace.”
The Cleveland Plain Dealer (2/17) reports that Ohio students “will be the first in the country to start taking long-awaited – or long-dreaded, depending on your viewpoint – Common Core exams on Tuesday,” noting that the rollout of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers tests are generating significant anxiety among educators. Teachers are concerned about their evaluations, schools are concerned about technology issues, and some parents are opting their children out. WJW-TV Cleveland (2/16) also covers this story on its website.
The Utah Core Standards, federal influence and what students lack are key focuses of the governor, the attorney general and education leaders.
Utah Reports Refute Federal Footprint In Common Core.
KSL-TV Salt Lake City (2/9) reports online that according to a new report presented by the Utah Attorney General’s Office to the state Board of Education, “Utah’s adoption of the Common Core Standards did not cede control of the state’s education system to the federal government.” A second report “by a committee of local education experts found that the standards themselves are more rigorous than previous standards, are based on best practices and sound research, and will sufficiently prepare students for college if implemented correctly.” However, the report expresses some concerns about the state’s adoption of the Common Core being a criteria of its NCLB waiver.
A few years ago, many Americans knew very little about Common Core K-12 education standards — even though more than 40 states had agreed to adopt them
Editorial Board, Minnesota Star-Tribune
February 4, 2015
"Though education is carried out locally, the world that young people must navigate is increasingly national and international. Students must not only compete with peers from other states, but also with counterparts from around the world.
"If states back away from Common Core, they still need to have standards that are as good or better so that their students can continue to compete."
In many ways, the growth of content over standards has been an impetus for the writing of Next Generation Standards…including the Common Core Standards ELA/Literacy & Math Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and the C3 Frameworks for History and Social Studies.
Former Education Secretary William Bennett said on Fox News Sunday (2/1, Wallace), “Common Core has been vilified because there’s been a tremendous amount of misinformation about [the curriculum] – it requires teaching of Islamic radicalism, you have to read all of Barack Obama’s speeches, it’s a code of political correctness. There a whole mythology built up around Common Core. Common Core establishes state standards for math and reading by grade. That’s all they are.” In response, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said, “We have seen buyer’s remorse by the governors and states that bought into Common Core before implementation began. What we have seen after its implementation is the Federal government tying billions of dollars to whether or not states comply with what is becoming a national standard. As a result, what we’re dealing with is a one-size-fit-all national standard being pushed down from the Obama Administration.”
Starting in February, Ohio students will begin taking exams based on new state standards
Ohio Implementing PARCC Testing.
The Zanesville (OH) Times Recorder (1/28) reports that schools in Ohio will begin taking Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers tests next month, noting that the state DOE “unveiled new practice examples of the exams and explained how they will differ from the Ohio Achievement Assessments given over the past several years.” The article details some of the differences between the tests, noting that the PARCC is “based on the Common Core standards, which critics have attacked for being driven by big business and the federal government.”
According to many teachers, experts and advocates of the Common Core, traditional curriculum sources haven’t been meeting the demands of the new set of math and English standards that have been rolled out in more than 40 states in the past few years. More and more teachers are scrapping off-the-shelf lessons and searching for replacements on the Internet or writing new curriculum materials themselves
55 percent majority said the Common Core covers at least two subjects that it does not, according to the survey that Fairleigh Dickinson University conducted and funded. Misperceptions were widespread, including among both supporters and opponents of the program and peaking among those who say they are paying the most attention to the standards.
Education non-profit GreatSchools is out with videos in English and Spanish that detail Common Core expectations for students in kindergarten through fifth grade. The short videos are meant to help educators and parents better understand what children should know how to do and when.
NPR (2/16) reports on how parents and students are coping with the new math standards introduced in Florida based on Common Core, which “outline what students should know in every grade.” According to experts, the new standards, which have been introduced in several states, “means big changes to how math is taught.” There is “more focus on understanding concepts and solving problems multiple ways” and “less memorization of formulas and grinding out worksheets full of similar problems.”
As part of its work on the implementation of the Common Core State Standards and equity, the Alliance for Excellent Education has created a series of videos, linked in the table below, highlighting how five states—California, Colorado, Kentucky, Maryland, and Ohio—are implementing the Common Core State Standards and serving significant percentages of low income students or students of color.
How Do You Eat an Elephant? Preparing for PARCC Writing, Part 1
by Megan Hyland This year, our students in grades 5-8 will take the PARCC exams in both English Language Arts (ELA) and Math. This assessment is a significant shift away from the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS), which our school has historically taken each year.
This CCSS workbook contains question sets ("pods") for Grades 9-12. Categories are Reading: Literature; Reading: Informational; and Language. For your convenience, Reading appears two different ways: by standard and passage.
The other results show that the passages chosen are about two grade levels above the readability of the grade and age of the children by measures other than the Lexile level. The results of testing children on these passages will be quite predictable. Students will score lower on the tests than on previous tests. We have already seen this in New York where test scores plummeted when the new tests were given last year. English Language Learners (ELL) and students with disabilities will be particularly hard hit because these tests will prove extraordinarily difficult to them.
The common core offers the promise of equal educational opportunity for poor and minority children, writes Wade Henderson.
"Since 1994, federal policy has required states to have academic standards statewide in reading and math in order to receive funding through Title I, the main federal program for disadvantaged students. But none dared to set them near the rigor required for success in college or careers. For all the transparency the No Child Left Behind Act gave to the achievement gap, it equally gave perverse incentives to states to keep standards low to avoid the political consequences of widespread failure. Low standards do a disservice to all students, especially those whom the law was designed to help.
"The Common Core State Standards offer an opportunity to address the fundamental educational issue facing poor and minority children who don't have access to the same instruction as their peers in wealthier communities. These new standards, if properly implemented with care to address this reality, could make real the promise of equal educational opportunity we've been struggling to achieve for more than 60 years."
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) have become a controversial and highly debated movement in education. The standards have been praised, bashed, banned, and everything in between. Regardless of your feelings about the standards, their implementation, or the testing that accompanies them, the creators got one thing right: The eight Standards of Mathematical Practices.
The PARCC states have released mathematics performance-based practice tests for all grade levels in both the computer-based format and as PDFs to print out on paper. These practice tests add to the resources available to teachers, schools, students and parents. They help increase familiarity with the types of questions, the format of the questions, and the computer platform and paper forms.
As states drop the standards and their tests, comparing U.S. student achievement becomes more difficult.
Piecemeal Implementation Of Common Core Reducing Value.
The Washington Post (1/26, Brown) reports that the Common Core standards “were envisioned as a way to measure most of the nation’s students against a shared benchmark.” However, “education experts say political upheaval and the messy reality of on-the-ground implementation is threatening that original goal.” While a number of states have moved to leave the standards behind, there has been “broader resistance to the common standardized tests.”
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