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Common Core Implementation Video Series via CCSSO and Hunt Institute

The Hunt Institute and CCSSO Release Common Core Implementation Video Series...
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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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5 Strategies for SPED Success with Common Core

5 Strategies for SPED Success with Common Core | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it


Handle tasks head-on to speed student success. By Christine Fax-Huckaby

"As the Common Core State Standards have been implemented this school year, with many states in the midst of using the new standardized tests, the transition has been mired in challenges. The Common Core is a critical step toward ensuring students have the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in life beyond graduation, but teachers and students alike have been apprehensive and overwhelmed. They need greater support, more empathy, and better communication from school and district leaders to help them overcome their anxiety.

This anxiety is even more prevalent in the special education community, and as a special education academic support teacher, it’s my job to make sure teachers and students in my district are as prepared for Common Core as possible. Here’s what’s working well in our district:"

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Five close reading myths debunked

Five close reading myths debunked | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

1. It diminishes the joy of reading. One of the things we love about reading is how layered the text is. If you don’t understand what’s going on in a text, it’s just less engaging. What practitioners have found is close reading can become as engaging as a video game, as students look at the vocabulary or patterns of words, at the structure and plot elements. It’s really that deep engagement that brings joy to the reading process. It becomes like a treasure hunt—in a good wa

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Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's curator insight, Today, 1:04 PM

Appreciate this post. Indeed, the purposes of close reading dictate the way one close reads. If one is looking between texts, of course one reads beyond the four corners of the page (as some have come to call the text). And if one is reading for historical contextualization, of course background knowledge is essential. Actually, background knowledge is always essential...I can't read if I don't use what I know about the most simple word or grammatical structure/usage. Actually, we did close reading in my own school experience and even William Wordsworth comments on it in his 1798 poem, "The Tables Turned."

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Movement To 'Opt-Out' Of The Common Core Is Growing

Movement To 'Opt-Out' Of The Common Core Is Growing | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
ATLANTA (AP) — Thousands of students are opting out of new standardized tests aligned to the Common Core standards, defying the latest attempt by states to improve academic performance.

This "opt-out" movement remains scattered but...
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Real-World Math: Students are "able to touch the math, not just try to do the math on paper."

Real-World Math: Students are "able to touch the math, not just try to do the math on paper." | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
The Common Core math standards say students need more than a textbook understanding of concepts like the Pythagorean theorem. So two Colorado teachers teamed up for a lesson in real-world math.
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Montana Allows Districts to Make SBAC Tests Optional (Technical Problems)

Montana Allows Districts to Make SBAC Tests Optional (Technical Problems) | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Montana Superintendent Denise Juneau said it would be "in the best interest of our students" to let districts cancel Smarter Balanced testing if necessary.
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"Higher education support for a set of K-12 standards makes history."

"Higher education support for a set of K-12 standards makes history." | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Such across-the-board, state-level higher education support for a set of K-12 standards makes history, certainly in California and quite likely in the nation. Even so, California is not alone in higher education in making a public commitment to the common core; the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, and a new organization named Higher Ed for Higher Standards, among others, have signed on. The support seems to be growing, despite state and local politics around state standards and high-stakes assessments tied to accountability.
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Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s curator insight, April 20, 8:57 PM

I remember doing a workshop on Common Core when an exasperated teacher raised her hand but not for the reason you're thinking. She wanted to know when colleges and universities were going to get their acts together. She wondered what was going to happen to her students who she was pushing to be stronger critical thinkers and problem solvers. She worried they were going to all this work and end up in lecture halls with professors droning on and on and on.

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Seven Strategies for Engaging Middle‑Schoolers in Complex Texts | Amplify

Seven Strategies for Engaging Middle‑Schoolers in Complex Texts | Amplify | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Seven Strategies for Engaging Middle‑Schoolers in Complex Texts


With all the changes happening in middle school students’ lives, keeping them engaged can be challenging. How can you help them stay focused to develop the strong analytical, critical-thinking and problem-solving skills required by the new standards?

Our guide, Seven Strategies for Engaging Middle-Schoolers in Complex Texts, provides insight from curriculum and early adolescence experts on the best ways to help students develop close-reading skills: the ability to dig deeply into challenging texts, analyzing every detail and grasping both literal and inferential meanings.

Download our guide to read the seven strategies and help students dig deeply into complex texts.

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Teachers' Thoughts on Testing: The only test-prep that works is high-quality instruction & high-level teaching

Teachers' Thoughts on Testing: The only test-prep that works is high-quality instruction & high-level teaching | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Two Arizona teachers share their thoughts on testing with new aligned assessments.


Because [the new tests] are asking for a much higher level of thinking and application of skills, the only kind of instruction that can truly prep our students is really high-quality application and high-level teaching throughout the year, not a test prep two weeks before.

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PARCC scores to be used in lieu of placement tests

PARCC scores to be used in lieu of placement tests | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Earlier this month, higher education leaders in Colorado took a significant step to close the persistent gap between the number of students who enroll in college and the number who graduate.

Officials at the Colorado Department of Higher Education and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) on March 8 announced that Adams State University and Aims Community College will begin using PARCC, the state's K-12 assessment of college and career readiness, to determine whether entering college freshman are prepared to take college level courses.
Mel Riddile's insight:

Thus, for Colorado students, these tests matter!

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Common Core is hard because "easy is a waste of time"

Common Core is hard because "easy is a waste of time" | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

By Beth Kramer, mother in a military family


The truth is, the College and Career Ready Standards are working, and my children's improved performance is proof.

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What Students Gain From Being On the Same Path For College

What Students Gain From Being On the Same Path For College | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Schools separate kids into tracks, like honors, based on abilities, but some argue this is a disadvantage to all learners.
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Politicization discourages new teachers - The Hechinger Report

Politicization discourages new teachers - The Hechinger Report | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Some education policy researchers and professors in schools of education worry that the politicized education arena and the state’s indecisiveness over the Common Core could have significant ramifications for its teaching corps.
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Most States Stay with Common Core w/ Diverse Political Responses

Most States Stay with Common Core w/ Diverse Political Responses | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

"You might be thinking that it has become hard to track just what states are doing with respect to reconsidering or taking a second look at the common core. Fortunately, Dan Thatcher of the National Conference of State Legislatures has a handy map tracking reviews, executive orders, and other state actions with respect to the standards. Click here for the most recent version of that common-core map; a version of the map updated April 23 is below, with the key included:"

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Common Core Tests Continue After Vender (Measured Progress) Server Problems in NV, MT, ND

Common Core Tests Continue After Vender (Measured Progress) Server Problems in NV, MT, ND | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

Three states impacted by a widespread system crash with New Hampshire-based Measured Progress. Nevada, Montana and North Dakota contract with the company to administer the tests that are linked to hotly disputed, federally backed education standards.

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200 colleges agree to let students skip remedial coursework if they reach the college-readiness on SBAC

200 colleges agree to let students skip remedial coursework if they reach the college-readiness on SBAC | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Nearly 200 colleges and universities in six states have agreed to let students skip remedial coursework if they reach the college-readiness score on the 2015 Smarter Balanced assessment
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Sharing Common Core Lessons: Achieve (EQuIP) Partners with Teaching Channel

Sharing Common Core Lessons: Achieve (EQuIP) Partners with Teaching Channel | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

Teaching Channel and Achieve.org partnered on a three-part series featuring EQuIP’s (Educators Evaluating the Quality of Instructional Products) tools for Common Core lesson planning.

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Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's curator insight, April 17, 9:36 PM

June 1st is the next deadline for submitting your unit or multi-day lesson to Achieve and have a chance to be awarded $1500.00. Check out the call for now--you may have the perfect lesson already designed!

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Principal: Don’t blame Common Core Standards for bad implementation in your state

Principal: Don’t blame Common Core Standards for bad implementation in your state | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

by Jayne Ellspermann

"The Common Core standards make success accessible to all students by allowing them to demonstrate their learning based, not on their life experience, but what they read in the text.

As a result, Carol, I cannot “blame the standards themselves” for the difficulties you and your colleagues in New York have experienced with Common Core implementation."

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Common Core State Standards Are The Best Basis for Moving Forward - Dylan Wiliam

Common Core State Standards Are The Best Basis for Moving Forward  - Dylan Wiliam | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

"To make it absolutely clear, I should make it clear that I believe:

a)      The Common Core State Standards are more demanding than the standards being required for college- and career-readiness in the vast majority of leading nations; and

b)      The standards, while specified in greater detail than is customary in other countries, are appropriate given the current subject knowledge of teachers in the United States.

In short, I support the current version of the standards in the strongest possible terms, and without reservation."

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Common Core Testing Debate Pits Affluent Parents vs. Civil Rights Groups

Education News


Affluent Opposed to Tests

Parents in the wealthiest school districts are the ones behind the movement to boycott the state’s Common Core standardized exams, a new analysis shows.

  • Nine of the top 10 school districts where students were pulled out of taking math and English exams in grades 3 through 8 last year were in affluent Long Island communities, the study by education-advocacy group High Achievement New York found.
  • The median income in these school districts is $97,571, far higher than the $58,003 state average.
  • About 60,000 students in the state opted out of at least one of the Common Core exams in 2014. That number is expected to increase greatly this year as more parents and teachers rage against what they claim is an overemphasis on high-stakes exams and test prep.


Civil Rights Groups Fight To Retain NCLB Testing
The Washington Post (4/11, Layton) reports “Advocates for poor and minority children are pushing a novel idea: standardized tests as a civil right.” The Post says civil rights groups assert that Federally required testing is a “tool to force fairness in public schools” by spotlighting the gulf between scores of poor, minority students and “their more affluent counterparts.” In addition, the articles says that the civil rights groups are battling legislative efforts to roll back testing as Congressional legislators begin to rewrite “No Child Left Behind,” the country’s main Federal education law.
        WPost: Education Bill Reduces Federal Government’s Role Too Much. The Washington Post (4/11) editorializes that a “bipartisan senate bill to revise No Child Left Behind...goes too far in rolling back the federal role in setting standards and consequences.” The Post says “some states don’t need prods from Washington, but others have catered more to education bureaucracies or teachers unions than to students.”


The Poughkeepsie (NY) Journal (4/11) reports that “tens of thousands” of New York students in grades 3-8 “and maybe more” will be opting out of taking Common Core-aligned math and English language arts tests, noting that a “parent-led effort...appears to have gained momentum in recent weeks.” The piece notes that the state DOE has threatened sanctions against districts “if participation rates on the exams are low.”

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5 questions to ask before buying any “Common-Core aligned” product

5 questions to ask before buying any “Common-Core aligned” product | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
You’d think this would be old news by now, right? I can’t think of an education company out there that doesn’t purport to have CCSS-aligned products. And yet just last month, EdWeek reported that 17 out of 20 math series that claimed to be aligned to Common Core still fail to live up to their…
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Schools bracing themselves for new, tougher Common Core tests

Schools bracing themselves for new, tougher Common Core tests | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Students in 29 states are taking the Common Core tests for the first time this spring. A few years ago, one school in Washington, D.C., changed how it prepares for standardized tests, adopting home visits, pep rallies and new curricula to give students a boost. Special correspondent Kavitha Cardoza reports on how the educators and students are getting ready to handle the more challenging tests.
Mel Riddile's insight:

Why would a school need a pep rally to motivate students to take high-stakes tests?

The answer is simple, but the powers-that-be, who have never worked in schools, will never grasp.

In many states these tests are meaningless to students, but they mean everything to schools and teachers. What kind of an accountability system is that?

Kids "Christmas Tree" tests and teachers and principals are fired. Schools are labeled "failing." The students who can change schools leaving only the poorest and disenfranchised behind. Eventually "failing schools" are closed.

Relying solely on the good will of their students, schools are forced to waste valuable instructional time in a desperate attempt to encourage students to take the tests seriously. This may work for a while, but when students go years without meaningful feedback from these tests, they begin to understand that the tests are a waste of time. By the time they reach high school, the scam has run its course and students are particularly difficult to motivate.  Experience has taught me, that once students have a stake in the outcome, the game changes. Instead of us wondering how to motivate students, we began planning on how we would get food to students who spent hours on an Algebra tests.


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Renee Beeker's curator insight, April 10, 5:33 PM

Not happy common core or with more and more testing! 

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"students with more exposure to the standards “made faster progress in learning”"

"students with more exposure to the standards “made faster progress in learning”" | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Washington, D.C. – Results from the first state to adopt the Common Core State Standards—Kentucky—show that students with more exposure to the standards “made faster progress in learning” than peers who followed the older state standards, according to a study conducted by the Ame
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Education commissioner: Students cannot opt out of testing

(AP) — Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday says school districts cannot honor requests from parents who want to opt their children out of participating in standardized tests. According to the Lexington Herald-Leader (http://bit.ly/1DrGFOA), Holliday sent an email to superintendents saying students who don't participate in assessments will receive a 0'' score, and that will be part of the school's accountability calculation. Todd Allen, the assistant general counsel for the education
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Commentary on Posting PARCC Test Items: “Student privacy” is a smokescreen for improper conduct

Commentary on Posting PARCC Test Items: “Student privacy” is a smokescreen for improper conduct | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
The storm of criticism recently rained down on test publisher Pearson Education after the revelation that it regularly monitors social-media sites for public posts that contain secure content from standardized tests it publishes.
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