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.
Nearly all American K–12 students are exposed to it every day. It decides, in large part, what students will learn in school and how they will learn it. It is never evaluated for quality in any serious way, but when it is rigorously evaluated, its impact on student achievement is significant.
The Washington Examiner (8/19) reports that Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Monday tweeted, “Thanks to the Montgomery County, MD schools for moving their discipline policy away from out-of-school suspensions.” The piece explains that this sentiment “comes as no surprise,” noting that the Administration “has repeatedly called on schools to move away from out-of-school suspensions whenever possible.” The piece notes that Duncan cites criticisms “that minorities tend to be expelled at a much higher rate than their peers,” and quotes him saying in January, “Our department’s Civil Rights Data Collection shows that African-American students without disabilities are more than three times as likely as their white peers to be expelled or suspended. And we know that discipline policy and practices matter tremendously — there is nothing inevitable about high rates of suspension and expulsion. We can, and must, do much better.”
One of the most frequent questions I get from coaches is about how to coach teachers in the Common Core (CCSS). While there's some content knowledge you'll need to have about the CCSS, there are many coaching skills that apply regardless of the content.
Pressure to meet national education standards may be the reason states with significant populations of African-American students and those with larger class sizes often require children to learn fewer skills, finds a University of Kansas researcher.
“The skills students are expected to learn in schools are not necessarily universal,” said Argun Saatcioglu, a KU associate professor of education and courtesy professor of sociology.
"The Center on Education Policy’s got you covered with this hefty compendium of over sixty CCSS-focused studies, includingseveralfromFordham. CEP summarizes each, providing brief overviews of the focus, the findings, and the methodology (only methodologically sound studies were chosen). It’s handy one-stop shopping, covering a wide range of Common Core–related topics. Want to know whether the standards are likely to be effective?"
The state’s higher standards on reading tests could cause up to 250 schools to lose full accreditation.
Mel Riddile's insight:
Don Soifer, executive vice president of the Lexington Institute, an Arlington think tank, said the expected rise in schools accredited with warning warrants investigation."
This train wreck was predicted years ago, but no plans were put in place to avoid the inevitable drop in scores due to significantly more difficult exams. As a result, instead of working to build capacity and remediate students, principals will be filling out reports to the state.
"A school that is newly facing warning status must submit to a state academic review that will include scrutiny of the school’s curriculum and instructional practices."
"I’ve been working on a multi-day or unit planner based in a backwards design format that also aligns with the Common Core. Today, I finished with a prototype I think is worth sharing. As a template model, I have designed the planner for grade 2, but based on feedback from my readers, I plan to make appropriate edits and create a similar format for each grade, K-12. I will offer the resultant planners on my website at no cost through the start of school, just as I am doing right now with the PARCC Aligned Writing Rubrics. So please, download this WordForm and take a look. I’m really looking forward to hearing what you think!"
How do you illustrate division of fractions by fractions? And why would you want to?
Liana Heitin writes at the Education Week (8/13) “Curriculum Matters” blog that notwithstanding criticism of the Common Core Standards’ requirement that math instruction go beyond teaching the mechanics of how to solve simple equations, “at a professional development session on the common core I attended last month, held by the Maryland department of education, a small group of middle school math teachers learned how to illustrate these types of equations.” She writes that teachers were enthusiastic about learning to illustrate math concepts.
Jared Myracle, the supervisor of instruction at Gibson County Special School District (TN) and author of 'Common Core Standards for Parents for Dummies,' offers educators some best practices for explaining Common Core.
"Initially, the announcement of the new standards felt like just another thing we were asked to implement. However, as we huddled together and reviewed the new Georgia algebra curriculum based on the Common Core standards, those apprehensions quickly dissolved into excitement.
These standards were everything we’d heard they would be.
There were fewer of them.
They were much clearer and more straightforward.
They were obviously more rigorous, challenging us and our students to engage with the content at a much deeper level than ever before.
No longer would we race through a list of inch-deep/mile-wide standards while teaching simple tricks and algorithms that students could master without fully understanding the algebra.
We collectively noticed a change in our students’ learning and engagement with the content that fall."
Tennessee's average ACT score, historically slow to improve despite constant attention from educators, has made its biggest year-to-year leap since
"Though its 19.8 composite score is still well below the national average of 21, Tennessee's class of 2014 saw a three-tenths of a point bump from last year, new results released Wednesday show. That's tied with Kentucky and Wyoming for the largest increase among the 12 states that require all students to take the college entry exam."
"There is a growing list of large-scale K-12/higher education cooperative efforts. Well before Common Core, there were great examples of K–12 and higher education working together to define common academic expectations for students and create a more seamless pathway between the two sectors."
"The Common Core State Standards for Mathematics are based on evidence about how students learn mathematics.
The foundation for CCSSM includes the series of National Research Council reports summarizing research about mathematics education—for example, Adding It Up (2001),How Students Learn: Mathematics in the Classroom (2005), and Mathematics Learning in Early Childhood (2009)—as well as the best of previous state standards and a large body of evidence taken from international comparisons. Research results incorporated into CCSSM include both general findings about how students learn mathematics and specific information about how they learn particular content."
'Why would policymakers create tests that are designed to mark as failures two out of every three children?" ....and tie the expected falling scores to teacher evaluations and graduation requirements.
Mel Riddile's insight:
Let's be clear. This article describes New York's choice of how to implement the Common Core. The approach New York has taken ties more rigorous tests and expected drop in scores to both graduation requirements and teacher evaluations. Instead of being an example, New York represents a warning to all states.
This has happened in non-Common Core states like Virginia!
MONTPELIER (AP) - Some Vermont schools will open the school year with some revised curriculum to meet more rigorous national education standards called the Common Core while other schools are still working toward implementing them.
"We see it as an opportunity to help our kids reach high standards and to try to figure out how to that," said Pat Fitzsimmons, the Common Core implementation
Students should be able to apply mathematical concepts to real world issues. In the real world, math doesn't come in a box labeled, "Today you will only use your multiplying with fractions skill." In the real world, students must use critical thinking to solve problems. "
I want a way to introduce Close Reading to my students that will help them understand both the Why and the How behind the strategy. I am a big fan of David Therialt's blog, "The Readiness is All" and his approach the analyzing a text or piece of artwork through the S.C.O.U.T. and T3 design.…
Professional Development and Training. In last year's report, 71 percent of teachers said they had attended professional development or training for the common core. This year, that figure rose to 87 percent.
Teachers were far more critical of their training sessions in 2013 than they were in 2012, however. Two-thirds felt they were of high quality in 2012, but barely half said so in 2013.
Only 23 percent reported that the assessments had been a topic of professional development.
Far more common is training on the English/language arts standards; training on the math standards runs a distant second.
Their sense of preparedness, ranked on a scale from 1 ("not at all prepared") to 5 ("very prepared"), was about the same in this year's report as it was the previous year: just under half gave themselves 4s or 5s on that preparedness scale.
Only one-quarter said in this year's report that their students were well prepared to master the standards, and 14 percent said their students were well prepared for the tests.
Teachers are unhappy with the lack of alignment between their instructional materials and the common core, a situation that's stubbornly unchanged from the year before. Nearly six in 10 said their main curricular materials were not aligned to the new standards.
Teachers are pretty cynical about publishers' claims that their materials are "common-core-aligned." Fewer than four in 10 said they'd trust curriculum providers' claims of alignment.
Only 18 percent classified themselves as "very familiar" with the math standards in the fall of 2012, but that number rose to 31 percent in the fall 2013 survey.
Mel Riddile's insight:
Why was there "far more training on the English/language arts standards; training on the math standards runs a distant second?"
Literacy is now a "shared responsibility" across all content areas. This means that all secondary teachers are expected to integrate purposeful reading, writing, and discussion of complex text into their lessons. In reality, few teachers have received the training or support to carry out this formidable task, which will take several years of focused practice to reach an acceptable level of proficiency.
Although elementary teachers are much better prepared to teach literacy skills, they must increase the amount of informational text and do more argumentative/persuasive writing, which are significant changes.
"From Seattle to Colorado to right here in Kentucky the collaborative spirit has been an important productive struggle for teachers and partners participating in the Common Assignment Study (CAS). In the CAS, Kentucky and Colorado teachers continue to lead the way with the implementation of new standards in both states. For the past year, teachers from Kentucky and Colorado have been collaborating to create units of study containing embedded Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) modules. Hundreds of students in each state have been impacted by these high quality units, and dozens of teachers have learned from one another about what makes an effective unit and what quality student work looks like."
Delaware will rue the day that we rejected Common Core standards for our students.
"Yet, three of every five of these students will find themselves placed into mathematics courses that repeat what they should have learned in high school, and one of every five of these students will find themselves in a remedial mathematics course that earns them no credit toward their degree. If the newly admitted UD student happens to be a Delaware resident, the odds of him or her needing remedial coursework in mathematics is even greater."
"Teaching Channel has partnered with Achieve.org on a three-part series featuring tools for Common Core lesson planning. The series highlights Achieve’s work with EQuIP (Educators Evaluating the Quality of Instructional Products), an initiative designed to identify high-quality materials aligned to the Common Core.
In these first three videos, we introduce you to a tool already used by over 15,000 teachers across the country to help them plan and evaluate lessons aligned to the Common Core: the EQuIP Rubric.
"we find that selectivity does not have an independent effect on graduation. Instead, we find relatively small positive effects on graduation from attending a college with higher tuition costs. We also find no evidence that students not attending highly selective colleges suffer reduced chances of graduation, all else being equal."
As the Education Department prepares to release new guidance on its peer-review process for standards and assessments, K-12 educators and testmakers worry about how their systems will be judged under the new criteria.