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“The Writing Revolution”: An old idea done better

“The Writing Revolution”: An old idea done better | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

A school wide focus

“an intense focus, across nearly every academic subject, on teaching the skills that underlie good analytical writing.”


Direct and Explicit Instruction

“The thing is, kids need a formula, at least at first, because what we are asking them to do is very difficult. So God, let’s stop acting like they should just know how to do it. Give them a formula! Later, when they understand the rules of good writing, they can figure out how to break them.”


Standards define expectations. Teachers help students meet expectations.

"traditional instruction delivered by the teachers already in classrooms may turn out to be the most powerful lever we have for improving school performance after all."


The best place to teach literacy skills is in content areas. - Dan Willingham

the emphasis on writing at New Dorp helped in knowledge and vocabulary acquisition by forcing "distributed practice" of subject matter and vocabulary, causing them to be learned more effectively by having to be written out.


Writing improves reading and vice versa. - Steve Graham

the promise of the method lies in its efficiency: killing two birds with one stone, both writing and general knowledge. The efficiency is significant only if it's an effective pedagogical device in support of cumulative knowledge building.


The key is that students can apply what they have learned.

As schools embark on the implementation of the Common Core standards, let us hope that educators keep in mind that they are just standards and that the heavy lifting, as Hirsch suggests, will be that of “defining specifically the knowledge to be learned.”

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College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders
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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Conservatives convinced College Board to rewrite AP American history

Conservatives convinced College Board to rewrite AP American history | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Under fire from conservatives, changes are made to AP U.S. History framework.
Facing Conservative Pressure, College Board Revises AP History Test.

The Washington Post (7/31, Layton) reports that on Thursday the college board released “a new version” of its AP history course, noting that it has been “under fire during the past year from conservatives for revisions it made” to the course in 2014. The piece notes that conservatives “slammed the 2014 Advanced Placement history course saying it overemphasized negative aspects of US history.” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (7/31) also covers this story.

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State saves money, cuts testing time, and improves quality of tests by "leveraging efficiencies"

State saves money, cuts testing time, and improves quality of tests by "leveraging efficiencies" | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

Education officials say PARCC saved $2.5M compared to previous state tests


State education officials say new standardized tests last year saved the state more than $2.5 million, compared to previous state assessments.

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Ultimate Math - Where Math is at your Fingertips!

Ultimate Math - Where Math is at your Fingertips! | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Ultimate Maths helps you to discover mathematics. Learn and revise number, algebra, shape and data topics and access our large data bank of learning resources.
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High Schools Fall Short Preparing Students For College, Survey Finds

High Schools Fall Short Preparing Students For College, Survey Finds | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
A new survey conducted for Achieve shows that most college instructors and employers believe students come to campus and the workplace with at least some gaps in preparation.
Mel Riddile's insight:

More than three-quarters all all college instructors polled said they were dissatisfied with their students' abilities in critical thinking, comprehension of complicated materials, work and study habits, writing, written communication, and problem solving. This reflects a level of dissatisfaction that is 10 percentage points higher than when instructors were pollled by Achieve in 2004.

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A New Definition of Rigor?

A New Definition of Rigor? | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Rigor doesn't simply mean giving students more or harder work. Instead, it's the result of work that challenges students' thinking in new and interesting ways.
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Writing: 5 Reading Response Activities to Invite Higher-Level Thinking

Writing: 5 Reading Response Activities to Invite Higher-Level Thinking | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Marilyn Pryle shares five reading response activities to help students interact with texts in creative ways that require even higher levels of understanding.


How To Write an RR

  1. Label the type of RR you are writing.
  2. Write at least four sentences.
  3. Have an original idea; don’t just summarize.
  4. Quote and cite something in the text to support your idea.
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As predicted, scores dive as tests get harder

As predicted, scores dive as tests get harder | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

PSSA scores dive as tests get harder


As many educators predicted, scores on the state's standardized tests plummeted this year, the first time the exams were aligned with the rigorous Pennsylvania Core Standards.


Pennsylvania Test Scores Drop In First Year Implementing New Standards.

The Allentown (PA) Morning Call (7/15, Palochko) reported Pennsylvania test scores “plummeted this year, the first time the exams were aligned with the rigorous Pennsylvania Core Standards.” Many educators predicted the lower scores, especially in math, which fell by 34%.

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Ohio's Common Core math and English tests will be cut to 3 hours each

Ohio's Common Core math and English tests will be cut to 3 hours each | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Ohio's new math and English tests will take a combined six hours next year, down from the 10 or more spent on the Common Core exams from PARCC this past school year.


Ohio To Limit Common Core Tests To Three Hours Per Subject.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer (7/13) reports that Ohio Department of Education testing director Jim Wright told the state Board of Education this week that his department is working with the American Institutes for Research on limiting next year’s Common Core tests to three hours per subject per year. The article contrasts this with the “10 to 11 hours students spent on the PARCC Common Core tests this just-finished school year.”

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Ben Bempong's curator insight, July 30, 3:28 PM

Cutting time may be an asset to students doing better on tests.  A lot of students concentration of attention are not able to complete a 10 hour test.  Cutting down the test and making the test more detailed and attentive may be the way to go to impact student learning.

Rog Rothe's curator insight, July 31, 2:08 AM

This is a move in the right direction.   The testing that took place in Michigan this year was ridiculous.  I scooped this because there is a major need to change the amount of testing that we do to our students.

Christina Dillard's curator insight, August 1, 9:39 AM

This is a move in the right direction.   The testing that took place in Michigan this year was ridiculous.  I scooped this because there is a major need to change the amount of testing that we do to our students.

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Critical Questions About Computerized Assessments and #SmarterBalanced #SBAC Scores

Critical Questions About Computerized Assessments and #SmarterBalanced #SBAC Scores | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

"It is important to consider that unless assessments are independently verified to adhere to basic standards of test development regarding validity, reliability, security, accessibility, and fairness in administrationthe resulting scores will be meaningless and should not be used to make claims nor conclusions of student learning, progress, aptitude, nor readiness for college or career.

Please consider the following questions and evidence as you determine public communication and next steps regarding test score data provided by the SmarterBalanced Assessment Consortium.

Questions

Q1: How is standardization to be assumed when students are taking tests on different technological tools with vastly varying screen interfaces? Depending on the technology used, (desktops, laptops, chromebooks, and/or ipads), students would need different skills in typing, touch screen navigation, and familiarity with the tool."

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"Idaho students exceeded projected (SBAC) proficiency levels in all grades"

"Idaho students exceeded projected (SBAC) proficiency levels in all grades" | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

Idaho Releases First Results From Common Core Testing.

The Idaho Statesman (7/1) reports that for years after adopting the Common Core standards, the Idaho Department of Education is releasing the first set of test results from aligned exams. The piece notes that “only half of students or less in grades three through eight and 10th grade are proficient in math and English.” Noting that the state is part of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, the article reports that the exams have been “criticized by opponents of Common Core.”

        The AP (7/2, Kruesi) reports that overall proficiency levels in the state were higher than “national benchmarks,” adding that “Idaho students exceeded projected proficiency levels in all grades for English language arts, with high school grades scoring much higher in the top two advance levels.”

Mel Riddile's insight:

A comprehensive statewide literacy initiative, principal training, and ten years of experience with online testing contributed to the state's better than expected results.

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The Art of Reporting Common-Core Test Results

The Art of Reporting Common-Core Test Results | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
New York and Kentucky, which gave common-core tests before other states did—and navigated the public reaction—share their experiences as dozens of other states get ready to do the same.


Even without the alignment issue, there's the trendline issue: most states gave new tests this year, so that makes year-to-year comparisons impossible. Unavoidably, people will want to make year-to-year comparisons. They'll yearn to make year-to-year comparisons. And while those comparisons might tell you something about the relative rigor of each test, they won't tell you much about students' progress over time.

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Is high school too easy?

Is high school too easy? | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

"Neither university faculty nor employers believe that American public high schools are preparing students for the expectations they'll face in college and career.

  • In fact, compared to 2004, the assessment is even more dismal. More than a decade ago, for example, only 28 percent of college instructors stated that schools were doing an adequate job of readying students for what came next after high school. That count is down to 14 percent in 2015.
  • Among employers, 49 percent in 2004 said that schools were adequately preparing students for what they would need for work; in 2015, the count was 29 percent.
  • Part of the challenge, say students themselves, is that their high schools don't set academic expectations high enough. Fifty-four percent said that they were only "somewhat challenged"; 20 percent said it was "easy to slide by.""
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Task Force Votes To Keep Common Core

Task Force Votes To Keep Common Core | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
The Governor's Council on Common Core Review, chaired by Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin, arrives at a bold conclusion: The Department of Education needs to review Common Core.
Mel Riddile's insight:

Arkansas Common Core Task Force Votes To Keep Standards.

The Arkansas Times (7/30) reports that the Arkansas Governor’s Council on Common Core Review voted this week to recommend that the state retain the standards while the Arkansas Department of Education conducts “a comprehensive review of the standards with the goal of revising, improving and replacing” them “as warranted.” The article points out that the panel took 40 hours of hearings around the state to essentially punt the decision back to the state DOE, suggesting that the lack of action can be attributed to the standards being “a political hot potato.”

        The AP (7/30, DeMillo) reports that the panel approved “recommendations that called for the state’s ‘complete and unfettered control’ over the standards, but didn’t call for an outright end to the use of Common Core.” The piece reports that Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin, who chaired the panel, “said he didn’t think it makes sense for the state to drop Common Core before it reviews how to replace the standards.” KTHV-TV Little Rock, AR (7/30) also covers this story.


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Survey: Professors and Employers Find High School Grads Unready for College or Work

Survey: Professors and Employers Find High School Grads Unready for College or Work | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
A new study found that in two-year colleges, only 4 percent of instructors found students "most generally able to do what is expected." The number was slightly higher in four-year schools: 12 percent. The rest reported that students had arrived to higher ed with at least some gaps in preparation.
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Elizabeth Bowden's curator insight, August 3, 5:21 PM

In April and May the organization queried 767 college instructors, fairly evenly split between those who teach first-year students either in two-year schools or four-year schools, as well as 407 employers involved in hiring and other personnel decisions, divided closely between those who work at firms employing 26 to 100 employees and those employing more. These surveys follow one done last fall that talked to 1,347 recent graduates from the classes of 2011 through 2014 about their sense of preparedness for life after high school. The survey work was performed by Hart Research Associates.

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U.S. will never have high quality instructional systems because it is simply not prepared to pay

U.S. will never have high quality instructional systems because it is simply not prepared to pay | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
What's preventing U.S. states from investing in high quality instructional systems like the world's top performers? It could come down to dollars and cents.
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The Common Core, explained

The Common Core standards are a major change to how American education policy works, part of an era of ambitious reform ushered in by the Obama administration. They're also a big political story —...
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Despite Politics, Common Core is Here to Stay

Despite Politics, Common Core is Here to Stay | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Joseph Rogan, Ed.D. of Misericordia University writes that a political intersection between Common Core and the 2016 presidential election may not be clear.
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clarifying the mathematical underpinnings of secondary school

clarifying the mathematical underpinnings of secondary school | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
In 2008–2009 Dick Stanley and Phil Daro, with the help of Vinci Daro and Carmen Petrick, convened a group of mathematicians and educators to write essays clarifying the mathematical underpinnings o...
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Pro-Common Core group outlines suggestions for use of standards

Pro-Common Core group outlines suggestions for use of standards | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
A pro-Common Core coalition of business groups has a series of recommendations for the state as it soldiers on with the standards, including the use of an independent review to gauge their effectiv...
Mel Riddile's insight:

“The educators and parents in this report are sending a clear message – higher standards are working in their classrooms and for their children,” said Steve Sigmund, High Achievement’s executive director. “Despite cynical voices whose solution is to ‘opt out,’ we know the standards and assessments are needed, and there are real improvements that will help make them more effective for millions of kids. We must continue moving forward to ensure that New York’s students are ready for college and 21st century careers.”

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Idaho SBAC Test Scores Beat Projections

Idaho SBAC Test Scores Beat Projections | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
The state released proficiency rates on the English/language arts and math exams for grades 3-8 and 11, as well as what the state had projected would be the results.
Mel Riddile's insight:

A comprehensive statewide literacy initiative, principal training, and ten years of experience with online testing contributed to the state's better than expected results.

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5 States May Not Meet Federal Mandates: Common Core's Blue Screen of Death

5 States May Not Meet Federal Mandates: Common Core's Blue Screen of Death | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
The New Hampshire-based company Measured Progress, which developed online Common Core tests used in Montana, Nevada, and North Dakota, has acknowledged a major problem with the test’s rollout.Technical malfunctions, such as servers crashing during testing, resulted in only 37 percent of Nevada students being able to take their exams. Montana and North Dakota only managed to test 76 percent and 84 percent of students online, respectively.Though Measured Progress admits the online test completion
Mel Riddile's insight:
Company Admits Problems With Online Common Core Test Rollout.

The New Hampshire Union Leader (7/1) website carries a piece from the Spectator saying that Measured Progress, “which developed online Common Core tests used in Montana, Nevada, and North Dakota, has acknowledged a major problem with the test’s rollout.” The New Hampshire-based company admitted “the online test completion rate in all three states failed to meet the federal mandate of at least 95 percent of 3rd through 8th graders,” but denied breach of contract.

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PARCC: "the best current opportunity to create a high-quality assessment.”

PARCC: "the best current opportunity to create a high-quality assessment.” | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Gov. Bruce Rauner's new superintendent of education on Tuesday stepped outside the GOP box on Illinois' new standardized test.


Illinois Education Chief: PARCC Currently Best Option.

The Bloomington (IL) Pantagraph (6/25) reports that Illinois education chief Tony Smith “stepped outside the GOP box” saying that the state’s PARCC test, which has sparked controversy in the state, could stand some improvement but is the best option currently on the table. The piece quotes Smith saying, “This is the best current opportunity to create a high-quality assessment.” Smith “made it clear during a stop in Bloomington to address educators that he wants to improve PARCC rather than kill it and bring back the elementary Illinois Standard Achievement Test and high school Prairie State Achievement Exam, as opponents have requested.”

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Grading the Common Core Assessments: No Teaching Experience Required

Grading the Common Core Assessments: No Teaching Experience Required | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Testing groups point to strict training and criteria for Common Core grading, but the use of temps for increasingly complex tests is being questioned.


Pearson, which operates 21 scoring centers around the country, hired 14,500 temporary scorers throughout the scoring season, which began in April and will continue through July. About three-quarters of the scorers work from home. Pearson recruited them through its own website, personal referrals, job fairs, Internet job search engines, local newspaper classified ads and even Craigslist and Facebook. About half of those who go through training do not ultimately get the job.

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