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Two Versions of 'Common' Assessments Eyed by SBAC

Two Versions of 'Common' Assessments Eyed by SBAC | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Amid concerns about the time and expense of testing, a 25-state coalition plans to offer the choice of both a shorter and longer assessment pegged to the common-core standards.


Instead of designing one test for all of them, (SBAC) will offer a choice of a longer and a shorter version.


The evolving two-pronged approach would give states the option of using a version of the Smarter Balanced test whose multiple sessions and classroom activities span

  • nearly 6½ hours in grades 3-5
  • close to seven hours in grades 6-8
  • eight hours in high school


or the group’s original version, which lasts about four hours longer in grades 3-8 and about five hours longer in high school.

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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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"educators have a tremendous opportunity to adopt newer, higher-quality teaching materials"

"educators have a tremendous opportunity to adopt newer, higher-quality teaching materials" | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

By Rachel Leifer & Denis Udall | Aug. 27, 2014


"...the past few years have been frustrating for educators who want good curricula, but instead are faced with a complex and often underwhelming set of options."

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Using well-designed digital games as 'Preferred Activity Time'

Using well-designed digital games as 'Preferred Activity Time' | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

Research is verifying what many teachers know: Well-designed digital games in the classroom increase student engagement, learning and retention. They improve students’ on-task time and even their social and emotional well-being. The benefits are especially significant when high-quality games are integrated into a curriculum over multiple lessons. So how can we put this knowledge to use as our new school year begins?

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What New York can teach us about implementation of the Common Core

What New York can teach us about implementation of the Common Core | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

New York has become the poster child for poor implementation of the Common Core State Standards. A Race-to-the-Top state, New York officials bragged several years ago about how they were ready for the new standards.


The state could not wait for PARCC to develop an assessment system. So, New York developed it's own "Common Core-Aligned" set of state tests and tied the results to teacher evaluations and to graduation requirements. Common sense dictates that new, higher standards, new, more rigorous assessments coupled with a short window for implementation would result in lower scores on the tests. But as Will Rogers once said, "Common sense ain't so common."


The train wreck occurred when officials, knowing that scores would drop, tied those scores (fifty percent) to teacher evaluations and graduation requirements. This initially outraged teachers who saw the handwriting on the wall. After all, if you have been in education for more than a few years, you are all too familiar with botched implementations. Next came parent outrage because their students were failing the required state tests in huge numbers and they would not graduate.


If one wished to devise a plan to sabotage the Common Core State Standards, this plan was virtually foolproof.


As early as three years ago, New York principals, with tears in their eyes pleaded that tying the expected falling test scores to teacher evaluations was eroding the trust they had worked so hard to build and was destroying the culture of their schools. Their pleas went unnoticed--Ready, Fire, Aim.


Implementation of the Common Core State Standards is a necessary, but 'monumental undertaking.' Changing the way teachers teach and how students are assessed, moving the target from high school completion to college and career-readiness, integrating literacy into all content areas, changing teacher evaluation systems, changing state accountability systems are individually multi-year undertakings. Together these and other local and state initiatives--all occurring simultaneously--represent the "perfect storm" for public education--a storm with no end in sight.

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Education's 4 Biggest Challenges: Poll

Education's 4 Biggest Challenges: Poll | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
A pair of wide-ranging polls by PDK/Gallup and Education Next gauge sentiment on the common standards, testing, school funding, and other hot-button issues.
Mel Riddile's insight:

It's the money, stupid!


Lack of financial support is the only problem mentioned receiving double digit responses.

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PARCC to shorten ELA test

PARCC to shorten ELA test | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
The PARCC consortium drops some items from its literacy test, saying that it could still test the standards sufficiently with fewer items.
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"Teach comprehension strategies as a scaffold for dealing with challenging text." - Tim Shanahan

"Teach comprehension strategies as a scaffold for dealing with challenging text." - Tim Shanahan | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

"I would encourage you to continue to teach comprehension strategies as a scaffold for dealing with challenging text. The point would be to make it possible for kids to make sense of truly challenging texts; the use of strategies could be enough to allow some kids to scaffold their own reading successfully--meaning they might be able to read frustration level texts as if they were written at their instructional level."

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Lynnette Van Dyke's curator insight, August 26, 1:59 PM

Strategy instruction always worked for my students!

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Common Core Implementation: Two factors eroding support

Common Core Implementation: Two factors eroding support | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Conflating testing and evaluation with education standards threatens Common Core.


  1. assessing students’ knowledge of CCSS material before full implementation
  2. evaluating educators based on CCSS test scores


These two factors "have caused movement away from the very standards that could benefit students across the country."

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After initial adjustment, Common Core "made it more fun to learn."

After initial adjustment, Common Core "made it more fun to learn." | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

"Classroom discussions lasted days, homework questions were challenging and reading analyses were time consuming.

However, Nick Carlson, a 17-year-old Hamilton High School senior, said he is thankful for the Common Core State Standards, even though they initially left a bad taste in his mouth.

“It was just hard to understand and hard to grasp at first, but then as you kept learning, it was easier to understand and made it more fun to learn.”


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Nancy J. Herr's curator insight, August 26, 10:19 PM

Another take on Common Core. 

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What's going wrong with implementation of the math standards? Time, Knowledge, Preparation, Resources

What's going wrong with implementation of the math standards? Time, Knowledge, Preparation, Resources | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
A researcher and education professor at Michigan State University laid out his take on four major problems with how the common-core math standards are being implemented.
Mel Riddile's insight:

"1) Instructional time is not well-allocated. Teachers are spending too much time on some topics and not enough on others. For example, his research shows that 3rd and 4th grade teachers are allocating about half the time on fractions that experts say the common standards necessitate. "


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Student on Common Core: It's a "life changer"

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Accountability for Textbook Publishers?

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.[1] It is never evaluated for quality in any serious way, but when it is rigorously evaluated, its impact on student achievement is significant.
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U.S. DoE wants fewer out-of-school suspensions

U.S. DoE wants fewer out-of-school suspensions | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

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.”

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School Counselors - "the adoption of new standards directly impacts their daily work"

School Counselors - "the adoption of new standards directly impacts their daily work" | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

Q: The Common Core emphasizes college- and career-readiness for all students, which is a shift for some schools that have typically focused on college-readiness for high achievers. How (if at all) will that shift affect a school counselor’s work?


A: "This shift should not have a major impact on a school counselor’s work. The school counselor’s role has long been to address the academic, career and social/emotional needs of all students so that they are prepared for higher education and for a successful transition to the world of work. School counselors will continue to advocate for student support, equity and access to a rigorous education for all students."

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Videos for Common Core Implementation (CA DoE)

Videos and related resources to provide information and support for implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).


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    Bill McCallum before Ohio House in support of math standards

    "William McCallum, a distinguished professor of mathematics at the University of Arizona who was involved in development Common Core standards in math, testifies in support of the Common Core during a hearing before the Ohio House’s Rules and Reference Committee, which is considering a repeal of the standards."

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    Higher standards, more challenging tests mean lower test scores

    Higher standards, more challenging tests mean lower test scores | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

    Another state, Mississippi, has experienced an expected dip in test scores as schools transition to new college- and career-ready standards.

    Mel Riddile's insight:

    Test scores will predictably drop in every state except MA, which already had rigorous standards--and a select few other states.

    1. The target--college and career ready instead of high school graduation--is much more challenging. The measure has changed, and, therefore, the scores are not comparable.
    2. New standards mean a change in instruction, which will take years to achieve. No one really knows how long it will take to build teacher capacity and revamp new teacher preparation programs.
    3. The assessments are new, which will normally cause a temporary dip in test scores until students and teachers acclimate themselves to the online, constructed response format.
    4. The real improvement process will not begin until teachers get meaningful feedback from the assessments, which is a year or more away.
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    40% of those who oppose #CommonCore believe the Federal government initiated the standards.

    40% of those who oppose #CommonCore believe the Federal government initiated the standards. | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

    Poll Shows Opposition To Common Core And Misperceptions.

    A pair of wide-ranging polls by PDK/Gallup and Education Next gauge sentiment on the common standards, testing, school funding, and other hot-button issues.

    Education Week (8/27, Camera) reports that a PDK/Gallup and Education Next poll shows that Common Core “has a serious image problem” with the American public. The poll reflects that while awareness of the standards have “jumped” in a year, “adults have misperceptions that the standards are a Federal Initiative.” The poll shows that 40 percent of respondents who were opposed to the standards said their reasoning was that it was based on their belief that the Federal government initiated the standards.

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    For the first time we are "all speaking the same educational language"

    For the first time we are "all speaking the same educational language" | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

    "The Common Core State Standards are good standards."


    "The same ideas we had in Wisconsin about excellence in math and English language arts were being discussed on a national scale, which would ultimately produce a better product, the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)."

    Mel Riddile's insight:

    One of the keys to effecting real, lasting change is the development of a common language. "CCSS offer an incredible opportunity. At national conferences, we are all speaking the same educational language."

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    An explanation of Common Core | Video

    An explanation of Common Core | Video | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

    A brief explanation of the Common Core Standards accompanied by several examples.

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    Kentucky Solicits Suggestions to Change Common-Core Standards

    Kentucky Solicits Suggestions to Change Common-Core Standards | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
    The state is inviting the public to vote "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" on each standard, and to provide specific, detailed feedback.
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    Ann Francis's curator insight, August 25, 9:39 PM

    #ccss, #commoncore

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    Apps and Tools for the Common Core Literacy

    Apps and Tools for the Common Core Literacy | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
    Final Post in Series Looking at Apps and Tools for the Common Core Literacy Curriculum Reading Strand Dr. Leslie Suter and Dr. Melissa Comer are faculty
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    Common Core: Blame the process, not the standards

    Common Core: Blame the process, not the standards | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
    While the Common Core is a good set of goals, they’re only goals. To work, they must be translated into curricula, textbooks, tests, professional training and phase-in schedules. These have done well in some states, badly in others.
    Mel Riddile's insight:

    "Supporters of the Common Core will have to help the public separate the idea of national goals from the process of getting those goals to the classroom."

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    Higher Standards Lead Tennessee students to make big gains in ACT scores

    Higher Standards Lead Tennessee students to make big gains in ACT scores | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
    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."

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    How Higher ed is embracing goals of Common Core

    How Higher ed is embracing goals of Common Core | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

    "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."

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    Cindy Riley Klages's curator insight, August 21, 5:59 PM

    Proud of the universities in AL who are stepping up to the plate and the collaboration with higher ed.

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    Core Math Truths - NCTM President

    Core Math Truths - NCTM President | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

    By NCTM President, Diane J. Briars


    "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."

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