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With Common Core State Standards, Why Service Learning Matters Even More

With Common Core State Standards, Why Service Learning Matters Even More | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

Students benefit from real-world applications of their academic learning while they are still in school, with a research-based approach called service learning.

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Allison Hylton's curator insight, December 4, 2013 4:45 PM

Anyone skeptical about incorporating service learning into the classroom because of the “constraints” of the CCSS would should read this article. In this web article, authors Cathryn Berger Kaye and Maureen Connolly write about the intersection of the Common Core State Standards and service learning.  The article uses the CCSS outline of the seven “Capacities for the Literate Individual” to explain how service learning and engagement helps students to reach these seven targeted skills and behaviors.  To do this they break down service learning into five stages and work to explain what elements of growth and learning take place within these stages.  The article concludes with a brief explanation of why service learning matters, which in their opinion is to bring the CCSS “to life.”

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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Colleges begin to take notice of Common Core

Colleges begin to take notice of Common Core | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

The ACT is mandated for all high school juniors in Colorado and can help determine college placement. But the benefit of having PARCC is students take the exam over multiple years and can begin remediation before they need it in college, said Rhonda Epper, chief student academic affairs officer for the Colorado Department of Higher Education.

“PARCC provides another avenue for students to demonstrate college readiness, and it can give feedback to students about where they are with respect to skills they need early in their high school career,” Epper said. “National awareness is growing that for students who begin in remedial courses the barriers to success are extremely high.”

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Willingham - Does the Common Core help boost reading comprehension?

Willingham - Does the Common Core help boost reading comprehension? | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham answers the question.


"These two facts—background knowledge is crucial to reading comprehension, and most elementary curricula are insufficiently focused on building background knowledge—are behind the emphasis on knowledge-building in the Common Core standards."

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Why one of America’s best schools eased off Advanced Placement courses

Why one of America’s best schools eased off Advanced Placement courses | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

School Cuts AP Testing Requirements, Passes As Many Students As Before.

The Washington Post (4/27, Mathews) reports that Oregon’s Corbett Charter School, which the Post previously deemed one of the most challenging high schools in the US, has decided to take “the unusual step” of reducing AP offerings, “illuminating a controversy about how much challenge students in top schools need.” Corbett fell from one of the top 10 toughest schools to 41st this year because the school’s leader “softened” his approach to AP tests, which drive up the score for the rankings. Superintendent Bob Dunton said that the change came as seniors were “overwhelmed” by AP courses, often “against their wills,” which he said was “unlikely to produce positive results.” The school allowed students to opt out and take non-AP courses this year, but the school had as many passing exams as before and a record rate of passage.

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Speaker Presentations | Math Solutions

Below are links to slides from speaker presentations at recent conferences. You are free to download the slides for your reference. 2015 NCTM Annual
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The 3 Keys to the PARCC ELA Assessment

The 3 Keys to the PARCC ELA Assessment | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
If you’re currently teaching the Common Core ELA Standards, you’re already teaching students to think critically and to look at building their reading and writing skills in new ways.
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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, April 24, 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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Defining 'college readiness' down

Defining 'college readiness' down | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Naesea Price teaches a lesson on sentence and paragraph structure in a remedial English course at Baltimore City Community College. "College readiness" has been redefined as ready to take middle-sc...
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Art of Persuasion and Craft of Argument

Art of Persuasion and Craft of Argument | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Watch how teachers can review rhetorical devices with students in preparation for a writing assignment. Video delves into the art of persuasion and crafting an argument.
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More than a 12 states report trouble with computerized Common Core tests: not ready for prime time

More than a 12 states report trouble with computerized Common Core tests: not ready for prime time | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
More Than 12 States Report Problems With Computerized Tests.

The “Answer Sheet” blog of the Washington Post (4/25, Strauss) reports that according to the National Center for Fair and Open Testing (“FairTest”), several states have reported issues in administering their computer-based Common Core standardized tests. Citing a list of headlines from across the US, FairTest says the ongoing problems “reinforces the conclusion that the technologies rushed into the marketplace by political mandates and the companies paid to implement them are not ready for prime time.”

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No bubbles in sight. With Common Core testing, you get what you pay for

No bubbles in sight. With Common Core testing, you get what you pay for | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

“Whether it’s the English test or math test, there’s a great emphasis on constructing responses to questions,” says Jeff Nellhaus, chief of assessment for PARCC.

That stands for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. It’s one of two multi-state consortia that shared $360 million in federal grants to create tests aligned with the common core standards. The standards focus on critical thinking, problem solving and analytic skills. Nellhaus says the old measures won’t do.

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Teach Common Core Math To ELLs

Teach Common Core Math To ELLs | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Educators Bill Zahner, Ben Spielberg, Gladis Kersaint, Denisse R. Thompson, Maria Montelvo-Balbed, and Denise Huddlestun share their suggestions for how teachers can best handle the challenge of teaching Common Core Math to English Language Learners.
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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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