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.
As states drop the standards and their tests, comparing U.S. student achievement becomes more difficult.
Piecemeal Implementation Of Common Core Reducing Value.
The Washington Post (1/26, Brown) reports that the Common Core standards “were envisioned as a way to measure most of the nation’s students against a shared benchmark.” However, “education experts say political upheaval and the messy reality of on-the-ground implementation is threatening that original goal.” While a number of states have moved to leave the standards behind, there has been “broader resistance to the common standardized tests.”
"The Common Core State Standards have generated a lot of new buzzwords in English classrooms. All of a sudden it’s not enough for students to read, but now they must perform close reading. And it is not enough to answer simple questions, but students must become experts in answering text-dependent questions.Informational and opinion texts are in, and literary texts are out. Argument writing is taking the place of creative, narrative writing. Skills like analyzing and evaluating a text are taking precedent over the now passé act of making personal connections. To many English teachers, teaching to these shifts feels like cheating their students out of a love of literature and creative writing. In fact, the word “creative” does not seem to exist in the Common Core lexicon."
Naysayers are often unaware of what goes on in Common Core classrooms.
"A typical day in my College Preparatory English III classroom in Illinois looks like this: Students work in small groups annotating passages from a novel. They highlight text that they feel is important so they will be able to quickly find it to use in discussion or in response to questioning. They note in margins those ‘aha’ moments when an idea became clear, or they write questions that the passage has provoked. They also place check marks or stars next to passages that relate to earlier works they read which apply to this new text."
In an effort to preserve the Common Core State Standards in Georgia and appease critics, the state Board of Education approved changes today that reflect input gathered at a series of public hearings around the state over the last few months.
Minor changes were made to the language arts and math standards,
Georgia Board Of Education Approves Common Core Changes.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (1/15) reports that the Georgia Board of Education this week approved changes to the Common Core Standards intended to “preserve” them and to “appease critics,” noting that the changes “reflect input gathered at a series of public hearings around the state over the last few months.” The revisions were “minor,” and were mostly changes to the math standards.
“Do not confine your children to your own learning, for they were born in another time.” -Chinese Proverb. If this proverb is true, why is there so much resistance to change in education?
Parents in particular seem to have the most difficulty with the new standards. I recently did an informal Facebook survey asking them to share their frustrations. They delivered honest answers that helped me better understand their issues. Here is what they said:
“It is frustrating that I feel like I can’t help my child when she needs it.”
“They have no math books and I am always afraid of teaching her to do it the wrong way when she needs help. There are never any examples on the pages and I know this "new math" is all about the process and there is a lot of work to get to an answer… I guess my concern is that she will lose her love of math when what is a simple problem to her turns into 5 steps that seem unnecessary (to her) and just extra work.”
GREAT NECK, N.Y. — On Sept. 2, the day her principal shared each teacher’s annual evaluation, Sheri Lederman came home from work and announced to her husband that she was ready to quit. In the span of one year, Lederman’s score dropped 13 percentage points, suddenly demoting her from an effective teacher to an ineffective …
A December report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) – the independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress and investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars – reiterates what we at the Learning First Alliance have been saying for well over a year: We need to provide the time and support necessary for teachers, administrators, parents and communities to get Common Core right.
Critical thinking requires a special set of questions that have the ability to activate higher order thinking skills and therefore enable students to evaluate, synthesize, apply, analyze and interpret information. These questions are usually open in nature and tend to foster divergent thinking. Prince George’s County provides a very good explanation of each of these kinds of questions with examples of each category.
Linda Gojak is tired of hearing adults and children alike lament, “I’m just not good at math.” She wants to put an end to teaching through rote understanding and memorized rules.
Gojak — who has four decades of experience as a classroom teacher, mathematics professor, and national education leader promoting quality math instruction — believes the new Common Core State Standards will awaken a rich appreciation for the subject among the most math-averse students.
Starting in February, Ohio students will begin taking exams based on new state standards
Ohio Implementing PARCC Testing.
The Zanesville (OH) Times Recorder (1/28) reports that schools in Ohio will begin taking Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers tests next month, noting that the state DOE “unveiled new practice examples of the exams and explained how they will differ from the Ohio Achievement Assessments given over the past several years.” The article details some of the differences between the tests, noting that the PARCC is “based on the Common Core standards, which critics have attacked for being driven by big business and the federal government.”
"I don't know how anybody can disagree with this, unless you're running for something," Kasich said.
Kasich Defends Common Core In Interview.
Politico (1/25, Shutt) reports that during a Sunday appearance on Fox News Sunday (1/26), [part 2 (1/26)] Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) “offered few hints” about whether he’ll make a 2016 bid, but did lay out a variety of positions of national interest. Kasich “discussed his efforts to expand Medicaid, to help the working poor and his desire for a U.S. constitutional amendment to require a balanced federal budget.” Kasich also said that his state is a “microcosm” of the US and that he is “not backing down on his support of Common Core education standards or helping those who have fallen by the wayside.”
The Huffington Post (1/25, Levine) reported that Kasich “dismissed criticisms of” Common Core “from those like Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), who argue that the guidelines will lead the federal government to have more control of the education system.” Said Kasich, “The Common Core was written by state education superintendents and local principals. In my state of Ohio, we want higher standards for our children, and those standards are set and the curriculum is set by local school boards.” Kasich added, “I’ve asked the Republican governors who have complained about this to tell me where I’m wrong, and guess what, silence.”
The National Review (1/26) reports that Kasich “did not back down from potential 2016 bugaboos” during his appearance, but notes that “his support of Common Core and decision to expand Medicaid in Ohio, among other measures, could rankle conservative primary voters.” Kasich “said he believes conservative opposition to Common Core is largely political or based on falsities.”
Gene Wilhoit, the former Executive Director of the Council of Chief State School Officers who led the effort to create the Common Core, explains that until we have a more powerful curriculum design and more deep professional exchange about content, pedagogy, and student work going on in our schools the Common Core will not be implemented as it should be.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — State Education Commissioner Deborah A. Gist has told school superintendents they may establish policies requiring students to participate in a new statewide standardized test. The Providence Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1gE23RO ) that in a memo Friday to superintendents, Gist said school districts may have policies requiring participation in the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.
Rhode Island Schools Chief Clears Way For PARCC Testing.
The AP (1/21) reports that Rhode Island Commissioner Deborah Gist “has told school superintendents they may establish policies requiring students to participate in a new statewide standardized test,” noting that in a memo last week, Gist “may have policies requiring participation in the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.”
WE NEVER have been convinced that opposition to the Common Core teaching standards was anything more than the result of a campaign by professional agitators to drum up anger toward anything that can be even remotely tied to the president. Still, we sympathized with the decision by more responsible legislators to authorize a tweaking of the standards, in hopes of allowing our state to focus on real problems with our schools. Think of it as giving candy to a hysterical 3-year-old in order to calm a temper tantrum.
Mel Riddile's insight:
"Give us something better or get out of our way and let us do our job." - Terry Holiday, Kentucky Commissioner
Missouri is moving forward with testing for the national Common Core educational standards for schoolchildren.
Missouri Sets Minimum Scores For New Common Core Tests.
The AP (1/13) reports Missouri’s State Board of Education has approved minimum scores for new Common Core testing. The piece touches on typical Missouri student proficiency levels and the decision not to have tests count against schools in their first year of implementation.
A little history here…in the summer of 2013, PARCC published three rubric sets, each set containing an expanded and a condensed rubric: one set for grade 3; a second set for grades 4-5; the third set for grade-band 6-11. A single rubric was intended to be used for both analytic and narrative writing. Analytic writing included both argument and inform/explain as writing forms while narrative included both the story narrative and the descriptive narrative (writing standards 1-3).
The reason for publishing an expanded and a condensed version? From the beginning, PARCC clearly stated that the intention was to used the expanded rubric for scoring the field tested items with the intent to move entirely to the condensed rubric form. To justify that move, PARCC conducted studies to empirically evaluate the two rubrics."
The basic problem is that it’s impossible to draft standards that prepare students for college and career readiness and that look nothing like Common Core. That’s because Common Core, though not perfect, represents a good-faith effort to incorporate the current evidence of what students need to know and do to succeed in credit-bearing courses in college or to land a good-paying job—and the milestones younger students need to pass to reach those goals. That’s why states that are sincere about wanting to aim higher would be smart to start with Common Core as a base for additions or modifications—as Florida did when it added calculus standards several years ago.
The Common Core State Standards are not a curriculum. Rather, they are a series of benchmarks that guide students through their education. States that have implemented the Standards also used aligned curricula, but all in all, the Common Core is meant to serve as more of a guide than instructions. As such, the Standards themselves do not dictate how educators teach their students - teachers can still come up with creative lesson plans to teach Common Core goals. However, the educational changes have seemed to impact classrooms, and that may not be a bad thing.
The Common Core had a rough year. The learning standards were repealed in three states, including Oklahoma. But what happens the day after a state repeals its academic standards?
""We didn't oppose the Core," said Steve Glenn, a high school principal in southwest Oklahoma. "I mean, we were ready for the change, and then it didn't change. And now we're back. Stick with something; let's go with it. Tell us what we need to do, and we're ready to do it."
Common Core Writing standard 7.2.C focuses on the use of "transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts." The following videos show how transitions can enhance our writing and make our message clearer to our...