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.
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.
"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:"
Three states impacted by a widespread system crash with New Hampshire-based Measured Progress. Nevada, Montana and NorthDakota contract with the company to administer the tests that are linked to hotly disputed, federally backed education standards.
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.”
You’d think this would be old news by now, right? I can’t think of an education company out there that doesn’t purport to have CCSS-aligned products. And yet just last month, EdWeek reported that 17 out of 20 math series that claimed to be aligned to Common Core still fail to live up to their…
Students in 29 states are taking the Common Core tests for the first time this spring. A few years ago, one school in Washington, D.C., changed how it prepares for standardized tests, adopting home visits, pep rallies and new curricula to give students a boost. Special correspondent Kavitha Cardoza reports on how the educators and students are getting ready to handle the more challenging tests.
Mel Riddile's insight:
Why would a school need a pep rally to motivate students to take high-stakes tests?
The answer is simple, but the powers-that-be, who have never worked in schools, will never grasp.
In many states these tests are meaningless to students, but they mean everything to schools and teachers. What kind of an accountability system is that?
Kids "Christmas Tree" tests and teachers and principals are fired. Schools are labeled "failing." The students who can change schools leaving only the poorest and disenfranchised behind. Eventually "failing schools" are closed.
Relying solely on the good will of their students, schools are forced to waste valuable instructional time in a desperate attempt to encourage students to take the tests seriously. This may work for a while, but when students go years without meaningful feedback from these tests, they begin to understand that the tests are a waste of time. By the time they reach high school, the scam has run its course and students are particularly difficult to motivate. Experience has taught me, that once students have a stake in the outcome, the game changes. Instead of us wondering how to motivate students, we began planning on how we would get food to students who spent hours on an Algebra tests.
Washington, D.C. – Results from the first state to adopt the Common Core State Standards—Kentucky—show that students with more exposure to the standards “made faster progress in learning” than peers who followed the older state standards, according to a study conducted by the Ame
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:"
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
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.
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.
Two Arizona teachers share their thoughts on testing with new aligned assessments.
Because [the new tests] are asking for a much higher level of thinking and application of skills, the only kind of instruction that can truly prep our students is really high-quality application and high-level teaching throughout the year, not a test prep two weeks before.
Earlier this month, higher education leaders in Colorado took a significant step to close the persistent gap between the number of students who enroll in college and the number who graduate.
Officials at the Colorado Department of Higher Education and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) on March 8 announced that Adams State University and Aims Community College will begin using PARCC, the state's K-12 assessment of college and career readiness, to determine whether entering college freshman are prepared to take college level courses.
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