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40 percent Ohio school grads not college-ready | The Tribune

Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

"But nationally, an estimated $3 billion is spent a year by students and states on remedial education “with little success to show for it,” according to the nonprofit Complete College America organization."


Three billion dollars spent on remediation. Read it, and weep.

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It's Not About the Standards
Common Core. College & Career/Work Place Readiness.
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4 Lessons Learned From Common Core Implementation

4 Lessons Learned From Common Core Implementation | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it
Some effective ways for CCSS implementation include ongoing and embedded PD, clear connection to instruction, focusing on assessment rather than testing, and leveraging teacher leaders.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Well said, Mr. Miller. So much of the drama we've seen about Common Core has been because the implementation has been poor: bad or ineffective communication, unclear expectations and objectives, lack of a clear vision, and no plan or an insufficient one. Schools and districts that tried to flip the switch on Common Core without sufficient planning, preparation, and professional development for teachers, parents, and administrators were doomed to do badly if not flat out fail. But that's true for any new initiative.

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Principal: How I know something is wrong with Common Core standards and tests - Washington Post (blog)

Principal: How I know something is wrong with Common Core standards and tests - Washington Post (blog) | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it
Eleventh in a series of letters between two principals, one who likes the Common Core and the other who doesn't.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

This is an interesting conversation but the opting out of education because of a test-based system is ludicrous. We've been test-based for over a decade. Hello!!!! Even so, I appreciate the quality and tone of the conversation. I hope it represents the on-going conversations that there is no single solution to what ails education, that we cannot legislate reform, that what makes an excellent--even good--teacher cannot be determined by students' test scores, that what makes a quality education for what student may not be the same for any other student.

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Teacher: Why I don’t want to assign Shakespeare anymore (even though he’s in the Common Core)

Teacher: Why I don’t want to assign Shakespeare anymore (even though he’s in the Common Core) | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it
' I admit that this proposal, that we leave Shakespeare out of the English curriculum entirely, will offend many.'
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

First, Shakespeare is not REQUIRED in the Common Core. Yes, Shakespeare is recommended and, in my opinion, with good reason. But note there is specific work of Shakespeare's required so if you want to stop teaching Hamlet or Romeo and Juliet and choose a work you think will resonate better with your students, do it. (BTW, though not Mr. diCaprio's best work, Romeo + Juliet is an excellent film version of the play to show that offers an updated and more diverse view of what is essentially a feud, perhaps even the beginnings of a gang war.) Second, what even armchair Shakespeare scholars know is that he was an astute observer of human behavior which hasn't lost much in translation AND he is responsible for some of the marvelous additions to the English language (http://www.shakespeare-online.com/biography/wordsinvented.html).

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Years into Common Core, teachers lament lack of materials

Years into Common Core, teachers lament lack of materials | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it

The learning standards were new. The textbooks were not.

Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Americans are so spoiled, and sometimes we're not very good at sussing out solutions to problems. First, Common Core is not a curriculum. Second, while the Standards may make recommendations about what to teach, there is rarely anything explicitly stated. In fact, teachers have great latitude in choosing how to ensure students are able to know and do what's in the Standards. Third, between the Internet (printable and digital content), video, and a whole range of digital content providers, teachers don't need no stinkin' textbooks, which is one of the reasons publishers are working harder to get digital. Finally, there is really no need to align curriculum to the standards. Just as Hallmark got us believing in certain holidays, publishers have taught us to think curriculum content must align to standards. It doesn't. You can be free (depending on your district and/or school administration) to choose your curriculum content and determine which standards are achievable and to what degree for that particular content and that particular lesson. You can be free to teach.

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Common Core: Goodbye, Homer; Hello, UN Declaration of Rights - The New American

The Common Core English standards have replaced classic literature with government reports and UN declarations. By Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Nope. Not right, and I can't believe after all these months this tripe is still part of the conversation. Is there less fiction required? No. Is there more emphasis on non-fiction? Yes. Is that a reminder that science, social studies and other social studies, math, CTE, and other content areas focus on non-fiction? Should be. Does the non-fiction focus mean that English teachers should stop teaching fiction or teach less fiction? NO!!! The Standards call for up to 50% of a student's reading to be non-fiction THROUGHOUT THE SCHOOL DAY. Not 50% in a single class.

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What One Administrator Learned from Two Days of Sitting in The Student Seat

What One Administrator Learned from Two Days of Sitting in The Student Seat | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it
Editor's Note: With the vast array of schools and districts out there, it's impossible for educators to travel from place to place, gathering edtech best practices and tidbits along the way.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

It's obvious that every administrator's experience would be different and potentially dependent on the grade level. The school whose teachers work collaboratively--in the truest sense of collaboration--will be much different from the school in which teachers work in the classroom or grade level silos. Regardless, seeing the school from a student's POV is bound to be informative. Administrators just need to be prepared for what they learn.

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Popular 'Maker Movement' Incompatible With Common Core, Authors Contend

Popular 'Maker Movement' Incompatible With Common Core, Authors Contend | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it
Maker education is a hot topic at ISTE, where educators and authors Sylvia Martinez and Gary Stager discussed their new book "Invent to Learn."
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Bother. So I know these folks have been teaching and training a long time and that they've published a book, but I think they're wrong about Common Core being incompatible with the maker movement. In fact, there are scores and scores of educators who see that Common Core reconnects them with their constructivist roots precisely because the standards articulate learning capabilities and targets with lots of flexibility for how the students might discover and express their learning.

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How Memory, Focus and Good Teaching Can Work Together to Help Kids Learn

How Memory, Focus and Good Teaching Can Work Together to Help Kids Learn | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it
Everyone has a pet theory on how to improve public education: better professional development for teachers, more money, better curriculum, testing for accountability, teacher incentives, technology, streamlined bureaucracy.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

There is no single theory that will improve a student's experience in the classroom. There are some great insights in this article.

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What Motivates A Student’s Interest in Reading and Writing

What Motivates A Student’s Interest in Reading and Writing | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it
Alex Ragone/Flickr
The excerpt below is from the book “Building a Community of Self-Motivated Learners: Strategies to Help Students Thrive in School and Beyond,” by Larry Ferlazzo.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Part of the brouhaha over Common Core has been around fiction vs. non-fiction. I think that misunderstanding is mostly settled, but the fact remains that students are infrequently motivated to read or write. Relevance is only part of the equation. Helping students understand the value of knowing how to read critically and how to think through their fingers (aka writing) may be a larger part of the equation. For all of the work of motivation researchers (and I never knew there was such a thing) and others, I wonder how often we really ask our kids why they don't want to read or write. How often we engage them in a way that allows them to speak honestly and safely. I bet we'd learn a few more things that what these researchers can tell us.

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How the New SAT Is Trying to Redefine College Readiness - US News

How the New SAT Is Trying to Redefine College Readiness - US News | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it
Here’s what to expect from both the current version and the overhaul – assuming you take the test.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

SAT. ACT. Common Core. Let us not forget there have been standardized tests in our educational worlds for a LONG time but there was an explosion of such tests with NCLB when providers took advantage of the data-driven decision-making movement. More data, better decisions? Mmm, not always. Nevertheless, standardized test providers continue to evolve, continue to find ways to make themselves relevant because, unlike the immortals in The Highlander, apparently there can be more than one.

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As Students Opt Out of Common Core Exams, Some Say Movement Is Not About Testing - US News

As Students Opt Out of Common Core Exams, Some Say Movement Is Not About Testing - US News | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it
Thousands of students are refusing to take annual Common Core-aligned exams, even when the consequences may be severe.

Via Bob Farrace, Mel Riddile
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Do we have too many standardized tests? I think so. Do too many teachers spend too much time going through motions of test prep rather than actually teaching content and learning skills that would serve students better on standardized tests? Probably. Have we gotten so wrapped up in results that we have overlooked the facts that learning is a process, that students learn at different paces, that learning and gaining knowledge is more than a test score? No doubt. Common Core has become an easy target but it is, perhaps, the proverbial straw.

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Common Core works – when teachers and parents get a say in rewriting it

Common Core works – when teachers and parents get a say in rewriting it | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it


This is the second letter in a series between Carol Burris, principal of South Side High School in Rockville Centre, New York, and Jayne Ellspermann, principal of West Port High School in Ocala, Florida, about how the Common Core standards are...
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

An implementation plan, clarity of purpose, and administrative support. All those things can make a difference in how teachers are able to integrate Common Core in their classrooms. And, just for the record, IB has published some resources to make it easier for teachers (and administrators) to see and understand the correlations between IB and Common Core.

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How Twitter is changing the national Common Core debate - Washington Post (blog)

How Twitter is changing the national Common Core debate - Washington Post (blog) | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it
Three researchers say this is the first national policy conversation played out in social media.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

There are lessons to be learned here, and not just that Twitter is rapidly becoming the National Enquirer of social media. We've seen too many incidents of false or misleading "reporting" precisely because of the immediacy of Twitter.

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The False Promise of Core Knowledge - Huffington Post

The False Promise of Core Knowledge - Huffington Post | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it
The Common Core famously emphasizes evidence-based reading and writing. For Common Core assignments and exams, students only get full credit if they answer questions using evidence from the passage under consideration.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

I was vaguely familiar with Core Knowledge prior to reading this article. I agree with @NTampio of the danger of a sequenced curriculum that suggests core knowledge is an ideal. We've had plenty of experience with such kinds of approaches to K-12 education and they've rarely succeeded, and they're counter to the personalized learning movement that seems to make so much sense to many. On the other hand, most of education is about core knowledge in terms of skills in reading, writing, and arithmetic. And perhaps for some schools having a sequenced curriculum makes sense. I like the option, but I worry about the dependency when teachers think the curriculum (or the teacher's ed) is a substitute for good instructional planning and practice.

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Are Test Scores Proving Fears About Common-Core High School Math Correct?

Are Test Scores Proving Fears About Common-Core High School Math Correct? | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it
In three states that released preliminary common-core test scores in July, high school students failed to meet predictions for math proficiency. Did experts warn us this was coming?
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

The debate about the difficulty of the Common Core HIGH SCHOOL math standards continues, and will continue. I hope this will be healthy debate rather than finger-pointing and nay-saying. I think we have an opportunity to think realistically about what really needs to be a part of math instruction for high school. Heck, there are math experts who believe anything beyond Algebra I is a waste for most students, so let's have a constructive conversation about what really makes sense for high school math.

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What Education Technology Could Look Like Over the Next Five Years

What Education Technology Could Look Like Over the Next Five Years | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it
In a fast-moving field like education technology, it’s worth taking a moment to take stock of new developments, persistent trends and the challenges to effective tech implementation in real classrooms.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

This is exciting. There are so many wonderful providers of edtech resources and I'm privileged to work with/for some of them. What we must, must, MUST do is be sure teachers have the support and the training they need to be successful, and not to bombard them with options. We can do this--and overcome those challenges--and I believe we can do this amazingly well.

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Don't Shrink Fiction In America's Common Core Reading Lists - Daily Caller

Don't Shrink Fiction In America's Common Core Reading Lists - Daily Caller | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it
As a novelist I never realized how much skin in the game I had in terms of the Common Core curriculum. Only recently did I discover that fiction, according to common core, is being shrunk in favor of
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

And still misrepresenting the role of fiction in Common Core. Sheesh! I read the article to which folks are referring. The poor implementations of Common Core really frustrate me as do the misunderstandings of teachers and administrators have not yet, apparently, actually read the Common Core Standards.

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Why Do High School Teachers Lecture So Much?

Why Do High School Teachers Lecture So Much? | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it

Why do high school teachers lecture so much?
Almost every high school I go to I see teachers talking and kids listening (or not) more in History than any other course.

Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

And not just in history, folks.

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Common Core's Effect on Teaching Classic Literature

Common Core's Effect on Teaching Classic Literature | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it
Common Core Standards have forced educators into a “teach to test,” kind of role and one report shows that Common Core might also be responsible for a shift in the way students learn classic literature.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

No. No. No. Teachers have been "teaching to the test" long before Common Core so don't blame that on Common Core. Is there a Common Core expectation that high school students will read more non-fiction? Yes. THROUGHOUT THE SCHOOL DAY. So if English teachers want to teach classic literature, they can because high school students should be reading non-fiction informational texts in other classes. If an administrator is telling an English teacher to teach less fiction, that's a misunderstanding of the Standards. As for student interest in reading, well, that's another challenge and not related to Common Core. That's cultural and nearly every teacher in every content area in every grade struggles to get kids to read.

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5 Principles for a Problem-Solving Classroom - Brilliant or Insane

A problem-solving classroom isn't easy to create. These 5 principles for a problem-solving classroom will help.

Via Darren Burris
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

It isn't easy because it requires planning, preparation, and commitment. But the payoff? Wow moments. . .for the kids.

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No Student Is Unreachable

No Student Is Unreachable | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it
No Student Is Unreachable
by Jeffrey Benson
As an educational elder with a lot of experience working with challenging students, I am often asked to consult to school teams.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

No child is unreachable. We need to remember to talk about ANYTHING any child can do as much as we talk about what any child cannot or will not do. As we discuss a student with other educators, we will inevitably learn something about a child we did not know or could not see.

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Digital Credibility: 13 Lessons For the Google Generation

Digital Credibility: 13 Lessons For the Google Generation | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it

This post is promoted by Encyclopedia Britannica Noet Edition, who asked us to talk about the credibility of information research in a digital world.

Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Digital literacy. Digital citizenship. Digital credibility: Just because it's on the Internet, doesn't mean it's true! ;)

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PARCC Makes Inroads as Proxy for College Readiness

PARCC Makes Inroads as Proxy for College Readiness | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it
Two Colorado colleges are the first to decide to consider PARCC scores in course-placement decisions.

Via Mel Riddile
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

A colleague of mine predicts the ACT as a required standardized test in schools will become obsolete and that PARCC or something akin to it will become the norm. For at least two colleges, which is not a statistically relevant number, that time is now.

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New 'Consumer Reports' for Common Core finds learning materials lacking - Washington Post

New 'Consumer Reports' for Common Core finds learning materials lacking - Washington Post | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it
Non-profit analyzes first batch of Common Core math textbooks and finds just one series properly aligned.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

STOP. First, Common Core is NOT a curriculum. Second, teachers should NOT be teaching "to the standards." That's where we went wrong with NCLB and every other standards project. Standards are a target for capability, proficiency, even mastery. Third, no materials should "align" to the standards. Good teachers will use whatever materials they have and help students work towards their capabilities of grade-level standards. And maybe even challenge students to work towards proficiency of those standards above their grade levels.

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No Child Left Behind and Testing Help Hold Schools Accountable

No Child Left Behind and Testing Help Hold Schools Accountable | It's Not About the Standards | Scoop.it
The controversial education law known as No Child Left Behind is up for reauthorization, and amid the nuances under debate one question stands out: Will pressures from the left and right force the federal government to abandon its annual, statewide...
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

National testing is supposed to be about accountability. I do NOT believe that teachers' performance should be based on student test scores. Thinking about NCLB and accountability led to this blog  post: http://www.irreverent-learning.com/2015/02/accountability-and-leaving-kids-behind.html.

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