COMMON CORE STANDARDS DAILY UPDATE // APRIL 22, 2016

News You Can Use:

 

Education Standards Encourage Students to ‘Aim High’ | Kentucky State Journal
Many young people who want to serve in the military will not have the opportunity to do so, writes Verna Fairchild, who spent 34 years serving in the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard. Nearly a quarter of Kentucky high school graduates are unable to pass the basic military entrance exam. “[But] Kentucky is moving in the right direction [with the Common Core] and should continue on this course to ensure that students will be better prepared to ‘aim high.’” Like Fairchild, Mary Scott Hunter wrote last year that Common Core State Standards are important for both military families and military readiness. “Children of civilian and military families alike deserve to be held to academic expectations that fully prepare them for college and a career.”

School Board Reaches Out to Help At-Risk Kids | Washington Times Herald
Teachers and administrators at the Washington Community School District have developed a curriculum directed at high school students who are at risk of dropping out. The program is designed to better engage those students by relating education to the real world and using new teaching methods to motivate students. The curriculum plan is still aligned with Common Core State Standards. “The exciting part of this is that the staff generated it,” says superintendent Dan Roach. The collaboration shows the flexibility the Common Core affords educators. Last year 21 State Teachers of the Year wrote, “Under the Common Core, teachers have greater flexibility to design their classroom lessons—and can, for the first time, take advantage of the best practices from great teachers in other states.”

Unified Board Approves New Common-Core Aligned Math Curriculum | Racine Journal Times
The Racine Unified School Board approved a new math curriculum covering grades from kindergarten to high school. The curriculum comes after two years of planning by local teachers and administrators and will blend traditional textbooks with online materials. “Our teachers are going to have a number of resources at their disposal that are really going to change how math is taught in our district,” says Rosalie Daca, the district’s chief academic officer. Racine’s example demonstrates the local ownership states and districts are taking to develop curricula and lesson plans aligned to the Common Core.

 


 

Correcting the Record:

Indiana Is Better Off without Common Core | Indianapolis Star
Sierra Lehman, a high school student in Fort Wayne, is grateful “Indiana is refusing” Common Core State Standards. “The main issue with Common Core Standards is the emphasis on testing,” Lehman writes. “Tests themselves don’t adequately measure skills, but instead one’s test-taking ability…[Common Core] requires all students to succeed through the exact same teaching style.” In actuality, Indiana hasn’t rejected the Common Core as Lehman suggests—the state’s new standards closely resemble the Common Core State Standards—and the idea that the standards force teachers and students into a rigid model of instruction runs counter to evidence from classrooms. Here is where Lehman’s letter gets it wrong: http://forstudentsuccess.org/has-indiana-really-refused-the-common-core/

 


 

On Our Reading List:

ESSA Cheat Sheet: What’s in the New Testing Regulations? | Education Week
Following eight days of negotiated rulemaking, regulations governing assessment requirements under the Every Student Succeeds Act are becoming clearer. States have to test students in grades 3 through 8 and once in high school in math and reading, “plus science in certain gradespans.” State may choose to test in other subjects if those tests align to academic standards. State must report results separately for boys, girls, English-language learners, for special education students, different racial groups, low-income students, homeless students, foster children and military children. All students will have the same amount of time on tests, with some exceptions. States can also use computer adaptive tests in lieu of pen-and-paper tests. Get more information here.

Pixar in a Box Teaches Math through Real Animation Challenges | KQED News
Pixar and Khan Academy are teaming up to show students how the math and science they’re learning in school is applicable to real-world challenges, like digital animation. Pixar in a Box presents students with technical problems animators face and use those to demonstrate math applications. Students are able to experiment with interactive elements to better understand the problem and work towards calculations to solve the problems. “[Students] have this more interactive intuition lesson,” says Brit Cruise. “They’re not just calculating.”

Public: Less Testing, More Art in Education Accountability | Louisville Courier Journal             
During a two-hour public forum Kentucky parents called for a statewide accountability system that discourages competition among schools, reduces standardized testing and considers subjects like art and music to measure student achievement. Education commissioner Stephen Pruitt said that while the state will revise its accountability system under the Every Student Succeeds Act, it won’t “throw the baby out with the bathwater.”