COMMON CORE STANDARDS DAILY UPDATE // APRIL 29, 2016

News You Can Use:

Don’t Give Up on Seed of Change in Our Classrooms / Fox News Latino
Claims that Common Core State Standards aren’t improving education for minorities and the suggestion states should change course “do an immense disservice to the Hispanic community,” writes Tony Suarez, vice president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. Rigorous academic expectations coupled with high-quality assessments have helped states to close the Honesty Gap, giving parents and teachers accurate information to help meet students’ learning needs. “The changes happening in our schools are not easy, but with time and commitment they will help students of every color live out the calling God has for them,” Suarez concludes.

High Standards and the ‘Dumbest Generation’ / Huffington Post
Implementation of Common Core State Standards has marked a transition “from content that applies to some students to skills that benefit every American citizen,” writes Katrina Boone, director of teacher outreach at the Collaborative for Student Success. “We learn to find evidence for everything,” one student told Boone. “I can apply those skills to any career and future I want.” Like Boone, 21 State Teachers of the Year wrote last spring, the Common Core “gives educators the flexibility to adjust to students’ multiple learning styles while allowing those same students to progress at their own pace.”

Here’s How This School Is Preparing Students for Success at Home and School / Education Post
Partnering with local schools, Colorado Latino Leadership and Climber Higher Colorado have facilitated information nights to help familiarize parents with changes happening in their schools and the resources available to them. “We owe it to these parents to provide them with as much information as we can,” write Christine Alonzo and Reilly Pharo Carter. A growing consensus has emerged about the importance of rigorous standards and high-quality assessments. “From California to Missouri to Rhode Island and Washington, D.C., parents are going back to school, taking classes or practicing math online in order to be prepared to help their kids with math,” a Collaborative for Student Success blog notes.

Every Child’s Participation in Statewide Assessment Matters / Concord Monitor
High-quality assessments like Smarter Balanced provide schools and parents with valuable information about how their students are performing, which can be used to improve instruction, writes Bonnie Dunham of the Parent Information Center. “This information is critical in identifying unmet needs, so that schools, school districts, parents and other key stakeholders can work together to address any areas in which students are underperforming.” Like Dunham, former Illinois Teacher of the Year Pam Reilly says good tests empower teachers and parents to support students when and where they need it. “I can say with confidence these new assessments are the kind we should want our kids to take.”


 

Correcting the Record:

Senate Committee Approves Measure Repealing Common Core / Huron Daily Tribune
The Michigan Senate Education Committee voted this week to approve legislation to repeal the state’s Common Core Standards. The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration. “It is time to end the disastrous national experiment that is Common Core and let Michigan manage its own destiny to achieve excellence in our education system,” alleged state Senator Phil Pavlov. “Replacing Common Core will put children at the center of Michigan’s education system, return control to local school boards and communities, and raise expectations for our students to better equip them to be good citizens.” But evidence shows replacing the Common Core invariably leads to either modest changes, effectively “rebranding,” or inferior learning goals. Here is where Michigan lawmakers get it wrong:

Misinformation Campaigns Could Send Michigan the Way of Oklahoma

The Michigan Senate Education Committee voted this week to approve legislation to repeal the state’s Common Core Standards. The bill, which would implement the learning goals used by Massachusetts in 2008, will now head to the full Senate for consideration.

“It is time to end the disastrous national experiment that is Common Core and let Michigan manage its own destiny to achieve excellence in our education system,” claimed state Senator Phil Pavlov. “Replacing Common Core will put children at the center of Michigan’s education system, return control to local school boards and communities, and raise expectations for our students to better equip them to be good citizens.”

Lawmakers should be leery of letting those kinds of baseless allegations derail the state’s commitment to the Common Core. Last year Karen Nussle cautioned, “It is virtually impossible to produce a set of K-12 academic standards that both bear no resemblance to Common Core, and adequately prepare students for college and career.”

Mike Petrilli, president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, shares that sentiment. “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,” he wrote in the Washington Post.

Indeed, that advice has been proven true by the few states (Indiana, South Carolina and Oklahoma) to take the ill-advised path of repeal-and-replace. A white paper by the Collaborative for Student Success notes:

“Replacing the Common Core State Standards invariably leads to either modest adjustments and renaming—effectively “rebranding” the Common Core (as in both Indiana and South Carolina)—or, academic standards that are inferior to the Common Core (as in Oklahoma).

“…Rather than seeking to appease misinformed, politically-charged opponents, policymakers would be better served by using the Common Core as a framework to build upon—exactly as the standards were designed.”

If lawmakers were to replace the Common Core, they would set the state on a path backwards while most are moving forward. An analysis by Achieve found 26 states significantly narrowed their “honesty gaps” by implementing rigorous standards and high-quality assessments.

A Harvard University study concludes that most states have raised their proficiency benchmarks through the Common Core. “In short, the Common Core consortium has achieved one of its key policy objectives: the raising of state proficiency standards throughout much of the United States.”


 

On Our Reading List:

Common Core Test Glitch across Mississippi / Jackson Free Press
Technical problems disrupted student assessments across Mississippi for about 20 minutes Wednesday. Questar Assessment Inc., the Minneapolis-based vendor of the exam, reported a glitch with the testing platform. “Questar is investigating the root cause,” the company said in a statement. “With any statewide online assessment, we expect some technology glitches. The connectivity issues were quickly addressed and students who were affected resumed testing,” said state superintendent Carey Wright.

John Bel Edwards, Business Groups Reach Compromise on Education Issues / Times Picayune
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards brokered an agreement among the state’s teachers unions and business groups over several education issues, including reducing the emphasis on test scores in teacher evaluations and putting on moratorium on tying consequences to low test scores until after next year. “We are just glad the governor’s office was at the table and willing to meet us at least halfway,” said a spokesperson for the Louisiana Federation of Teachers.