COMMON CORE STANDARDS DAILY UPDATE // FEBRUARY 11, 2016

News You Can Use:

Department of Defense Schools Adapt to Their Version of Common Core Math | US News & World Report
This school year, schools operated by the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) for military families began phasing in College and Career Ready Standards, which are built on the Common Core framework. Providing more consistent education standards is intended to help families of military members, which relocate frequently. The standards also emphasize conceptual understanding and critical thinking. “We’ve completely eliminated ‘skill and drill,’” says Millard Lamm, a first grade teacher. “What we’re seeing is a lot richer because it’s their own work and their own thinking.” A Stimson Center report last year concluded that communities that rely on military bases should prioritize access to high quality education, which includes implementation of consistent learning goals like the Common Core.

Assessing Assessments: The New Wave of Testing | US News & World Report
PARCC and Smarter Balanced assessments better align with Common Core State Standards than other tests, giving parents and teachers more accurate information about student development, according to a two-year study by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. ACT Aspire and Massachusetts’ MCAS were also regarded as high-quality exams, but reviewers found they did not adequately assess some priority content reflected in the Common Core State Standards. Research by the National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY) last year also concluded PARCC and Smarter Balanced assessments outperformed many states’ old tests. Pam Reilly, a participant in the study, wrote, “I can say with confidence these new assessments are the kind we should want our kids to take.”

Liberal Indoctrination through Common Core and Other Fears Stoked by Conservatives | Think Progress
In the lead up to the 2016 election, several conservatives have made “major reversals” from embracing the Common Core to opposing it. “Conservatives have succeeded in stoking Common Core fears by associating the standards with subjects the standards have never addressed,” the article reports. “[But] Common Core Standards are guidelines for a curriculum and only concern math and English,” a concept once championed by conservatives. Last year former Education Secretary Bill Bennett wrote, “Lies, myths, exaggerations and hysteria about what the Common Core means and does have dominated the “debate” and the real issues have been obscured.” In a memo last month Karen Nussle notes most candidates “have a complicated relationship with the standards marked by inconsistencies and shifting positions,” which explain their difficulty “in scoring a clean hit on the topic of Common Core.”

Recidivism Watch: Donald Trump’s Misleading Claims about Common Core and Education Trends | Washington Post
Although objective analysis has repeatedly dismissed claims that Common Core State Standards usurp local control of education issues, Donald Trump continues to claim they are the work of the federal government. The Washington Post fact-checker previously gave a “Three Pinocchio” rating to Trump’s claims, and Michelle Ye Hee Lee writes, “There already is local control with Common Core. It has been a state led effort…States opted in to the program, and state and local districts design and choose their curricula.” Last year 21 State Teachers of the Year wrote, “The common core is not a federal takeover of our schools, nor does it force teachers into a rigid model for classroom instruction.”


Correcting the Record:

End Common Core Massachusetts Question to Go Before Legislature | Wicked Local
Massachusetts’ Secretary of State Bill Galvin has approved the group End Common Core Massachusetts’ petition seeking to put a ballot question to repeal the state’s education standards to voters in November. The State Legislature will now decide whether or not to hear the issue; if taken up, voters could vote on the issue this fall. “The Common Core is a tremendous overreach of the federal government into our local communities,” said one parent and a former candidate for state office who gathered signatures for the petition. Massachusetts voluntarily adopted Common Core State Standards because they provide greater consistency across schools and allow educators to compare student develop to other districts and states. Here is where the End Common Core Massachusetts initiative gets it wrong: http://forstudentsuccess.org/massachusetts-ballot-initiative-to-repeal-common-core-risks-putting-students-and-teachers-at-a-disadvantage/


On Our Reading List:

How U.S. Students Stack Up in Math, Reading and Science | US News & World Report
More than one in four 15-year-olds in developed countries do not have a basic level of knowledge in at least one of three core subjects: math, reading and science, according to a study by the OECD. In the United States, 26 percent of students were low-performers in math, 17 percent were low-performers in reading, and 18 percent were low-performers in science. Twelve percent were low-performers across all three areas. One way to improve performance is through high academic expectations, says Andreas Schleicher, an author of the report. “The U.S. recently adopted the Common Core. That has happened in many countries, and we can actually see a big impact on this.”

Oklahoma Board Approves Common-Core Replacement | Associated Press
The Oklahoma Board of Education approved new education standards for math and English language arts. The standards are intended to replace the state’s Common Core Standards, which lawmakers moved to replace in 2014 over concerns about federal involvement. The proposed new standards, which are planned to go into effect at the start of the 2016-17 school year, must still be approved by the state Legislature.

Vote on Bill to Repeal Common Core Standards Postponed but Not before Key Changes Made | Huntsville Times
On Wednesday, the Alabama Senate Education Policy Committee postponed a vote on whether to repeal the state’s Common Core Standards. Before the Committee adjourned, Sen. Del Marsh, who has advocated to keep the Common Core, convinced the Committee to adopt an amendment that would allow school districts to decide whether to keep the Common Core State Standards or not. “I have not had a single school superintendent or school board member on the local level tell me to opt out or get out of Common Core,” Sen. Marsh said. “There is a very vocal group who are anti-Common Core that feel like it’s intrusion of the federal government. I don’t see it.”