COMMON CORE STANDARDS DAILY UPDATE // FEBRUARY 16, 2016

News You Can Use:

Falling Back in Love with Math | Collaborative for Student Success
The more parents learn about changes to math instruction happening as schools implement Common Core State Standards, the more they appreciate the concepts, a recent blog notes. “Almost all of the reactions from people with children in schools have been positive, particularly when talking about math,” columnist Jay Mathews wrote recently about his own informal poll of parents. Not all math content should be new to parents either, the blog notes. “According to the Common Core, students are expected to know their sums and products from memory and to be fluent with the standard algorithm for each of the four basic operations,” Jason Zimba, lead author of the Common Core math standards wrote last month.

Nation’s Top Teachers Back PARCC and Smarter Balanced | Education Dive
Research conducted by the National Network of State Teachers of the Year, which asked 23 State Teachers of the Year to judge PARCC and Smarter Balanced assessments against several states’ previous tests, found a marked preference for the consortia tests. “The new tests better represent where we want students to go in terms of their educational success,” says Katherine Bassett, executive director of NNSTOY. “The teachers in this research study agree that these tests are a step forward, and we urge policymakers and educators alike to continue along this path toward higher-quality assessments.” Last month, 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.”

Report: PARCC and Smarter Balanced Get High Marks | The Journal
A two-year study by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute finds PARCC and Smarter Balanced assessments best match the content and depth goals of the Common Core. States that have dropped the consortia tests “may want to reconsider their decision” based on the findings, the article notes. ACT Aspire and MCAS tests also showed sufficient quality in their test items, but both lacked “priority content” recommended by Common Core State Standards. A parallel study by the Human Resources Research Organization also found PARCC and Smarter Balanced showed the strongest matches to the Common Core State Standards’ criteria. Mike Petrilli and Chester Finn of the Fordham Institute wrote this week that high-quality tests coupled with states’ courage to set sufficiently high cut scores “provides a more honest report to parents about whether their kids are on track for success and a more accurate rendering to teachers and principals.”


Correcting the Record:

State Legislator Launching Effort to Repeal Common Core Teaching Standards in Michigan | WXYZ Detroit (ABC)
Michigan State Representative Gary Glenn is expected to announce legislation that would seek to repeal and replace the state’s Common Core Standards, according to a release by the group Stop Common Core in Michigan. Rep. Glenn has criticized the Common Core as a federal, one-size-fits-all initiative. However, Michigan voluntarily adopted Common Core State Standards and continues to implement them free from federal pressure. Here is where Rep. Glenn gets it wrong: http://forstudentsuccess.org/michigan-lawmakers-attempts-to-repeal-common-core-standards-put-student-achievement-at-risk/


On Our Reading List:

McQueen: Tenn. Department of Education Takes ‘Full Responsibility’ for Online Testing Debacle | Chalkbeat Tennessee
In a letter to state lawmakers, Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen said the State Department of Education “takes full responsibility for the inability to test online this year.” Last week a network outage led McQueen to pull the plug on the state’s switch to online administration of the TNReady assessment. McQueen sent similar letters to parents. Two State Senate committees are scheduled to review the testing failure on Wednesday. “We are prepared to answer any questions the General Assembly or the public may have regarding this failure of execution,” McQueen wrote.