COMMON CORE STANDARDS DAILY UPDATE // FEBRUARY 9, 2016

News You Can Use:

Lawmakers Should Reject Efforts to Repeal College & Career Ready Standards | Huntsville Times
Jennifer Brown, the 2016 Alabama Teacher of the Year, writes that an overwhelming majority of educators “not only support our College and Career Ready Standards, but are blown away by what our students have shown they are now capable of doing.” Social media has helped spread misinformation, but most confusing problems relate to curriculum issues, not standards. Like Brown, 2014 Alabama Teacher of the Year Alison Grizzle wrote along with 20 other State Teachers of the Year, “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.”

Kasich on Education: ‘I Am for Total Local Control’ | CNS News
Asked about his support for Common Core State Standards during an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Ohio Governor John Kasich reiterated states’ control of academic expectations. “I have been very clear from the beginning that I support high standards and local control,” Kasich said. “That’s exactly what we do in Ohio.  Our state school board approves the standards, and the local school boards are the ones that create the curriculum.” Last year, former Education Secretary Bill Bennett wrote, “Common, voluntary standards are a good, conservative policy… [Common Core Standards] do not prescribe what is taught in our classrooms or how it’s taught. That decision should always rest with local school districts and school boards.”


Correcting the Record:

The Real Reason Candidates Aren’t Talking Education in South Carolina, New Hampshire (or Anywhere Else) | The Seventy-Four
Conor Williams, a senior researcher at New America’s Education Policy Program, writes that the Every Student Succeeds Act has taken debate about education issues “completely off the table.” Calling the ESSA a “deeply problematic law,” Williams suggests that its passage was intended to ensure “opposition to the Common Core [didn’t] catalyze into a threat to establishment candidates” or create a “civil war” for Democratic candidates. In reality, the ESSA makes sure state and local authorities have full control of education issues and reins in federal overreach. Here is where Williams gets it wrong: http://forstudentsuccess.org/the-every-student-succeeds-act-presidential-candidates-debate-common-core/


On Our Reading List:

The Math Revolution | The Atlantic
Despite “slumping national test-score averages,” a faction of accelerated students “are learning more and learning faster than they were 10 years ago.” “The students are being produced by a new pedagogical ecosystem—almost entirely extracurricular—that has developed online and in the country’s rich coastal cities and tech meccas.” The article attributes the trend to greater access to resources and instruction for students who have a desire to learn. Common Core State Standards aim to help more students engage at an early age in that kind of learning, though “it’s too early to know what effect the initiative will have.”

Why the SAT and ACT May Replace PARCC and Smarter Balanced | Ed Surge
The SAT and ACT tests are gaining traction among states. This year the SAT will be administered in six states and the District of Columbia as well as in more than 100 districts in 17 more states, and the ACT reports 15 states will give its tests to all 11th grade students. “The window of opportunity swung open after Smarter Balanced and PARCC began falling out of favor with schools and districts,” the article reports. “Now state education officials are falling back to a more familiar test: college prep exams… Beyond the SAT and ACT, states have other options, as well… [and some] are electing to design their own Common Core-aligned exams.”

Jeff Landry, John Bel Edwards Back at It on Common Core Lawsuit | Times Picayune
On Monday, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry sent another letter to Governor John Bel Edwards indicating he is willing to take up the lawsuit initiated by former Gov. Bobby Jindal challenging implementation of the state’s Common Core Standards. “The litigation filed against the United States Department of Education by your predecessor was not on behalf of the office of the Governor; it was filed on behalf of the State and People of Louisiana,” the letter states. Gov. Edwards has said the lawsuit was “brought for purely political reasons” and the issue is now “moot.”

Revised Common Core Heads to BESE Vote | New Orleans Advocate
Last week a 26-member committee approved changes to Louisiana’s Common Core Standards. Those recommendations will now go to the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education for a vote. The proposal would change about one in five of the current standards. The BESE has to review the proposed changes, add any of its own and approve a package by March 4. After the BESE acts, the revisions will be made available for public input, and review by the House and Senate Education Committees and Gov. John Bel Edwards.